A tractor-trailer full of cabbages overturned on a highway in the Northeast late last month. No one was seriously hurt, thank goodness. But the matter opened the door to some jokes about how a crash with a truck carrying mayonnaise could have made for a record-setting cole slaw.
Such incidents can bring a smile to the lips, but most accidents involving large trucks are no laughing matter. And victims of such wrecks, especially if they were the result of another driver’s negligence, should know they may have reason to seek more compensation than might first be offered from insurers seeking to close the claim quickly and cheaply.
To support your attorney in providing you the strongest assessment of your case, here are some tips on research you can undertake before a consultation occurs.
- Assemble names and numbers. What’s the name of the trucking company? What’s the driver’s name and contact information? The license plate number from the truck and the operator’s driver’s license number should be written down. If there were witnesses, get their contact information.
- Detail what happened. The who, what, where and when of the accident is important information. The why may be harder to research but if police responded a report should exist and have insight as to cause or if laws were violated. If weather or road conditions might have contributed to the crash, take photos and get official weather reports.
- Create a medical record. What treatment did you receive? Were you hospitalized? If your life is disrupted in any way because of the accident, explain how and provide official supporting documents or x-rays. What do the doctors say is your prognosis?
- Don’t leave your vehicle out of the loop. Details about your vehicle need to be documented. What is the make and model? How long have you owned it? Are you still paying on it? Are there before and after crash photos available? What have insurance estimators said about repairs?
- Provide a personal and financial picture of yourself. If you’re employed, how much pay has the accident cost you? Have you ever been in an accident before? Do you have a criminal record of any kind?
These are just some of the questions an attorney is likely to need answers for. So having them up front can save a great deal of time and energy.