Involvement in an auto accident can leave anyone feeling stressed. When an auto accident involves an 18-wheeler, that stress may be heightened. A semi can cause far more damage considering their size and weight compared to a standard automobile. The injuries received in the accident may also be considerably extensive. With that in mind, if you have been injured in an auto accident that involved a semi, there are a few things you should know to help you overcome the aftermath.
See a Doctor for Pain and Injuries Immediately
Whether or not you decided to receive medical attention at the time of your accident, you should still schedule an appointment to see a physician. The most common injuries received in an accident often involve the neck or back, though there are other areas of the body that may be affected. Although symptoms generally appear after most auto accidents, some people may not experience pain until a day or two after the accident.
After an accident, you may experience feelings of shock. Shock can prevent your body from feeling pain. Therefore, you may initially think you are fine after a serious accident. If you begin to experience pain within a day or two of your accident, seek medical attention from a physician immediately. Medical documentation is a necessity, particularly if you plan on pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the trucker and the trucking company.
Retain Quotes for the Damages
You may be entitled to compensation from a personal injury lawsuit if you were part of an accident involving a semi-truck. In order to receive the proper compensation, you will need plenty of documentation in order to build a case. Aside from medical documentation, you will need to document the damages to your vehicle.
Make sure you receive documented quotes from professional auto repair shops containing the dollar amount of the estimated damages. If the wreck was serious enough, it may have totaled your vehicle. If your vehicle was totaled, you could receive enough compensation to replace your vehicle. In the meantime, work closely with your insurance company in order to receive a temporary vehicle, such as a rental, that you can use for transportation.
Know Who You Are Suing
While it may seem obvious to sue the truck driver for any injuries and damages you and your vehicle incurred, you should also realize that it may be possible for you to sue the trucking company, too. Based on a doctrine known as respondeat superior, the trucking company may be held liable for the accident, particularly if the trucker was operating during the company's hours of operation.
The best way to determine if you can pursue a lawsuit against the trucking company along with the trucker is to speak with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can review your case and gather the information necessary to determine if the employer can be held responsible for the wreck. For example, trucking companies often place unrealistic expectations on truckers that force them to drive for long hours.
Long driving hours can cause fatigue among truck drivers and fatigue can lead to dangerous and even fatal accidents. Truckers are required to log their driving hours, which is something your lawyer can use to determine fault in your personal injury case. Keep in mind that you would be suing two separate entities in this case with one being the trucker and other being the trucking company.
Know What You Are Entitled To
You are entitled to compensation for various issues resulting from your auto accident. For starters, you can receive compensation for your medical care costs due to any injuries you received in the accident. You can also receive compensation for damages to your vehicle. However, you may be entitled to more than that. For instance, if you miss work as a result of your accident, you can receive compensation for lost wages.
If your injuries are severe enough to cause permanent damages that may prevent a loss of your wage earning capacity in the future, you can receive compensation for that, too. In some instances, people involved in an auto accident may also experience mental distress as well as physical pain. Mental distress may include anxiety and stress, both of which you can receive compensation for. For help understanding what compensation you are entitled to, speak with a person injury lawyer like Steven A. Crifase Ltd.