What Should I Do After Being in a Hit-and-Run Accident with a Semi-Truck?
According to research done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, South Carolina’s rate of hit-and-run accidents is higher than the national average. Even with the risk of jail time, many at-fault parties are still willing to risk leaving an accident, whether a calculated move or from shock. Since these accidents are becoming more common, it’s important to know what to do if you get in a hit-and-run with a semi-truck.
Why Semi-Truck Drivers Leave the Scene
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, but unfortunately, truck drivers may attempt to leave the scene for several reasons. A truck driver’s CDL license is the source of their livelihood, and if they are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol after an accident, they will lose their license for a set amount of time.
On top of this, accidents can drop their safety rating, which might cause them to get fired. Of course, there is the possibility it was simply an inexperienced driver that fled from panic.
Getting Compensation After a Semi-Truck Hit-and-Run
After you’ve been in a hit-and-run with a semi-truck driver, you might be anxious that you will be left to cover all the damages you have suffered. However, you can still get compensation if your insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage.
Auto insurance companies are required to offer coverage for uninsured motorist accidents. However, you are not required to purchase this type of coverage. Due to the possibility of getting in a hit-and-run accident, we highly recommend all drivers have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
If you do have this type of coverage, your insurance company will pay for the accident damages. Unfortunately, you will still have to prove the accident was caused by the truck driver’s negligence and not your own.
How to Deal with Your Insurance Company
No insurance company wants to pay for your damages, whether your own or another driver’s. They can often be very difficult to work with as you try to prove you are entitled to compensation. The one benefit of dealing with insurance for a hit-and-run accident is that there isn’t another party involved to give a contrary story—they can only go by your words.
Truck accident injuries are often very serious and require more medical attention than most. After proving liability, you will only receive compensation for the set amount your policy allows, so if your injuries require larger medical expenses than this policy amount, you are left to pay for the rest out of pocket. The only way to avoid this is by locating the at-fault truck driver.
Locating the Truck Driver After a Hit-And-Run
It’s not impossible to find the at-fault truck driver after a hit-and-run. After the incident, it is crucial to speak with any witnesses who saw the event, as they might have noticed any markings or other identifiers of the truck that could help you locate them. While average cars can be difficult to distinguish from others of their kind, semi-trucks often have company logos on their vehicle that will provide more information.
You should also check if any surrounding surveillance or dashcam videos captured footage of the accident that could allow you to identify the license plate or more specific information about the truck.
After your accident, police will be investigating to find the at-fault driver, but it’s highly recommended that you hire a personal injury lawyer who can help with the investigation. If you have the trucking company’s insurance, you are guaranteed better compensation than if you are left to use your insurance, so hiring a lawyer might be worth the difference.
If the trucking company learns that one of their drivers was involved in a hit-and-run, they could report it themselves. If they don’t, the company risks serious legal ramifications from the government and civil court if it gets discovered.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, whether a hit-and-run or not, getting expert legal assistance from experienced lawyers can ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Truck accident lawyers can investigate your accident and obtain critical evidence to enhance your chances of receiving a larger settlement.