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Law

I Was Rear-Ended By an 18 Wheeler. What Do I Do Now?

2 Mins read

Getting rear-ended by any vehicle is a scary experience, especially when the vehicle is an 18-wheeler truck. Knowing what to do and who to reach out to immediately after the accident can be very challenging, especially if you have suffered injuries.

You cannot rely on insurance companies to settle for the amount that will fully cover your damages. It is in your best interests that a truck accident lawyer be on your side to advocate on your behalf. An 18-wheeler is considered a commercial vehicle. Knowing your legal options will impact the settlement you receive. Speak to your legal team before making any decisions to avoid settling for a lesser amount.

Possible Injuries Caused by a Rear-End Collision

Considering the size of 18-wheel trucks, rear-end collisions can be fatal or cause serious injury. Let’s review common injuries suffered in a rear-end collision with a commercial truck:

  • Death or permanent coma
  • Nerve injuries
  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Permanent or temporary paralysis
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash

If conscious, immediately call an ambulance. Try not to move until you have been stabilized. Even if your injuries don’t seem serious, everything must be included in the medical report. Some cases of organ damage go undetected by the naked eye but require immediate medical attention. 

Seek Legal Support for Assistance

Having a legal team on your side during this difficult event will allow you to focus on healing and reconnecting with your loved ones instead of facing complex legal documentation that is not designed to make the process easier. A lawyer commonly offers free consultations and gets paid only if you win the case. There’s no financial risk on your end to hire a personal injury attorney.

Common Causes for Rear-End Collisions by 18-Wheelers

It is often found that trucking companies and their drivers push the limits in the amount of work allowed to be performed within certain timeframes. This results in drivers driving fatigued, which can lead to missing maintenance checks on the vehicle, falling asleep, or improperly loading the truck. 

Unfortunately, everyone on the road is at risk when these massive vehicles are on the move. 

These are common causes of 18-wheeler rear-end collisions:

  • Lack of concentration or distractions
  • Substance abuse or intoxication
  • Inexperienced drivers or poor training
  • Dangerous weather conditions
  • Breaking the rules of the road

There are other reasons, but these are the most common and preventable. It takes ongoing training and awareness to prevent accidents when working as a truck driver. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for their workers and providing the best equipment for the road.

Examine the Scene of the Accident

Each scenario is unique, but there are specific steps to take after an accident with an 18-wheeler.

  • Do not admit fault, even if you feel you made a mistake.
  • Get information from all drivers involved including driver license numbers and trucking company information.
  • Speak with witnesses and document any testimonies.
  • Let your attorney speak on your behalf with all parties involved, especially insurance companies.

Personal injury attorneys see a variety of injury cases resulting from motor vehicle accidents. A lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf with the insurance and trucking companies to get the maximum benefit for your damages. 

Traffic accidents that involve a commercial vehicle can be quite complex and require the experienced legal representation of a truck accident lawyer. The trucking and insurance companies will do anything possible to minimize the amount of your settlement and push you to settle quickly outside of court. 

You’ll want to have the necessary legal support to cover expenses beyond your medical bills. After an injury, the victim is faced with pain and suffering, lost wages, and possible permanent limitation to carry-out the life he or she once had. Having enough monetary compensation will allow the injured person to have the best chance at healing while getting back to a somewhat normal life.