As sad it is, the reality is that driving accidents have become very popular over the decade and it doesn’t matter whose fault it is—driving accidents, if not fatal, may harm you emotionally in the form of PTSD. But for commercial drivers, laws also differ. They have a set of rules that they have to abide by, or their license can be revoked. That is why a car owner has leverage over trucks when caught in an accident because truck driving rules are a lot stricter.
To better analyze your situation, it is better for you to be familiar with the state laws regarding traffic accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, and even personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers.
Caught in an accident with a truck?
If you are caught in an accident with a truck, semi-truck, tractor, or commercial vehicle, there are two ways to go about it if you are injured or not depending on the severity of this crash. Here is what you can do.
1. If injured
Having a blow with a heavy vehicle can result in severe injuries to your face, spine, and even limbs. Depending on how severely you have been injured. Do not get out of the vehicle, do not move, or try to move.
Wait for the help authorities to arrive. If they do not arrive soon, call 911 and contact a well-known car accident lawyer and wait for the experts to take charge of the case.
2. No injuries
If you are lucky enough not to have been injured, here are a few things you need to do for making a legal case, also help your car accident lawyer make a better and strong case.
Because victims are usually in shock or filled with fear during the accident, they cannot think starting but keeping a steady mind is what can save you and help you get your legal compensation from the driver and your insurance.
- Do not communicate with the driver, do not be polite and say sorry, and do not engage in an argument. Stay in your car if that is feasible, or just wait for the authorities to arrive.
- Do not sign anything until and unless your attorney or car accident driver has taken a look at the agreement.
- Use the insurance app or call them, provide them with all your data and personal details. Also, give them locations of the accident and details regarding the medical attention if needed.
- Call for medical attention. If you are hurt or totally fine, it doesn’t matter. Never say no to medical help. If anyone besides you is injured or has pain in the back of the neck, do not try to move them.
- Get details of the driver. Such as name, address, insurance, id, license, and if there are passengers of another person riding along, take their details as well.
- Video or take pictures of everything. Number plates, area, an elaborate picture of the crash should be taken for the court and even for your lawyers if it is better to record the present police officer’s badge number, name, contact details. If needed for future reference.
- Talk to the witnesses. If there are people around who have seen the crime happening. Make sure to take their details and personal details.
- Call your attorney. A personal injury attorney or a car accident lawyer is the best person you can make a call at that time.
All these measures are important to be taken as it requires legal regulations and lawyers to analyze who is or was at fault. At the time of distress, it is very hard to accept your mistake or take the blame. Therefore you need professionals dealing with you.
Hit and run situation
There have been many cases reported with the driver fleeing from the crime scene. If unfortunately, you have been caught in an accident, the truck driver leaves the crime scene. Do not panic; the first thing you need to do is call the nearby police station, call paramedics, and make a call to your car accident lawyer.
Leaving the scene of the accident is a crime brought to justice in the form of a penalty and jail time. Depending on the state, this accident happened. The penalty is around about $1000 fine provided to the victim, three-year probation, and 180 days in jail. The pattern of punishment is the same, but the time duration and figures change from state to state, our county to county.
Even though the driver has left the scene, your insurance will compensate for your medical bills; sometimes, even repairs are compensated. But if you have been caught in a situation where the truck driver takes off, regardless of anything, the victim must follow a few of these protocols;
- Note down or take pictures of the driver, truck, number plate, or any of it if possible.
- Make a video with your phone of your accident and record any of the conversations.
- Make sure to talk to the witnesses, take their details.
- Call your injury lawyer and then call in the accident at the nearby police station.
If there are injuries involved, depending on the severity of the injuries, the federal authorities can regard it as a second or third-level felony, which has a higher penalty. In Florida, hit and run can be a penalty of more than three years of probation, and a $5000 fine is provided to the victim.
All this is on top of the basic four elements of the compensation, including medical bills, insurance, repair works, and pain/grief compensation. This can be made possible to achieve with the right car accident lawyer on your side, such as Parnall Law Firm, LLC.
What makes the truck driver leave the scene of the crime?
Even though it is a crime to leave the crime scene, because the rules and licensing are even stricter for these drivers due to the heavy-weight trucks they drive and, depending on the company that hires them, their load might be carrying. Their drug testing is even more elaborate. These drivers have strict rules that they must follow, and if anything goes against that, it may result in severe actions and penalties.
That is why there are a few reasons that might result in the fleeing of the driver. These reasons are analyzed by the federal authorities and police as well. Some of these reasons may be:
1. Fear or the penalty
When they realize that they have been caught in an accident, many of the drivers flee due to the rigorous action taken against them. Also, due to the strict rules they should follow. Sometimes they even have to serve jail time.
2. Revoked license
In the turn of events, these drivers might lose their jobs, get years of probation. And depending on the state, they can lose their license permanently. They fear all that happening can make them think irrationally and leave the crime scene.
3. Alcohol or drug consumption
Knowing it is a major crime and if caught can result in heavy fines, loss of license, and even jobs. Alcohol or drug test in an accident can mean double the jail time, double the probation, and almost triple the fine. That is why drivers under the influence of mainly alcohol flee the crime scene.
4. Not understanding the situation
It is a mere human error if the vehicle that has crashed into the truck or the other way around is fine with the passenger fine. Many drivers mistake it for an accident. But they can be charged with hit and run. But it is not that simple. A proper investigation occurs to see if the driver was mistaken or hit and run.
Apart from the accident, another offense that the drivers try to hide is not having the proper insurance to back them up. This means they have to pay every repair, medical bill, and every compensation penny from their pockets. And the amounts that big are unable to be afforded.
6. Unsafe/ prohibited activities.
Many drivers might be over speeding when they crash or might have an excess load in their truck. Any activity that is not according to the laws and regulations of the state can be of penalty. This is one of the common reasons drivers leave the crime scene.
Make sure to call in the authorities
If you ever get caught in a situation where the driver flees from the scene, the first thing you need to do is call the police and provide them with all the information you have before it starts to fade from your mind. Call the nearby police station and report the crime. Park your car right there where it happened and wait for the officers to arrive.
During that, make another smart move and call a personal injury lawyer or a car accident lawyer to make a strong case on your behalf. The police call is important because your compensation depends on the truck driver being caught, and an agreement is made. Other than that, your insurance will only provide you basic health compensation on your medical. The search of the police can go two ways;
1. Driver being caught
The police start the search for the felon. Depending on if he left a severely injured victim, the felony is demarcated. If the driver is found, a heavy fine is declared on him along with the probation period, trial, and jail time. If the driver is or was employed by a company, the penalty and charges come down to the company to pay. The victim is provided all the compensation for medical work, repair works, speedy recovery, grief, and pain.
2. Driver not caught
In many cases, if the driver cannot be located. Because he goes under hiding, the compensation recovery becomes complicated. The victim can use the personal injury lawyer insurance money. There are other ways as well. But those legalities are best left to your car accident lawyer or a personal injury lawyer. They can find you funding for the property damage and any medical attention that is required.
Never reject or deny medical attention
When in a situation where the officers or witnesses offer you medical help, never deny it. Medical documentation is essential for a hit-and-run case. Your injury lawyer knows exactly how to turn this into a recovery point for you.
The paramedics, drivers, doctors, nurses, and even the police officers documented when medical attention is called for. And for a hit-and-run case, you need every bit of advantage.
Other than the legal documentation, some injuries might not present themselves suddenly but may cause something severe later. Common whiplash or neck stress injuries can be fatal. Therefore it is wise to have checked and looked at.
Things that preserve your rights in a commercial hit and run
Therefore to ask the state for victim fundings, need to follow these five steps;
1. Seek medical attention
Understanding that the victim should never fall to the burdens of hit and run; always seek medical attention because you can use that to your accident claim. Your claim and details will be recorded during your examination and history, which your attorney can later use to make a case for you.
2. Collect all evidence
Use your android camera to record the crime scene the truck is leaving. Focus on the number plate—the street or road. Also, try to record the witnesses and any nearby buildings.
Evidence can be collected in the form of writing, such as a number plate for the sake of remembering for later, truck color, and specific details that you may forget. Witnesses can talk to the police and explain what happened; video surveillance and your recording can serve the best evidence purpose.
3. Call in the incident
Report the hit and run on the spot, and provide all the details of the driver, vehicle, and how you need medical attention. If caught while fleeing, the driver can face up to 6 months in jail, a $500 fine, and suspension from the job.
Call in your insurance company and make a claim for compensation; provide them all your data, location, and details of the car accident.
5. Contact a car accident lawyer
For a hit-and-run case, you need a professional advocating for you.
There are many reasons why you should preserve your rights and why you should never give the opposite party the benefit of the doubt because no felon is ready to accept their mistake and happily provide you your compensation. Whereas in a hit and run case, the burden of repairs and health falls on you.