Accidents involving 18-wheelers, also known as tractor-trailers or big rigs, can be particularly devastating due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. In Pennsylvania, if you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, taking the right steps immediately after the incident can significantly impact your ability to secure fair compensation and justice. The law firm Fulginiti Law specializes in handling such complex cases and can provide the expert legal guidance you need. Here are the crucial steps to take after an 18-wheeler injury accident.

Important Steps After an 18-Wheeler Injury Accident in Pennsylvania

Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention

The first and foremost priority after an 18-wheeler accident is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. If you are able, move to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further accidents.

Regardless of the apparent severity of your injuries, seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries, may not be immediately apparent. A thorough medical examination is crucial for your health and will also serve as critical evidence in your injury claim.

Report the Accident

It is essential to report the accident to the police as soon as possible. An official police report will document the details of the accident, which can be invaluable when building your case. When speaking with law enforcement, provide accurate information but avoid making speculative statements or admitting fault. Let the investigation determine the cause of the accident.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

If you are physically able, gather as much evidence as possible at the accident scene. This includes:

  • Taking photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, skid marks, and any visible injuries.
  • Collecting contact information from all parties involved, including the truck driver, witnesses, and any other motorists.
  • Noting the truck's license plate number, company name, and any other identifying information.
  • Recording weather conditions, road conditions, and any other relevant details that could have contributed to the accident.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Engaging an experienced attorney immediately after an 18-wheeler accident is crucial. The attorneys at Fulginiti Law are well-versed in handling truck accident cases and can provide the expert legal guidance you need. Your attorney will:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.
  • Gather and preserve critical evidence.
  • Communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.
  • Ensure compliance with Pennsylvania’s legal deadlines, such as the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim.

Document Your Injuries and Damages

Thorough documentation of your injuries and any resulting damages is essential for building a strong case. Keep detailed records of:

  • Medical treatments, including visits to doctors, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and therapy sessions.
  • Medical expenses, including bills and receipts for all treatments and medications.
  • Lost wages due to time off work or reduced earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering, which includes physical pain, emotional distress, and any impact on your quality of life.

Communicate Carefully with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies may contact you soon after the accident to discuss your claim. It is crucial to handle these communications carefully. Insurance adjusters may attempt to minimize your claim or settle quickly for an amount that is less than you deserve.

Do not provide a recorded statement or sign any documents without first consulting with your attorney. Fulginiti Law can manage these communications to protect your interests and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

In Pennsylvania, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your injuries and damages resulting from the accident. Your attorney will help you file the necessary paperwork, gather supporting evidence, and build a compelling case. The compensation you may be entitled to includes:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Punitive damages in cases of extreme negligence or misconduct

Understand Liability in 18-Wheeler Accidents

Determining liability in 18-wheeler accidents can be complex due to the multiple parties potentially involved, including:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Maintenance contractors
  • Cargo loaders

Each of these parties may share responsibility for the accident. Your attorney will investigate all potential sources of liability to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable.

Litigation and Court Representation

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your case may go to court. An experienced attorney from Fulginiti Law will represent you in court, presenting your case to a judge or jury. They will use the evidence gathered, expert testimony, and legal arguments to advocate for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.

The Importance of Timeliness

Acting promptly after an 18-wheeler accident is crucial. Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically two years from the date of the accident. Delaying action can result in the loss of your right to file a claim. Additionally, critical evidence may be lost or destroyed over time, and witnesses’ memories may fade.

Contact Fulginiti Law Today

The attorneys at Fulginiti Law specialize in personal injury cases involving 18-wheelers. We understand the devastating impact these accidents can have on victims and their families. Our dedicated team provides personalized attention and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

Accidents involving 18-wheelers can have life-altering consequences. Knowing the crucial steps to take after such an accident can make a significant difference in your ability to secure fair compensation and justice. If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Pennsylvania, contact Fulginiti Law today for expert legal assistance and support.

Fulginiti Law is committed to fighting for your rights and helping you navigate the legal complexities after an 18-wheeler accident. Reach out to us today to ensure your voice is heard and justice is served.  Contact Fulginiti Law today by calling 215-774-5162 or scheduling your free consultation online.