Car and vehicle accidents can be traumatic and frightening— they are also far too common. As a significantly road-based nation, the United States sees thousands of roadway accidents a year— Chicago roads are no less dangerous. But what happens when the other car belongs to a company? Or if the vehicle you are in does? What was already a mess becomes even more complicated as the business itself is now involved. Let’s take a deeper look at what to do when an accident involves a commercial vehicle.
First and foremost, the health and safety of those involved in the wreck must be seen to first. No worrying about faults (though, be careful not to claim fault or apologize). Instead, ensure that you are safe to move. If yes, check on any passengers and then exit the vehicle and check on the other car. If not, stay still! Make sure someone calls emergency services. There will need to be a police report if anyone needs to seek damages. The police may also take pictures of the crash site. If you are unable to move, you can ask for them later when filing your insurance claim. If you can move, gather what you can. Photos of the area and the vehicles, photos of any injuries, and contact information for any witnesses.
Next, you need to report the accident to your insurance and seek medical attention. Even if you’re ok to move, you should see a doctor— some injuries, like whiplash, don’t show themselves at first. Adrenaline and shock can also lessen pain until you calm down. Seeing a doctor that day starts your paper trail. You will want to follow up with your PCP once you’re able to see them, so they can monitor any injuries and your recovery.
If there were any injuries or vehicle damage, it’s time to find a local Chicago car accident attorney.
Dealing with the aftermath of a wreck is hard enough without corporate lawyers and business insurance getting involved. When a commercial vehicle is involved in a crash, things get even more complicated. Fault and liability become harder to determine, and companies are generally out to cover their bottom line. You need a powerful ally on your side. Someone who understands state and federal vehicular laws and can help you figure out what happened and how. You need a Chicago personal injury lawyer with experience in vehicle accidents.
Your attorney can help you gather evidence and witness or expert testimony, and they can help you determine who is liable and how. They will also ensure you don’t get lowballed on a settlement and can cover all of your medical costs and car costs resulting from the crash.
Commercial vehicles can take a simple question and muddy it up. Take, for example, t-bone accidents. Cut and dry for who’s at fault, right? But pending corporate policy and insurance, you don’t know if the driver or the company itself is liable. Your lawyer can sort that out while you focus on recovery.
If you were behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, the same question comes to play: who is liable for damages? Who pays who? Do you get worker’s compensation? Having a lawyer on your side will ensure you don’t become the next corporate scapegoat, especially if the wreck was caused by a maintenance issue the company should have handled.
Getting into a vehicular accident with a commercial vehicle can be more dangerous. Delivery truck drivers have to worry about loose packages, pest control trucks may have hazardous materials on board, and then you have the transporter semis and their cargo. All of these and more add complications to the crash site and can lead to additional injuries and worse. But that also means companies are better prepared for emergencies and already have a protocol in place to respond to accidents, while individuals in the crash could be left floundering without legal aid. Don’t let that happen to you— find a local Chicago car accident lawyer as soon as you are able to ensure your rights are protected, no matter who’s liable.