Being run off the road is a traumatic experience in itself, but adding a semi truck to the mix makes it even more dangerous. This happens all too often when semi trucks decide to change lanes and fail to see you in the other lane, resulting in a single vehicle run-off-road crash in an attempt to avoid hitting another vehicle.
Instinctively, you swerve onto the shoulder or median to get out of the truck’s way causing loss of control and totaling your car by overcorrection. This causes you to hit another motor vehicle or guardrail resulting in a car crash and possibly being severely injured.
Serious injuries can happen when a truck runs another motorist off the road, especially when the semi-truck accident occurs at a high speed or in harsh weather conditions such as rain, ice, or snow. If one of the vehicle’s tires catches the shoulder at the wrong angle, a dangerous rollover car accident can occur.
If a truck driver has run you off the road, schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney understands the subtle differences between a semi-truck accident and a car accident claim. They can handle communication and negotiations with your insurance company and fight to get you compensation for your injuries.
Provided below is information on what to do if a truck driver runs you off the road, the types of compensation you might be eligible to receive for these single-vehicle crashes, and how you can file a claim to recover damages related to your injuries.
What to Do If a Truck Driver Runs You Off the Road
If a truck driver has run you off the road, not only will you likely be in shock, but you might not have any idea what to do. These tips can help keep you safe and preserve your claim.
Not all off-road situations are safe. Do not move from your vehicle unless you are in harm’s way on the road. Call 911 immediately so they can send emergency response teams to help you out of your vehicle if you are still inside and provide immediate medical attention.
Gather Truck Information
If you can safely exit your vehicle, gather information from the scene of the accident. Hopefully, the driver who has run you off the road stopped at the scene of the accident. However, sometimes drivers do not realize they have caused an accident and keep on driving.
If possible, get the driver’s name, drivers license number, trucking company name, and truck number or license plate number.
Gather Witness Information
If witnesses stop at the scene of the accident, get their contact information for the police and your attorney. Their statements might be valuable evidence for your accident injury claim.
Take Photos For Evidence and For Your Insurance Company
Use your cell phone, if available, to take photos at the scene of your off-road accident. Take pictures of property damage to the truck, your vehicle, guard rails, trees, surface conditions, as well as the speed limit signs if you believe the driver was speeding.
Include anything else you think is relevant. You should also take photos of any visible injuries you’ve suffered as a result of the accident.
Go to the Emergency Room
If you weren’t automatically transported to the nearest hospital via ambulance, you need to have a doctor check you out for common car accident injuries.
It’s not uncommon for delayed symptoms because adrenaline from the accident can mask pain of a serious injury. Failure to treat some accident injuries can lead to more damage, or worse, death.
Contact a Truck Accident Personal Injury Attorney
Truck accidents are complex claims that typically involve multiple parties and high-dollar insurance policies. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help navigate those complexities and fight for you to get compensation for damages related to the accident.
Types of Compensation You May Be Eligible to Receive
If you’ve been run off the road by a truck driver, you might be eligible to receive compensation for many losses and damages related to your accident. Settlements and jury awards commonly include compensation for the following losses and damages:
- Cost of renting a car while yours is getting repaired
- Cost of damage to your vehicle as a result of going off the road
- Medical expenses for you or your passenger if injuries are involved, including ambulance service, emergency room visit, hospitalization, x-rays, medication, and travel expenses to and from the doctor
- Estimated future medical expenses in the event of severe or permanent injuries that require indefinite and continuous care
- Lost wages if you have to miss work as a result of your injuries
- Estimated future lost wages if you suffer debilitating injuries that render it impossible for you to return to your job
- Loss of consortium with your spouse if your injuries impacted marital relations
- Physical pain and suffering from injuries
- Emotional trauma from injuries
- Punitive damages reserved for rare cases when a driver intentionally ran someone off the road or acted out of gross negligence
In the event you have lost a loved one as a result of a truck running them off the road, you might be eligible for compensation depending on your relationship with the deceased. Kentucky law permits eligible surviving family members to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault trucker/trucking company to receive compensation for damages related to the loss.
Eligible family members who settle or obtain a jury award may receive some compensation for damages listed above, as well as money for funeral expenses and burial costs. Sometimes, other compensation is available for losses incurred as a result of damage to relationships.
For example, a widow or widower might receive damages for loss of companionship, and a minor child might receive damages for loss of parental support and guidance.
If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, a skilled truck accident lawyer can answer questions about a wrongful death lawsuit, determine your eligibility for compensation, and help guide you and your family on the best path forward during this difficult time.
How to File a Claim If You Have Been Ran Off the Road by a Truck Driver
The exact steps you take to file a claim can vary based on whether the truck driver who hit you left the scene of the accident. If you were not able to get identifying information, the truck driver did not return to the scene, and the police were not able to locate the truck who caused your accident, you may need to file a claim with your own auto insurance carrier.
Kentucky law requires that you carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to provide benefits for medical expenses and lost wages if you are involved in a traffic collision. If the driver who ran you off the road stopped at the scene of the accident, you will need to file a claim under your PIP coverage.
Once you have exhausted your policy limits, you may have the right to take legal action against the driver and/or trucking company, but it’s in your best interest to let a truck accident attorney represent you.
If your injuries exceed your policy limits, and the driver did not stop at the scene, then your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, if you carry it, may pay additional benefits. UM coverage is not mandatory, so you need to check with your carrier or read over your auto insurance policy to make sure you are covered.
What Causes These Types of Crashes on the Road?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), truckers run other motorists off the road because of a variety of contributing factors, which include:
- Distracted driving (including cell phone usage, falling asleep at the wheel, and driver inattention)
- Drowsy driving
- Mechanical failure
- Alcohol or drug use
- Poor road conditions
- Lack of familiarity with the roadway
- Road surface conditions such as water, ice, or snow
- Rushing to get to their destination
In some cases, when truckers run others off the road, drivers are trying to avoid head-on vehicle crashes. In many cases, these accidents, which are sometimes fatal crashes, are hit and run accidents.
If you see a truck driver acting dangerously on the road and worry that they may cause someone to be run off the road, you can report them to the Department of Transportation.
David Bryant Law Is Here to Help When a Truck Driver Causes These Accidents
Truck accidents can be life-changing events that introduce physical, emotional, and financial trauma to victims and their families. If a truck driver ran you off the road, you know the accident was preventable, only adding insult to injury.
Make your personal health a top priority and focus on healing and recovery. This can be difficult when you are trying to deal with insurance companies and have difficulty concentrating because you are worried about medical bills and lost wages.
Instead, let an experienced truck accident lawyer investigate the facts of your truck accident, handle communication with the insurance company, negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company if possible, and take your case to court if necessary to get you the maximum compensation commensurate with your injuries.
Contact us today for a free case review to share the events that occurred leading up to a truck driver running you off the road and learn if you are eligible for compensation.