From highways to neighborhood streets, truck accidents can happen anywhere at any time. And they can be harrowing experiences. In 2020, large truck accidents in the United States killed 4,965 people and injured 146,930. Non-truck driver occupants accounted for 72% of those fatalities and 68% of those who were injured. That same year in Mississippi, large truck crashes resulted in 82 fatalities, with occupants of other vehicles accounting for most of those deaths. But even if you weren’t injured, you might have still suffered extensive property damage and emotional hardship.
Whether a truck T-boned you in Biloxi or a truck caused a major pile-up in Hattiesburg, it’s essential to know the steps you should take after a truck accident. Understanding what to do in a truck accident’s aftermath will assist the police officers and other officials who respond to the scene and help protect your legal rights. Knowing how to file a truck accident claim in Mississippi is also the first step to recovering the compensation you need to address your damages.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
To make a claim for injuries and property damage after a truck accident, take the following steps to protect your right to a fair settlement. First, you should call the police, even if it’s a minor accident. If the police respond to the scene, take note of the officers’ names and badge numbers. Mississippi does not require victims of minor accidents to call the police, but you or an officer must file a written accident report with the Mississippi Highway Patrol or other appropriate state police departments within ten days if someone is hurt or property damage exceeds $250. If you or someone else is injured, call emergency medical services immediately. If possible, move all vehicles off the road so that they do not block traffic or cause additional accidents. You should also write down the following information:
- The names, addresses, registration numbers, make and year, insurance company names, and operator’s license numbers of all vehicles and drivers involved;
- The names and addresses of all witnesses and individuals involved; and
- The time, date, location, road conditions, damage, and injuries that occurred.
You should also jot down what you remember about the moments before, during, and after the accident. If you have a camera or video camera handy, take pictures of the damaged cars, skid marks, or other evidence. It’s also important not to share any opinions about fault that others can use as evidence against you in a lawsuit. Even if you think you were at least partially at fault, other factors may have contributed to the accident and should be left up to authorities and your lawyers to determine. Also, be sure to keep a record of accident-related expenses, including medical costs, automobile repairs, and loss of income. An experienced truck accident attorney can walk you through how to resolve a truck accident claim, examine the facts of your case, and explain your legal options.
What Is the Truck Accident Claim Process?
Now that you know what to do after an accident, you are probably wondering what your next steps should be. Once you’ve received medical attention, you will need to contact the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to file a claim. You might also have to report the accident to your own insurance provider as well. The at-fault driver’s insurance provider will assess your claim and calculate your damages.
It’s a good idea to speak with an experienced truck crash lawyer before filing a truck accident claim. An experienced attorney can guide you through the claims process, independently investigate your accident and calculate your damages, act as an intermediary between you and the insurance company, and review any settlement offers to ensure they are fair and appropriately cover your losses.
If you do talk to the insurance company first, choose your words carefully and never answer questions about accident details or your injuries before consulting with an attorney. All the insurance company needs to know is that you were in an accident, that you suffered injuries or property damage, that you are seeking treatment for your injuries, and facts such as the crash’s date, time, and location and whether you contacted the police.
Contact Harris Law Firm Today
You will never be just another truck accident claim number or case file at Harris Law Firm. Our attorneys are passionate about offering one-on-one attention and solutions that are tailored to your unique situation. Since 1981, we have provided hard-hitting, skilled representation that has helped our clients receive the compensation they need and deserve. Truck accident claims can be emotional and time-consuming. But with our experienced truck accident attorneys on your side, you can let us concentrate on recovering your losses while you focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation.