In the immediate aftermath of a truck accident, everything can feel very overwhelming.
If you’ve been involved in a collision, you’re probably feeling frantic and entirely uncertain. This is completely normal regardless of whether it’s a minor or major accident.
Knowing all the right actions to take during this time can make a huge difference. From filing a police report to seeking legal counsel for more information about your next steps and a settlement, there is a lot to consider.
Here are 5 of the most important things to do immediately after a truck accident.
Contact Law Enforcement
One of the first things you must do if you are involved in a truck accident is to notify the police. Then, when they arrive at the scene, the police will file a report to record the official events that lead to the accident.
Regardless if no injuries were sustained and there is no outward physical damage to any of the cars involved in the collision, you must contact the police.
Minor injuries caused by a collision are not always evident. Swelling and Inflammation can develop over a couple of hours, especially if you are unknowingly pressing on any kind of injury and making it worse.
If you do need medical attention, an official police report will add a sense of clarity to your case while substantiating your claim. If the case ends up in court, these smaller details may prove invaluable!
Seek Medical Care
Anyone involved in a truck accident is likely to be in shock directly after it has occurred. This means that they may not be feeling the pain of potential injuries – whether visible or hidden.
To be on the safe side, see a physician for a medical evaluation as soon as possible. You should document any injuries, and also whether you are experiencing any pain. This is because a medical report can help to document and uncover any instant or later developed injuries caused by the accident.
If your pain or injuries are not properly documented, an insurance company could attempt to discredit any later injury complaints. They might even attempt to imply that you weren’t injured in the accident because you didn’t immediately access medical care.
If you don’t do this, you may be forced to accept an insufficient settlement to cover your needs.
Refuse To Sign Anything
Any time a truck is involved in an accident, the company where its driver is employed will almost immediately become involved. In the majority of cases, they will request that the insurance provider reaches out to everyone involved to eventually provide an offer of settlement.
This works favorably as it ensures that they avoid a potentially drawn-out and costly lawsuit which could cause irreparable damage to their reputation. So, while you may be tempted to accept their offer, make sure not to sign anything without consulting a lawyer first.
Speak To A Legal Expert
Before you even think about proceeding with a case or accepting an offer, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney. They will have the right tools and in-depth knowledge to help you handle each situation as it arises.
A personal injury attorney will guide you, help you to understand your rights, and will also demonstrate how to adequately fight for them. They are extremely knowledgeable about the laws and regulations of the trucking industry, and are familiar with common causes of truck accidents.
This means they can help you to understand why the accident happened, and the way you can back up your case in court with all the right evidence.
Take photographs of damage to all vehicles involved, and of any injuries on your body. A cut or a bruise could easily change its color, severity, or shape over time, so it is absolutely critical to capture it immediately after it happens.
It’s also a good idea to make note of vital information such as the names of the other truck driver, and the insurance details of all other involved parties, before vacating the scene of the collision. When you have to recount every detail of the collision at a later date, your recollection of the accident could be skewed. But if you make notes, you’ll have all the facts.
You should also try to obtain witness accounts of the incident. Make sure to take their information down, too.
After you’ve been in a truck accident, you’re probably far too disorientated to think about the logistics of what just happened, or wonder about what your next steps are. Thankfully, this guide tells you exactly what you need to do – so you don’t have to stress.