1. Act Fast and Avoid Mistakes

    The First Hours and Days after a Truck Accident

  2. Understand the Players and the Rules

    Tractor-Trailer Accidents are more Complex than a Car Wreck

  3. No Money Out of Pocket

    Legal Fee Applies Only If We Win

  4. A Strong Track Record of Success

    See How Ward Black Law Has Helped Others

  5. By Your Side

    Ward Black Law Genuinely Cares

If you or a loved one has been in a tractor-trailer accident, you are likely facing painful or even life-threatening injuries and worrying about your family, job, and bills. The truck accident attorneys at Ward Black Law put together this useful guide to help you understand the steps you need to take in the hours, days, and weeks after a truck accident.

Wreck
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Act Fast and Avoid Mistakes

Five Steps to Take At the Scene of the Accident

  1. The very first thing you should do in a tractor-trailer accident is call 911 for police and medical help. If you are able, follow the other steps below to help establish the facts of the crash and protect your interests in insurance claims and settlements. 
  2. Leave your car where it came to rest after the accident unless you must move it for safety reasons. The location of all the vehicles involved in the crash can provide clues as to who is at fault and the sequence of events.  If you do need to move your vehicle, try to take pictures of the accident scene before you move your car.
  3. Take photos or video of the scene.  If it is safe, try to take as many photos as possible. Video can also be useful. Record the scene from different angles, get photos of damage to your car, the truck, and any other cars involved. However, be alert and stay well out of the path of any other traffic around you. 
  4. Avoid making statements or having a conversation with anyone except the police. While it’s a good idea to exchange driver’s license and insurance information with any drivers involved in the accident, do not discuss the accident or apologize to anyone. You should only give the facts as you remember them to the police. 
  5. Ask witnesses to stay at the scene until the police arrive and try to get their contact information. Bystanders in the accident area may have witnessed the crash. If possible, ask them if they saw the accident and if they would be willing to give a statement to the police as well as share their name and phone number with you. 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE DAYS AFTER THE ACCIDENT AND HOW A LAWYER CAN HELP

Tractor-trailer accidents are significantly different from car accidents, and it’s important to hire an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to hire a lawyer can lead to decisions or actions that have a negative impact on your case. 

A knowledgable tractor-trailer attorney will:

  • Guide you in how to handle phone calls from multiple insurance companies and accident investigators. Anxiety, anger, and confusion are common feelings after an accident, yet these emotions also make it easy to say something that is damaging to any claims you may have. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the best approach to answering questions and even conduct phone calls on your behalf so that your right to fair compensation is fully protected.
  • Talk to witnesses. As time passes, it’s more likely witnesses will change their minds about making a statement or their recollection of events will fade. Having a lawyer who can talk to witnesses as soon as possible after the crash can help your case.
  • Thoroughly investigate the accident. It’s easier to gather crucial evidence as close to the time of the accident as possible. In addition to the details surrounding the accident scene, an effective attorney understands the importance of compiling detailed records about medical tests, diagnosis of injuries, pain, treatment received, and projected medical outcomes.
  • Ensure you are receiving fair compensation and that your rights are protected. Insurance companies know that anxiety about finances and the desire to just have life return to normal make it more likely accident victims will accept a quick settlement. A truck accident lawyer can help ensure you are not pressured into taking a settlement that is less than fair compensation.  Learn more about sources of compensation and the experience of the Ward Black Law legal team in the section below,  A Track Record of Success. 
  • Negotiate a settlement or go to court. If you are considering engaging a lawyer, look for someone who has  a strong record of producing fair settlements in tractor-trailer accidents and the resources and experience needed to take your case to court. 

Learn more about why it’s important to have a lawyer on your side in the blog, 4 Mistakes to Avoid After a Tractor-Trailer Accident.  

Tractor Trailer Accident
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Understanding the Players and the Rules

Tractor-Trailer Accidents are more Complex than a Car Wreck

There are multiple players and regulations that apply in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this is like a car accident. A few of the factors that make truck accident cases more challenging include:

  • Federal regulations dictate the number of hours a truck driver can spend behind the wheel, the weight of the truck, the weight of the cargo, and more. 

  • The Department of Transportation is required to investigate truck accidents, in addition to local law enforcement and the insurance companies involved.

  • A number of parties can be investigated or at fault, including the company that owns the cargo, the company that provides truck maintenance, and the truck manufacturer, in addition to the transport company and driver. 

  • Settlements in trucking accidents are much larger than in car wrecks. In North Carolina, most personal cars, trucks, or vans have insurance valued around $33,000, while the insurance on big rigs averages $750,000.

Learn more about sources of compensation and the experience of the Ward Black Law legal team in the section below,  A Track Record of Success.

Tractor Trailer Accident
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No Money Out of Your Pocket

Ward Black Law works on contingency, which means you don’t have to pay any money out of your pocket.

  • We can review your case, advise you on next steps, start to work, and see your case through to the end without you ever writing a check. 

  • We are only paid out of any insurance settlement or court-awarded funds you may receive. 

  • If for some reason you don’t receive any money, there is no fee. 

  • We advance the costs of pursuing your case. Our firm pays for a thorough investigation, time talking to experts, and work collecting and reviewing reports and documents from the police, insurance companies, doctors, and medical facilities.
Janet Ward Black - Single Photo - Confident pose
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A Strong Track Record of Success

Ward Black Law has successfully settled cases for people in your situation. Our truck accident attorneys bring deep knowledge and experience to every case.

We take the time to determine all the possible sources of compensation as well as the total compensation you deserve.

Factors in determining compensation include:

  • Damage to your car and any property in your car 

  • Your injuries and your medical bills

  • Lost income due to the injuries and recover

  • Pain and suffering

  • Any permanent disability that may result in the loss of future income

In the case of death, we determine factors that impact the family, such as pain and suffering, loss of income and future earnings potential of the deceased, property damage, medical bills, funeral expenses, and more.

Holding hands and comforting the client
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By Your Side

Accident victims and their families know how important it is to have someone they can trust looking out for their interests.

Ward Black Law takes pride in serving as a strong voice for individuals who often face large corporations and national insurance companies backed by deep financial resources.

Talk to a Lawyer at No Charge

The team at Ward Black Law is ready to assist you. You can schedule an initial appointment to talk to one of our experienced attorneys at no charge. If we proceed with your case, you do not pay any money up front. Call us or text us at (800) 531-9191. You may also reach Ward Black Law by email at info@wardblacklaw.com or use or online inquiry.