No matter how brief or small the collision, an accident with a tractor trailer can be devastating.
When you need help after such an accident, call on a Watertown tractor trailer attorney who will fight for fair compensation and relief from the financial pressure of medical bills and lost wages.
Advice From An Experienced Watertown Tractor Trailer Lawyer
The aftermath of a big rig collision can be confusing. If you find yourself in this position, here are the steps to take:
- Check for injuries and call for help. Even if you don’t feel injured, seek medical help. You may not be fully able to assess your state of injury, and it’s unlikely a passenger from a smaller vehicle can walk away from a trucking accident unscathed. Call 911 and seek the help of police, who will protect the scene and report the incident, and ask for medical help.
- Document the collision. A big-rig lawyer will need as much evidence as possible when he or she takes your case. Take pictures of the scene, of your vehicle’s damage, and even of wounds you or a passenger incurred.
- Talk to Witnesses. The police will likely want to interview witnesses as well, but if you are able, talk to those who saw the accident as soon after it happened as possible. Witnesses may forget key details by the time the police get to them to take their statements. Traffic videos and official documents may also be evidence in your case.
- Avoid Being Apologetic. We often say we’re sorry even when we aren’t at fault. People say, “I’m sorry you are sick,” or “I’m sorry you lost your job,” when it has nothing to do with an action they took. Stop yourself from apologizing at the scene of an accident. What you may mean as “I’m sorry you are hurt,” another may misinterpret as accepting blame.
Liability for Trucking Accidents In Watertown NY
Liability is a term to describe who is at fault in an accident. All drivers have a duty of care when on the road. When they fail to driver safely or follow traffic rules, they could be libel – or responsible – for the injuries of another if their failure resulted in an accident. Due to the weight and size of a tractor trailer truck, drivers of these vehicles carry an extra burden of responsibility when on the road, but they may not be the ones responsible in the aftermath of an accident.
Though some big-rig drivers are independent contractors, most drivers are employees. If a company has irresponsible hiring tactics – such as failing to fully investigate a driver’s background – the company may be responsible for the driver’s actions. A company that illegally pushes drivers to be on the road too long – or even one that encourages such behavior – may be responsible if that driver causes an accident.
Loading can also be an issue for 18-wheelers. If a shipping company or the driving company improperly loads a truck, causing it to be unbalanced during the haul, that imbalance may cause the driver to lose control of the truck, creating an accident.
The fault may be with one of these parties or several. For instance, if a driver was on the road too long at the behest of a trucking company and the haul was improperly loaded, resulting in a crash, the trucking company and whoever is responsible for loading might be at fault. Some of the fault might land on the driver as well.
Talk With An Injury Attorney Before Negotiation In Watertown New York
Before you talk with an insurance company, discuss your case with a skilled big rig lawyer in Watertown. Insurance companies have their best interests in mind first – and their job is to offer the least amount of compensation possible.
A Watertown 18-wheeler accident attorney who has your best interests in mind is the best way to ensure you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Between medical bills and lost work time, an injury can mean devastating financial setbacks.
Try Us; You Don’t Pay Unless You Win Settlement
With 35 years of experience, the team at The O’Brien Firm has a track record of winning settlements for past clients. Our goal is to guide you or a loved one who has been involved in a tractor trailer accident to the best possible financial compensation. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only ask for payment if you receive a settlement.
Fill out the form on our website or call us at (716) 907-7777.