The holiday season is intended to be a time to celebrate with family and friends. Millions of people take to the roadways of the United States to travel to loved ones to enjoy the season. Unfortunately, every year, thousands of people are injured, and dozens of people are killed, in automobile accident on U.S. roadways during the holiday season. This includes people who are killed or injured in horrific collisions causes by semi-trucks.
If you or a loved one end up injured in an accident with a semi-truck during the holiday season, you need to understand your essential rights and interests. You must appreciate what steps you need to take to best protect these rights in the aftermath of a collision with a semi.
Complete and File a Police Report
Odds are, unless your accident was deemed more minor and some sort of weather-related accident reporting protocol was in place, law enforcement appeared at the scene of your truck accident. No matter what law enforcement does or does not do at the scene of a commercial truck accident, you need to make sure that you duly file and submit a police report.
The reality is that there very well may be a clause in an insurance policy against which you need to make a claim for compensation that requires a police report be filed following an accident. There may be no exception to this requirement for a so-called "minor accident."
As an aside, you need to bear in mind that when it comes to a collision with a semi-truck, an accident that doesn't seem particularly serious on first blush, you could in fact realize serious, significant losses over time. Therefore, no matter what the initial appearance of an accident, you need to conduct yourself in the aftermath as if the situation is serious -- because that is how it may develop in the final analysis.
Dealing with an Accident Away from Home
As mentioned at the outset, traveling for the holidays on U.S. roadways is commonplace from November through the early part of January. Therefore, if you end up in an accident with a semi-truck, that incident may have occurred away from home, even in a different state.
You need to keep a number of factors in mind if you are injured in a commercial truck accident that occurs away from home and in another state. First of all, the laws of that particular state will govern the way your insurance claim and a lawsuit are handled. The laws of your own state are irrelevant overall.
Second, if a lawsuit needs to be brought to recover for your injuries, damages, and losses arising out of a semi-truck accident, the lawsuit needs to be brought in the state in which the accident occurred, or perhaps in the state in which the trucking company is incorporated or maintains its principle place of business. Odds are that you will not be able to file a lawsuit in your home state. The one exception would be if you and the trucking company, and any other defendant or defendants, reached an agreement that the lawsuit could be brought in your home state.
Because of this legality, you likely will need to obtain legal counsel in the state in which the accident occurred. In the alternative, you can reach out to a nationwide law firm, like The Doan Law Office at (800) 349-0000 to obtain legal representation from a qualified, experienced semi-truck accident lawyer.
Retain Legal Representation for a Truck Accident
The first step in retaining legal counsel following a semi-truck accident that occurs out of state is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, a semi-truck accident lawyer from The Doan Law Firm provides you with a case evaluation. You also are able to obtain answers to any questions you may have about your situation.
The Doan Law Firm maintains a national semi-truck accident lawyer hotline at (800) 349-0000. The semi accident hotline is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year. This includes all major holidays, including Christmas, Chanukah, and New Years Eve and Day. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a commercial truck accident lawyer from The Doan Law Firm.