Truck accidents result in far more devastating damages than normal road accidents. Being involved in one can have a far-reaching impact on your personal and professional life. Given the nature of injuries that truck accidents are infamous for, you need to ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps that are most beneficial for you.
Data suggests that one-tenth of all road-related deaths in the United States happen because of truck accidents. The sheer weight of an eighteen-wheel semi means that the impact of any accident is tremendous. Given how trucks are owned by commercial entities and not private individuals, getting settlements or going to trial can be complex.
In this article, we speak to a leading truck injury lawyer. We request him to help us come up with a list of actions that need to be done immediately after being involved in a truck accident. If you or someone you know has been involved recently in a truck accident, this article can be helpful for you.
List of 10 Things you need to do immediately after a Truck Accident
- Get out of harm’s way and pull yourself to safety-
As a motorist, while you may have escaped the first impact, you need to be careful of watching out for problems. Oil spills from truck accidents can cause a fire. Or, there can be other vehicles that can be approaching that might hit you and your vehicle. If you are conscious and can move, you need to ensure that you reach a safe location. This can help prevent damages.
- Call the law enforcement agencies (traffic policemen and highway patrol)-
Depending on where the accident has taken place, the wisest thing to do would be to call the law enforcement agencies. Please pass on information regarding the location of the impact, what happened, how many vehicles are involved in the accident as well as the number of casualties. The dispatcher will ask officers and medical professionals to reach the site.
- Seek medical attention right away to improve chances for survival and recovery-
We already mentioned how truck accidents result in severe injuries and even death. If you are injured and can get yourself to a medical establishment, do that right away. The dispatcher might take some time to get an ambulance to the site, especially if the accident happened in a remote location. Get yourself tested, run first-aid, and go for surgery if the case requires.
- Hire a trained truck accident lawyer immediately-
If you have been injured, you would want compensation. You cannot afford to be running around and getting in touch with the party-at-fault or their insurance company. This is where hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer becomes critically important. They can help you coordinate with different stakeholders and build a case for your settlement negotiations.
- Gather as much evidence and information from the scene of the accident-
If you are not incapacitated, make sure that you use your phone to take as many photos and images from the scene of the crime. You also need to ensure that you have the details of the truck. License plate number, name of the driver, details of the trucking company, and insurance numbers can all help ease the process of getting settlements. Use your phone wisely.
- Do not speak with the truck driver, their lawyers, or the insurance company-
While you might want to check up and ensure that others are safe because of your good nature, you need to understand that others might advantage of the same. Anything you say might be used by the opposing counsel to strengthen their case. This can allow them to walk away with not paying you a single penny as settlement. Let your attorney handle all the talking.
- Make sure to not post any details of the truck accident on social media-
All of us are living in a day and age where social media has become an integral part of our lives. While you might feel the need to post photos and videos of the accident on your social profiles, this can lead you to face legal issues. Keep all the details of the case with you and your close circle. Avoid writing anything on social media that will come back to haunt you.
- Never admit fault for anything related to the accident-
Lawyers and insurance companies use complex wordplay that ends up confusing victims of truck accidents. In most instances, this is done with the intention of making the victims admit that they were at fault for the accident. If you feel uncertain, make sure to speak only after advising your attorney. Let your attorney take the lead so that you do not face any troubles.
- Work with your truck accident lawyer to gather evidence and witness statements-
Building a strong case for settlement means backing your claims with the best evidence. Make sure to point your lawyer in the right direction when it comes to gathering evidence. You can speak with witnesses at the scene of the crime and record their statements. Your lawyer can also request the police for the CCTV footage that can help establish the fault of the truck driver.
- Get an appraisal for the extent of the damages to your vehicle-
Once you have taken care of the above, you need to get an appraiser to examine the extent of damage that your vehicle has suffered. This is something that has to be filed with your insurance claims. Make sure that you check for internal and structural damages as well before coming to the final number of damages. This is why an expert appraiser is required.
The Final Word
If you are skipping on any one of the ten things mentioned above, you can find yourself in a lot of trouble. The settlement amount that you would demand would take into consideration a lot of factors. From medical damages and bills to post-injury recovery and trauma, make sure that your attorney has factored all this.
Truck accidents are life-changing events that affect not only the individual but their families as well. If you require a year to get back to your feet, the settlement should cover all the lost wages, increments, and perks that you were rightfully entitled to. You also need to be prepared in the event the settlement falls through and the case goes to trial.
If you have any other questions, you would like us to address on truck accidents, please feel free to ask them in the comments below. We would be more than happy to get our legal expert friends to answer and clear all your doubts.