Injuries from semi-truck accidents can be severe and tragic. The primary concern for a person hurt in a truck accident is getting the necessary medical care.
But there are some crucial actions to take after a truck accident that will make your life easier in the aftermath if you are fortunate enough to escape with only minor injuries.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a semi-truck accident, there are actions you can take to protect your legal rights.
The procedure for bringing legal claims for a semi-truck accident may differ from that of a typical auto accident, but you can follow these steps to learn what to do right away following a truck accident.
After a truck accident, you should dial 911.
The 911 operator will contact the local police force and emergency personnel if you are on a highway.
Inform the dispatcher of the estimated number of people in the crash (there may be several vehicles), so they can send out as many ambulances as necessary.
Regardless of how "minor" the collision seems, obtain a police report. A police report is a quick and convenient way to document the semi-truck collision instantly. The police will keep thorough records of all the involved parties.
Seek medical attention for you and anyone else in the vehicle, even if you don't think you're wounded.
You could have injuries that don't have clear symptoms immediately. After a truck collision, you can suffer from wounds like damaged organs, which a doctor can detect but which may be impossible for you to recognize.
Request a thorough medical exam at a hospital or your doctor's office, even if an EMT on the scene examined you.
ONLY perform this step if you are in good health and it is safe to get out of your car and walk around. If there are no police officers on duty to supervise traffic, you want to avoid walking around on a busy roadway.
The record may also include further observations about the road, the weather, and other potential contributing variables (such as truck driver weariness). Pictures, contact details for witnesses and all crash participants, and more observations may also be included.
It is essential to take images if the weather may have reduced the drivers' visibility or if the road is wet. Forensic specialists can testify to past weather patterns.
Your car might look like it only has a little damage, but you should wait before driving it to the closest body shop to get it mended.
The repair estimate for your vehicle has to be included with your insurance claim. The documentation needed to support your claim for damages with each insurance provider differs. Some insurers ask you to take the vehicle to an approved body shop, while other insurers use apps that ask you to take photos of every exterior surface of the vehicle.
Take your vehicle to a nearby body shop if your insurance covers roadside assistance or if you are a member of a travel organization that offers towing services.
Ensure the shop is aware that no repair should be done until you've received approval from your insurance provider. Bring the vehicle in for an inspection even if you think it is okay to drive.
Even though you may be mad that the trucker was at fault for the crash, it's more useful to stay calm and watch your words to avoid saying things that could later harm your case.
Refuse to accept blame or responsibility. Keep your mistake to yourself, even if you are aware of it. Tell the truth, but keep the details to yourself. Leave that conversation to your lawyer. Even though you might be partly at fault, it is your lawyer's job to find and emphasize any additional factors that could reduce your liability.
The police will work tirelessly to reconstruct the accident thoroughly. You will be asked for a statement and the names of any witnesses, but you are under no obligation to confess. Silence is preferable to making comments that might later be proven untrue.
Remember that whatever you post on the internet may be used against you in court. It's always best to exercise caution on social media if you are (or may become) a party to a legal proceeding.
Whether you were in a truck accident or you are a family member of someone who was, hiring a commercial truck accident personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible could be the best thing for your legal case.
It's possible that you couldn't complete the actions above if you weren't at the accident scene. You can still help your loved one navigate the complex legal and insurance systems.
Additionally, a commercial truck accident personal injury lawyer can be helpful in several ways. A truck accident lawyer will do their best to see that you get the settlement money you need to pay for your medical procedures and lost wages from the past and present.
Because many parties are usually involved in truck accidents, such as the driver's employer, the trucking business, the manufacturer, or the shipper, the situation can become complicated. Beyond simply obeying the traffic laws, other federal regulations are unique to the trucking business.