It’s a phone call no one ever wants to receive: “There’s been an accident.”
You learn that a loved one has been injured or killed in a horrific truck wreck. You hurry to the hospital with a thousand questions rushing through your head. You’ll have medical decisions to make—unfathomably difficult decisions like whether or not to end life support for a loved one whose injuries are so severe that there is no hope of recovery.
As an attorney with over 30 years of experience representing truck accident victims, I’ve seen this tragic scenario play out countless times. While there’s no way to truly prepare for a loved one’s accident before it happens, I hope that by sharing my knowledge about the post-accident process in this article, you’ll be able to navigate it without any undue pain.
Questions After a Truck Accident
If a loved one has been in an accident, you will find yourself suddenly facing questions about care, recovery, and in the worst case scenario, end of life or funerary decisions. Some of these questions can be made on your own, while others will need to be asked of doctors, insurance agents, financial planners, etc.
- Will they be going to rehab? If so, which is the best place? Will they need to be there forever?
- How much care are they going to need?
- What happens when and if they are sent home?
Some people live in apartments. Some people live in houses with stairs or steps. Some people’s bedrooms are on the second floor.
- How are we going to get them home?
- How will we manage their care?
- Who will help us?
Of course, care costs money.
- How are we going to pay for all of this?
- Is health insurance going to cover everything? Is there going to be a cap?
- Are there going to be deductibles? Will there be copays?
If someone has died, your family has to think about arranging a funeral. Most people—especially younger people—have not made prearrangements.
- Who is going to prepare the funeral?
- Where’s the funeral going to be and where would they want to be buried?
- Would they prefer to be cremated?
These questions are not easy to answer, but the answers will help you make the most informed decisions possible.
Bring in Expert Support
Death, injury, medical bills, childcare, long-term care—these are all things that truck accident victims and their families find themselves facing in the blink of an eye. And nobody has a clue about what to do.
When families get together for weddings or reunions or Sunday dinners, they do not usually talk about whether or not to pull the plug in the event somebody is brain damaged and in a possibly permanent coma. People who find themselves in these situations are, understandably, not equipped to deal with it.
It is at this moment in time, when you are your most vulnerable, that the predators—unscrupulous trucking companies, insurance companies, and unethical attorneys—attack. They will try to take advantage of the situation. What is unfortunate is that they will attempt to make you feel like they are on your side.
To help protect and guide you through this traumatic event, you’ll want to seek out and hire an experienced truck accident attorney. A board-certified attorney will know how to navigate the horrifying situation you find yourself in. They’ll protect you from bad actors and put your family on the legal path to justice and fair compensation.
Coping with the Trauma as It Unfolds
Again, there is no way to truly prepare for a catastrophic accident, but you can try to cope with it as it unfolds.
As you answer difficult questions and start the process of hiring a truck accident attorney, you’ll also need to take care of yourself. Losing a loved one or having them suffer a major injury is a traumatic experience. Coping can be difficult, especially when it feels like you’re dealing with everything at once.
The best thing you can do is listen to the advice from the doctors and your attorney. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—these people are here to help you. This tragedy does not need to be harder than it already is.
There are well-qualified and compassionate professionals out there who are ready and willing to get you and your family through this horrific time in your life, no matter how stacked you think the odds might be against you.
For more advice on trucking accidents, you can find Semitruck Wreck on Amazon.
David W. Craig is the managing partner at the law firm of Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC. He is board certified in Truck Accident Law. David sits on the board of regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA) and has over 30 years of experience representing truck accident victims. David is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a proud recipient of the Thurgood Marshall “Fighting for Justice” Award. He was also named a top 10 trucking trial lawyer in Indiana by the National Trial Lawyers Association. To connect with David, visit ckflaw.com.