In a collision between a car, truck or van and an 18-wheeler, the individuals in the smaller automobile are likely to be on the losing side. The driver and passengers' injuries may be devastating, and the damage to property can be catastrophic. Before people can receive monetary compensation for their damages, they will need to file a claim with the at-fault truck driver's insurance company. What can add to the pain that people suffer after they have been hit by an 18-wheeler is how insurance companies handle these claims. To make this process easier, those injured in a crash with a large truck need to make sure that they write down in detail everything that they can remember about the collision, any subsequent injuries and immediately contact and 18 wheeler accident lawyer. After a collision, the police often arrive at the scene and prepare a police report. This will help those who suffer injuries in the crash, but taking their own notes is still going to be necessary. The reason this is the case is because those who are involved in the collision will have insight that the police officer who arrives after the accident will not have. How to File a Claim for a Collision with an 18-Wheeler At the scene of the crash, the injured parties are going to have to act as their own detectives. They will need to write down the names and contact information of witnesses, take pictures of the damages, injuries, the crash scene and collect any evidence that can demonstrate that the truck driver was negligent. With this information, the injured parties will be ready to file a claim with the at-fault truck driver's insurance company, and the at-fault driver will need to be informed that this is the injured parties' intention. Those injured will also need to tell the at-fault truck drivers' insurance companies that they will be filing a claim for damages. This is usually handled by the insurance company that provides coverage for the driver of the vehicle that was hit by the 18 wheeler. After following the insurance companies' claims process, the injured parties may receive a call from the companies' claims adjusters. In some cases, the truck driver was clearly at fault, and the insurance companies will offer a settlement. In other cases, the adjusters will ask to review the injured parties' medical records and the evidence they collected at the scene of the crash. However, this settlement is likely to be less than the injured parties are entitled to receive. The Possibility of Non-Economic Damages The settlement may or may not be enough to cover the injured parties' medical bills, but there are other legal issues which the injured parties may not be aware. These other issues involve non-economic damages, and they will need to be added to the claim before the injured parties will be able to receive them. Non-economic damages are those that do not necessarily have a specific monetary value, including emotional pain and suffering, the impact of the loss of a loved one, psychological suffering and deformities that resulted from the collision. Why Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Is Important Most of the time, an insurance company's intent is to offer the lowest settlement possible or to keep from paying a claim altogether. Those who are injured will, most likely, be involved in a difficult fight to receive the least of what they deserve. If they are entitled to non-economic damages, the fight will be even harder for them. For this reason, they need to protect their rights by hiring a qualified Texas truck accident lawyer. Truck accident attorneys know how much in the way of non-economic damages they can request, and they know how to fight insurance companies for the compensation that their clients deserve. An 18 wheeler accident attorney knows exactly what evidence will be required to prove a client's case, and if necessary, he can fight in court to ensure that their client's rights are protected.