First, if you were involved in a collision with a tractor trailer, you are probably reading this some time after the collision, probably a long time after the collision. That’s OK. People understand that because of the significant forces involved with a crash involving tractor trailers, most people involved in the crash are either in the hospital or dead. In fact a majority of my clients are surviving family members who had to plan funerals and deal with the overwhelming grief of loosing a loved one and didn’t even think of filing a lawsuit until some months after the collision. So what should you do if you, or a loved one, was involved in a collision? I previously posted on this but a reminder is in order because it is important. Please
- Make sure you and yours are safe.
- Get medical treatment, if needed, as soon as possible.
- Get the names addresses, and numbers of any witnesses. If a witness calls you later to see how you are, or drops by the hospital, make sure you can contact them again. Make sure you copy down the DOT number on the cab AND the trailer. Remember to get the names of the driver of the other vehicle and anyone they might have in cab.
- Once you are safe and have sought medical care take photo’s of your car, the truck, the accident scene, and modest photo’s (pretend we are showing them to your pastor) of the injuries.
- Do not give recorded statements to anyone. You are probably on pain killers, may have memory problems as a result of a blow to the head, and generally are not trained to handle questioning by the well trained, highly experienced insurance adjuster assigned to these cases.
- Get a copy of the accident report and check it for accuracy
- Have someone take photo’s and the measurements of any skid marks.
- Have someone take photo’s of the tractor-trailers’ tires and any damage or paint scrapes on the tractor trailer.
- Contact an experienced trucking lawyer as soon as possible. I have previously posted a blog on what to look for in an experienced truck injury lawyer if you decide to hire one. Those comments remain as true today as they did then. An experienced lawyer will help you save important information which might show the trucking company created the conditions for the wreck and the driver is just the fall guy for the trucking companies willingness to cut corners. Information in a trucking case is quickly lost. For example: Pre and post trip inspection reports of the tractor trailer are required to be kept for only three months. see 49 CFR 396.11(c)(2) Some electronic information can disappear in as little as 14 days. An experienced commercial vehicle injury lawyer will be able to obtain this information and make sure it is available for trial.
The Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Morgan Adams concentrate in protecting the rights of those who were seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a commercial truck or bus. Our lawyers are based in Tennessee, but serve clients throughout the nation. If you or someone you love has been seriously hurt by a careless driver, don’t sign anything the trucking company gives you — contact us as soon as possible at 800-580-4878 or by email to learn more at a free, confidential consultation.
Morgan Adams is a trial attorney licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. He is listed as a "Mid-South SuperLawyer" (Limited to the top 5% of the lawyers in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas), is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (limited to lawyers who have recovered 1 million dollars or more for their clients), and is the Chair of the American Association of Justice’s Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. He has served as chair of the Tennessee Association of Justice’s Trucking Litigation seminars since 2004, and is a frequent speaker at national legal education programs, training lawyers to properly handle injury cases involving commercial vehicles.