What If a Truck Clips Me But Keeps on Driving?

What If a Truck Clips Me But Keeps on Driving? You’re driving as usual on the road to work when suddenly, a large tractor-trailer hits you while trying to cross over to your lane. You’re expecting them to stop, but they just keep on driving. On what was supposed to be your regular commute, you now find yourself on the side of the road, unsure if your car is even drivable anymore. You’re injured and now your car is damaged, but you’re not sure what to do since they left.

Although it may not seem like it to many at first glance, driving a commercial truck is taxing and challenging. Many drivers experience extreme fatigue and drowsiness, as they drive for long hours, sometimes with only a few hours of sleep – if any. To ensure prompt deliveries, they are assigned strict deadlines, so they become overwhelmed and exhausted. Nevertheless, many truck operators are simply irresponsible. Some eat while they are driving to save time, and others become distracted by their surroundings. Some truck drivers may not be attentive to their blind spots. As trucks can carry heavy cargo, they might not even realize when they do hit a car, especially if they were not checking their mirrors correctly.

From 2020 to 2021, there was a 13% increase in truck accidents in the United States. The number of accidents involving commercial trucks has been steadily increasing each year since 2017. Research shows that aggressive driving, mechanical defects, new tour routes, and fatigue are the most common causes of truck accidents. Between these issues, and the overall weight, speed, and stopping distance of a truck, a person can easily be severely injured or killed in an accident. However, nothing should ever justify a truck driver leaving the scene of an accident.

Why would a truck driver leave the scene of an accident?

There are several reasons why a commercial truck driver would feel the need to leave the scene of an accident, although sometimes they do so unintentionally. They may not even realize that they hit another car, but this does not mean that they were not reckless in doing so. One reason they may intentionally flee is that they have an invalid commercial driver’s license (CDL). They may not have adequate insurance coverage, or they may not have the required approvals for the load that they are hauling. They may have been intoxicated at the time, or they could have been experiencing extreme panic and adrenaline after hitting you.

The driver could have had their eyes off the road; knowing that they were in the wrong, they got rattled and fled. Truck operators also have federally mandated breaks to take during their drive. If the truck driver fell asleep during these hours and crashed into another vehicle, that would be a serious offense on their part as they ignored these mandatory hours.

What should you do RIGHT after this happens?

As soon as a truck driver strikes you, and you notice them driving away, get to the safest spot on the side of the road. If you can, try and record the truck fleeing. Try to obtain the truck’s make, model, and license plate number. Any colors and logos that you can catch on camera or remember will be very helpful later in court. Any kind of information that you can get will assist your lawyer in building a stronger case for you.

As angry as you may feel about this, do not try and go after the truck. After ensuring that you are not in  harm’s way, call 911. Inform them about the accident, the truck’s details, and any injuries you may have sustained. They will send out a call to law enforcement to start a search for the truck using the details you provided. Speak to any witnesses that may have been at the scene and ask to exchange contact information with them. Note if there are any street cameras around. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney right away. Ensure that you see a healthcare professional to get any kind of treatment necessary for your injuries and save those medical records and bills. Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the police, your attorney, your doctor, and your insurance company. Be sure to obtain a copy of the accident report.

How can a Minot truck accident attorney help me?

Getting a hold of a seasoned attorney immediately after a truck accident is crucial to winning your case. The lawyer will be able to go to the scene of the accident to obtain details, photos, and evidence to use in court. They will stay in touch with the police officers to ensure that the driver is found. They will contact the witnesses and obtain more details from them. An attorney can also help reconstruct an accident, if necessary, by hiring experts in the engineering, forensic, and medical fields. Remember that many commercial trucks we see on the road are owned by big companies that have big teams of lawyers. It’s vital to not waste any time in providing all details to an attorney.

Even if a truck driver has fled the scene, your attorney can still help you file a lawsuit by helping to investigate and find them. In North Dakota, it is against the law to flee the scene of an accident, but since you are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, you can feel better protected as this can be used to make the hit-and-run claim. Your attorney will defend the right for your settlement every step of the way.

If you have suffered an injury or property damage due to a reckless truck driver, you have a right to compensation. No careless driver should get away with a hit-and-run, even if they didn’t realize it. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today. At Larson Law Firm P.C., we will build a strong case for you and fight for your settlement. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients in Minot, Bismarck and Fargo.