No matter when you take to the roadways in Chicago, Il., you are going to travel alongside commercial vehicles. If you are like most people you drive or ride beside commercial vehicles day after day, and never think about the possibility of getting into a collision with one of them. For the most part, the truckers we share our roadways with are diligent professionals who put safety above everything else, but even the most conscientious driver can have an accident. Here are some answers to frequent questions people have when they have been in an accident with a commercial vehicle.
How should I handle to call to my insurance company if I am in an accident with a commercial vehicle?
After you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you should notify your insurance company as soon as it is physically possible for you to do so. Keep it simple, as the only thing you should talk to them about is what is on the police report. You should provide them with a copy of the police report and nothing further. If your insurance company begins to interrogate you about your injuries, or asks questions you don’t feel comfortable answering, you should contact a personal injury attorney chicago il who is specializes in handling cases involving commercial vehicles. You may consider your insurance company as an entity that is acting in your best interest, however, you should refrain from consenting to or signing anything without legal representation.
How should I document the scene of the accident?
If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, you should take pictures and make a video of the scene with your cellphone. If you are unable to document the scene yourself, and there is a friend or a family member nearby, ask them to video, and take pictures of the scene for you. Take as many pictures as you can, making sure to get pictures at different distances, and multiple angles. While you are documenting the scene, there may be things you don’t consider to be important, however those types of things when viewed by an experienced attorney, could prove themselves to be the difference between you winning your case or losing it. Make sure you document the injuries of any passengers who were in your car. Video them talking about what they saw, and how they felt at the time of the accident. Then take pictures of their injuries with your cellphone. If your passengers can, ask them to take pictures of any injuries you sustained. They should also record a video of you talking about your observations at the time of the accident.
Should I try to get the truck driver’s employer’s contact information?
If you are physically able to do so, ask the driver of the truck to provide you with their name, and the contact information for the company they work for. If the driver of the vehicle engages in profanity, appears to be agitated, or is unfriendly or unusually nervous, patiently sit in your vehicle until the authorities arrive. Let the police collect the information you need. Be sure to tell the officer who comes to the scene about the negative reaction you had with the other driver, so it will become a part of the police report. There are cases where commercial vehicles don’t have any identifying information on them at all, however if there is any information on the vehicle that hit you, be sure to take a picture of it, and write it down and place it somewhere safe, so you will have it to give to your personal injury attorney.
What should I do if the claims adjuster from the trucking company calls me and offers me a sizeable settlement?
You need to remember, cases involving commercial vehicles are multi-dimensional and complicated. Typically, there is more than one insurance company involved in these types of cases. It is for this reason; you should never attempt to negotiate an independent settlement. It would be difficult for the average person to interface and engage with investigators, representatives and lawyers who work for the business involved. The liable party will have a team of professionals who will do everything in their power to protect the interests of their client. You need to make sure you have someone in your corner who will do the same for you.
Remember, if you are injured because of the negligence of someone else, you should never accept any settlement offer without legal representation. You should also keep this in mind, the company’s insurance company’s main goal is to get out of paying you anything. If they find themselves in a situation of having to pay for you something, their main objective is going to be to pay you the least amount they possibly can. Always keep in mind, if you choose to represent yourself, whatever a company is willing to offer you in terms of a settlement, is going to be far less that what a skilled personal injury attorney would be able to negotiate for you.