Getting in a vehicular accident is always an awful experience, particularly if it involves a truck. The average commercial truck engine alone weighs up to 3,000 pounds, which is comparable to the weight of a standard sedan. After sustaining that kind of impact, even if it’s not a direct hit, it would be challenging to think straight.
Typically, confusion and chaos leave those involved in a truck accident unsure of what to do. That said, you should keep in mind that the things you do after the incident can significantly impact your chances to obtain fair compensation.
And while we hope that you’ll never be involved in a truck accident, knowing the correct legal steps can help protect your rights if this unfortunate situation does occur. This article shares five crucial steps to take after a truck accident.
Table of Contents
Move To A Safe Place And Call For Help
If you’re lucky enough only to experience a minor fender bender and didn’t sustain any serious injuries, move to a safe place and call for help. You can stay inside your vehicle and, if possible, drive it to the side of the road to keep it out of harm’s way.
Of course, if your vehicle is in bad shape, such as if gas is leaking and may cause an explosion, you need to get out of your car and move away as far as possible. In addition, if you or anyone else involved in the truck accident is injured, make sure to call emergency hotlines right away.
Call A Lawyer
While you wait for assistance, you may also contact a truck accident lawyer to help with your legal case. It may be beneficial if you already know a lawyer; however, if you still need to look for one, you can skip this step for later and focus more on the current situation.
Regardless, consulting a truck accident lawyer can help in various ways, particularly in processing your insurance claim and ensuring that you get the fair settlement amount to cover all your lost wages, medical treatments, and current and future life repercussions.
They can also guide you on legal issues, especially in the trucking industry. Truck accidents tend to be more complicated than regular car accidents since more parties are often involved, such as the trucking company, the driver’s employer, the manufacturer, or the shipper. Plus, there are also specific truck-related federal regulations and rules to consider.
Remember that a reliable and skilled truck accident lawyer can help remove the stress of worrying about legal matters so that you can focus more on your recovery.
Get Medical Help
You should prioritize your health and safety. Once a paramedic arrives on the scene, make sure to get yourself checked for any physical injuries. Any injuries, regardless of their severity, should be treated and documented.
Furthermore, you should consider going to the emergency room following the crash even if you feel fine. Some injuries, such as whiplash and traumatic brain injuries don’t manifest symptoms immediately and may take a few days or weeks to emerge.
It’s worth noting that medical records are vital in your legal battle since they can help prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. These records will assist you in making a solid claim to get the fair compensation you deserve.
Talk To The Police
When a vehicular accident occurs, the police will always take statements for their report, especially when trucks are involved. When they ask you, you should give them all the facts of what happened as you recall them. That said, make sure that you don’t say anything that may imply responsibility on your part.
After a collision, truck accident victims may be in shock and disoriented, causing them to provide the incorrect details. If you’re unsure or can’t recall what transpired, refrain from talking and providing too many details.
After talking with the police, don’t forget to request a copy of their report. Plus, it’s also advisable to take note of their name and badge number for documentation purposes.
While waiting for help to come or before leaving the scene, consider gathering evidence and taking pictures of the crash scene. Documenting everything about the accident can help in making an insurance claim.
Make sure to document any damage to your vehicle. Likewise, don’t forget to take pictures of the other damaged vehicles involved in the accident. If you’ve sustained any visible injuries, take photos of those right away. Note that cuts or bruises could change color, shape, and severity over time, so capturing them as soon as they occur is critical.
Besides gathering photographic evidence, you should also take as many notes as possible. You should detail the accident’s date, time, location, and general descriptions. It would be best if you considered writing down the name of the road, the estimated speed of the vehicles, weather conditions, and other relevant information.
Talk to the other driver and get their names and contact information. You should also talk to any witnesses in the area to fill in the missing details. Consider recording your conversation, but ensure you get permission first. Lastly, don’t forget to get their contact information so you or your lawyer can call them for any follow-up questions.
Being involved in a truck accident can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, knowing what to do following a crash can make a difference in having a less stressful compensation filing. Hopefully, you’ll never be involved in a truck accident, but in case you are, knowing the steps outlined above can help you move forward the right way.