Truck accidents are different from crashes involving two cars. Due to their size, commercial trucks are more likely to cause serious property damage, catastrophic injuries, and death. As a result, compensation amounts tend to be considerably higher than for other types of road accidents.
Trucking companies know this and dedicate a lot of time and resources to trying to reduce your payout — or get away with not paying anything.
You can prevent that from happening by discussing your case with a truck accident attorney who can advise you on what steps to take and things to ask for after the accident.
Three Things to Ask for After a Truck Accident
Here are three crucial things to ask for if you’ve been in an accident with a commercial vehicle:
1. Medical Assistance
Seek medical care immediately after the accident, even — and especially — if you feel fine. Certain injuries, such as some brain injuries, internal organ damage, and internal bleeding, don’t always present symptoms initially. Your health and safety are the most important things after an accident.
Another reason to seek prompt medical assistance has to do with the way insurance companies operate. If you don’t have medical documents to back up your claim, the insurers may try to argue that your injuries are false or at least aren’t as serious as you allege them to be.
2. Make Sure there is a Police Accident Report
Be sure to request a copy of the official accident report from the police as soon as possible. In Indiana, the formal name of this document is the Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report, always completed after an accident that causes death, injury or at least $1,000 in damages.
Accident reports are a crucial piece of evidence in any crash investigation and truck accident insurance claim. You want to ensure that the report is accurate and doesn’t make you out to be more at fault than you actually are.
If you notice any inaccuracies or missing information in the report, let your truck accident attorney know immediately — they can set the record straight.
3. The Truck’s Black Box
Modern commercial vehicles have “black boxes,” also known as event electronic control modules, data recorders, or electronic logging devices. Trucking companies use these devices to monitor vehicle status, driver safety, and regulatory compliance.
Some black boxes record data continuously, while others only start recording in the event of a crash. In any case, these devices often contain crucial information that can serve as evidence in your case, such as:
- The speed of the truck
- The timing of the driver’s last break
- Braking patterns
- Sudden decelerations and accelerations
- Use of cruise control
- Tire pressure
- Airbag deployment
- Engine oil levels
- The exact moment of collision
- The driver’s actions before, during, and after the crash
- Communication between the driver and the trucking company
Some black boxes store information for around 30 days before recording over it. Other models store data for much shorter periods. The trucking company may also erase data or intentionally “lose” a device if it contains potentially damaging information.
That’s why it’s critical to ask the insurance company to preserve and hand over black box data as soon as possible after the accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer can make a formal request and ensure that no evidence is destroyed or goes missing.
Talk to an Experienced Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys
Truck accidents often cause life-altering injuries. At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we can help you seek compensation from the at-fault parties and defend your rights against the insurance companies.
We serve clients in Carmel, IN, and throughout all of Indiana. Call 317-846-8999 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney.