Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
Whenever there is a truck driving accident, there are challenging and unique circumstances surrounding each one. In Michigan, the auto and truck liability laws are different than other states, and this encourages the victim to employ the services of a truck accident lawyer to get involved if there is an accident. Filing for benefits after a truck accident is not the same as filing after an auto accident. There are other options for the victims of truck accidents.
If there is a truck accident, the victim can file a first-party claim as well as a third-party claim. The first-party claim is the regular no-fault insurance coverage that all drivers in Michigan are required to carry. This coverage, commonly known as PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is for medical expenses, in-house medical care, special transportation, and medical mileage, and replacement services. The third-party option, only available to truck accident victims, includes the ability to sue for pain and suffering if the defendant is found to be negligent.
Step I: Contact the Correct Authorities
The first thing to do after a truck accident is to call the number for medical care and contact the police. Make special note of any minor pains or bruises that may evolve into a bigger medical issue. An injury like a brain injury or a back injury may be difficult to track if there is not a paper trail to the date of the accident.
Step II: Document the Accident
If you are able, photograph the scene of the accident, and write down the names of the people involved in the accident as well as their addresses, phone numbers, and insurance company information. Make as many notes as possible in order to describe the accident at a later date. This is an essential step in case the truck driver changes his story, or some information is excluded from the initial police report. Your truck accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., will find this added information helpful when preparing your case.
Step III: Obtain a Lawyer
If you have not done so already obtain the services of a qualified truck accident lawyer. In Michigan, the Law Office of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can assist you in further investigation. Many times truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue, and our lawyers can uncover records that reveal any driver liability. Sometimes trucking companies will destroy these records, and there is a time limit on keeping the records on file.
Step IV: Notify Your Insurance Company
In Michigan, you have one year to file with your insurance company for no-fault benefits, and three years to file a lawsuit for a third-party claim for pain and suffering. This should be done as soon as possible after the accident.
Step V: File an Application for No-Fault Benefits
Once you notify the insurance company your attorney and probably the insurance company representative will require you to file an application for your no-fault insurance claim. Your attorney will also check your insurance coverage in more depth to make sure that you have claimed everything according to the insurance company’s requirements.
Step VI: Never Sign a Release
The insurance adjuster for the accident will undoubtedly ask you to sign a release once the investigation is underway. Do not sign the release without consultation with your attorney.
The procedures for reporting a truck accident are similar to reporting an accident with a car. However, there are some differences and to be protected you should contact a truck accident lawyer early in the process. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we have a great deal of knowledge handling these cases, and we will make sure all the correct paperwork is filed on time. Contact us at Cochranlaw.com or call us at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free consultation.