The Best Things to Do After Being Injured in a Truck Accident
A truck accident can be a life-changing moment for everyone involved, especially when it causes severe injuries to victims in passenger cars. However, if another person’s negligence caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages or injuries you suffered.
Recovering your financial and emotional losses after an accident depends on the actions you take immediately following your wreck. Any missteps along the way can jeopardize your chances of a fair recovery. By following the steps highlighted below, you can ensure your case has the best chance of recovering your losses.
Call Law Enforcement
The first step you should take after an accident is assessing the condition of anyone involved in the crash. Even if an accident seems minor, it’s critical to call 911 so law enforcement can create documentation and file an official police report. Additionally, calling for an ambulance ensures that each victim is adequately treated for any sustained or potential injuries.
Seek Medical Treatment
Always seek medical treatment following your truck accident, even if you feel okay. Receiving medical treatment is an essential step because oftentimes, injuries don’t appear until the days or weeks following a car accident, such as internal bleeding. Having carefully documented medical evidence that shows the course of your injuries helps to link the car accident as the cause of them.
Document Any Evidence That You Can
If it is safe to evaluate the area of your wreck for evidence and you or others are not injured, then it’s essential to do what you can to document all of the details of the accident.
Documentation of the scene can include photos of the accident and surrounding area, contact information of any other victims or witnesses, and details about the time/location/weather during the wreck. If weather played a role in the accident, then it’s imperative to take whatever photos you can of those conditions.
When collecting contact information for any other involved parties or witnesses, document details such as:
- Their basic contact information (name/number/address/email)
- Any involved drivers’ insurance policy number
- Drivers license photos of any involved parties
- The name and phone number of the truck driver’s employer and trucking company
- License plate numbers of any involved cars
Talk to Other Witnesses of the Accident
Anyone who saw your accident is considered to be a witness. This includes bystanders, passengers in other vehicles, and anyone else nearby who saw what happened.
While taking witness statements is not required, it certainly doesn’t hurt to record whoever’s testimony you can on a phone app. However, police will likely record statements for any immediate victims. If it’s a major accident scene with lots of injured victims to tend to, bystanders who bore witness to the accident may leave before the police can record their statements. If possible, ask for their contact information and record any statement you can. This information will significantly benefit your case in the future and help your lawyer proceed in the best way possible.
Have Your Vehicle’s Damage Appraised
While it may seem like the best course of action is to fix your car as soon as possible after a truck accident, it’s far more important to ensure your vehicle receives a documented repair estimate that you can submit as part of your insurance claim.
Each insurance company has different requirements for how to pay your car damages, so it’s essential to understand what you need to document to complete your claim. If your car is towed to a body repair shop after the accident, be sure to specify for the shop not to conduct repairs until your estimate has been approved by insurance. Okaying repairs before insurance accepts your claim can lead to complications with being reimbursed for your damages.
Watch What You Say
No matter how guilty you may feel after an accident, it’s critical to never admit liability. Doing so can jeopardize your claim. While you should never lie about fault, it’s okay to withhold any proclamations of responsibility and to be minimal about the details of your accident until you can speak with a lawyer.
Police will likely ask you questions about the details of the accident. Don’t lie about anything, but at the same time, avoid admitting fault.
Additionally, be careful about what you say to any insurance adjusters who try to contact you. While they’ll likely be friendly and ask you to make a statement, don’t do it. They are searching for ways to use your statement against you. Leave communications with your insurance company to your lawyer.
Call a Lawyer
Truck accident cases are complex, especially if multiple at-fault parties are involved. Calling an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible ensures your claim has the best chance of success. The truck’s insurance company will likely have an attorney on hand ready to defend its company at all costs. Having an equally knowledgeable attorney fighting for your case makes it possible to recover the compensation you deserve.
A truck accident lawyer will help you calculate all the damages you are eligible for and ensure the settlement covers the costs of all the losses you incurred, both in the past and the future. They will also help you file any necessary paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and hit crucial deadlines on time.
Truck accident cases can be complex, but taking the right steps immediately following an accident gives your claim the best chance to compensate you for all your losses. By documenting the evidence, jotting down the information of witnesses, seeking medical treatment, filing a police report, being mindful of your words, and contacting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you can ensure that you are on the right path to receiving a reasonable settlement offer.