A car accident is a traumatic event that may result in physical and mental pain and suffering; sometimes lasting a lifetime for many people.
Compensation received for the injury and damages helps the victim with the treatment and payment of medical and other expenses. However, the situation becomes complicated when the car accident involves a commercial vehicle.
Receiving Compensation for Injuries and Damages
The companies behind commercial vehicles are a difficult lot to handle. They are seldom willing to part with their money to pay compensation for the injuries and damages even if they know that their vehicle’s driver is at fault. St. Louis car accident lawyers offer tips on steps that one must take after getting involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. Armed with this knowledge, the victim may increase the chances of receiving compensation for injuries and damages.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
After a car accident with a commercial vehicle, the most important thing to do is to stay calm and collect information which can be useful in the claim process. If you are not severely injured and can move around safely, ask the other passengers of your car and the commercial vehicle’s driver if they are alright. A checklist of things to do is as follows:
- Call the police or emergency services using your cell phone to seek help.
- Ask for the commercial vehicle driver’s license number and insurance information. You must also share your insurance information and license number with the other driver.
- If you have a camera, take pictures of both the vehicles ensuring that you shoot the licence plate and the damaged areas.
- Look around for witnesses to the accident and ask them what they saw.
- Write down the details of the events that led to the accident, including all the minor details that you can remember. Ask your co-passengers to write down their recollection of the accident.
- When you are receiving medical treatment after an accident, do not forget to take pictures of the injuries that you have sustained.
Legal Help to File a Claim
When you decide to file a claim against the driver of the commercial vehicle, you may consider consulting with a competent St. Louis car accident attorney to litigate your compensation case. You may find it extremely difficult to prove the fault of the commercial vehicle driver on your own as there could be several factors affecting the case.
- The driver may be speeding, driving recklessly, or may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The driver may have overworked or have had lack of sleep and was thus tired.
- The vehicle may have had a brake failure or some other mechanical failure. This is the responsibility of the company’s repair crew or the vehicle manufacturer.
The governing laws for commercial vehicle insurance vary from state to state and some are federal laws. A commercial firm in violation of any of these laws is liable to pay a hefty compensation. Thus an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney will be very helpful in ensuring that your case gets through. The attorney will use the information you collected at the accident site, the driver’s log, vehicle inspection and safety records, and other pieces of evidence. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.
Photo credit: Barry Lewis via Flickr