What to Do After a Crash with a Non-Standard Vehicle

Posted in Car Accident on March 9, 2022

No auto accident is ever “simple” or “straightforward.” All crashes are confusing, disorienting, and stressful—not to mention expensive and painful. But when crashes involve two passenger vehicles, the process of getting compensation usually involves victims filing damages claims against their own insurance or the at-fault driver’s insurance.

But in many crashes, there’s an additional layer of complexity. This is common after crashes involving vehicles that aren’t cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans. It can include vehicles like semi-trucks, city buses, school buses, dump trucks, and more.

These crashes can be more complicated because the vehicles often belong to a different class of vehicles than ordinary passenger vehicles and because they are used by businesses or even governmental bodies. It’s still possible for victims to get compensation for these types of crashes, but the process may look a little different.

Most of the Immediate Steps Are the Same for All Types of Crashes

Regardless of what type of crash you were involved in, there are a few basic steps that always apply:

  • Call 911. Calling 911 dispatches a police officer who can create an official accident report and direct traffic away from the crash scene. It also dispatches an ambulance with paramedics who can treat you and other victims at the scene.
  • Get medical attention. You need immediate treatment for your injuries and to rule out any hidden internal injuries. Getting treated right away also creates an official record of your injuries, which is important if you decide to pursue an injury claim.
  • Get the other driver’s contact information. Get the name, phone number, and insurance information from the other driver. If they’re a truck or bus driver, get their CDL number, license plate number, truck or bus number, and the name of the company or school district they work for.
  • Report the crash to your insurer. It’s important to report any accident to your auto insurer, even if you plan on filing an injury claim against the other driver’s insurance. If you wait too long, you may ineligible to file a claim against your own if it turns out the other driver is uninsured or can’t be located.
  • Call a lawyer. There are many ways for auto accident claims to hit snags. In many cases, insurers simply refuse to pay fair settlements or any money at all to victims. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you avoid the biggest headaches associated with auto accident claims, especially if you’re going up against a big trucking company and its insurer.

Note that Fault May Be Different in Non-Passenger Vehicle Crashes

In most crashes involving passenger vehicles, the at-fault party is the driver of one of the vehicles. But in crashes involving non-standard vehicles, the fault may lie elsewhere. For example, a bus may collide with another vehicle because of an unruly passenger or even a faulty maintenance program that led to the bus’s brakes failing. Similarly, a tractor-trailer may crash because it was overloaded, the driver was pushed to work too many hours, or the truck wasn’t properly maintained.

These are important factors in non-standard vehicle crashes. In some cases, there may be more than one at-fault party in these types of accidents. That means that victims may be able to pursue compensation from multiple parties and their insurers, which can mean bigger paydays for their medical bills, lost wages, and more.

These Crashes Require Experienced Legal Representation

Insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to pay victims compensation after all types of crashes, including those where fault is easy to prove and lies solely at the feet of the driver of another passenger vehicle. But when fault may be shared and the drivers were behind the wheels of non-standard vehicles, the process can be even more complex.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers know what it takes to win injury claims involving buses, tractor-trailers, and other specialty vehicles. We know that the businesses, governments, and insurers behind these vehicles are often uncooperative, but our experience means we can get the best possible results for injured victims throughout Middle Tennessee.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll work hard to get you fair compensation for your damages.