What to Do After a Truck Accident?

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Massive commercial trucks can cause severe damage and catastrophic injuries when they collide with smaller passenger vehicles. After a truck crash, you need to know what steps will protect your health and legal rights. Reach out an experienced truck accident attorney in your area.

Immediate Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

If you can, follow these steps immediately after a truck accident:

1. Check for injuries and call 911

Make your first priority after any crash the health and safety of those involved. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Call 911 immediately to report the accident and request an ambulance if anyone is hurt.

Even if injuries seem minor, get checked out by medical professionals. Some serious injuries like concussions or internal bleeding may not have obvious symptoms right away.

2. Move vehicles to a safe area if possible

If the damaged vehicles pose a hazard where they are, see if you can move them off to the shoulder. Put on your hazard lights. If the vehicles can’t move, put road flares or triangles around the crash scene to alert other drivers.

3. Call the police

Even if there don’t appear to be serious injuries, you’ll want to call the police to the scene of any truck accident. The responding officer will create an official police accident report documenting the crash. You need this report for your insurance claim and any legal case. Ask the officer how you can obtain a copy of the report.

4. Exchange information with the truck driver

Get the name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance details of the truck driver. Also, get the name and contact information of the trucking company that employs the driver. Write down the truck’s license plate number and any identifying details on the cab.

5. Gather evidence at the scene

If you safely can, collect evidence at the accident scene before vehicles move.

Use your phone to take photos and videos of:

  • The positions of all vehicles involved
  • Damage to all vehicles from multiple angles
  • Any skid marks on the road
  • The truck’s license plate and any company logos or DOT numbers on the cab
  • The accident scene as a whole
  • Any debris on the roadway
  • Your visible injuries

This evidence will help prove how the accident occurred.

6. Talk to witnesses

Ask for their names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Their statements could provide valuable evidence to support your case. Encourage them to wait for the police to arrive so their account is included in the accident report.

7. Watch what you say

Be very careful about any statements you make to the truck driver or trucking company representatives at the scene. Don’t apologize or say anything that the insurance company could misconstrued as admitting fault, as this could hurt your case later. Stick to the basic facts when reporting the accident to the police.

8. See a doctor

If you don’t go to the hospital from the scene, see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident—preferably the same day. Some common delayed-onset crash injuries like whiplash often don’t appear until hours or days later. Tell the doctor you were in an accident and mention all your symptoms. Follow their treatment recommendations.

What to Do in the Days Following a Truck Accident

What to Do in the Days Following a Truck Accident

In the days following your accident, to bolster your truck accident case:

1. Notify your insurance company

Call your auto insurance provider to report the accident as soon as possible. Most policies require prompt notification of crashes. But keep the details general and don’t admit any fault.

2. Order the police report

Obtain a copy of the official police accident report from the responding department. You may need to pay a small fee. The report will contain the officer’s assessment of what occurred and may determine fault.

3. Keep track of your injuries and losses

Start a folder with all documentation of your injuries and damages from the accident. Include:

  • Medical bills and records
  • Photos of injuries as they heal
  • Receipts for prescriptions and assistive devices
  • Proof of missed work and lost wages
  • Repair estimates and receipts
  • A journal documenting your pain levels and physical limitations

You may need this evidence for an insurance claim or lawsuit.

4. Be cautious about social media

Don’t post photos or details about your accident or injuries on social media. Insurance companies may monitor your accounts to find evidence to minimize or deny your claim, like arguing activities you post about are inconsistent with your accident injuries. Set profiles to private and ask friends not to tag you.

5. Contact a truck accident lawyer

Trucking companies and their insurers have teams of powerful lawyers ready to aggressively fight claims. Hire an experienced truck accident attorney to level the playing field.

A lawyer can:

  • Deal with the trucking and insurance companies on your behalf
  • Conduct a thorough, independent investigation into the crash
  • Gather weighty evidence to build your case, including sending spoliation letters to preserve critical evidence like the truck’s black box data
  • Identify all potential avenues of compensation
  • Handle settlement negotiations to achieve a fair outcome
  • File a lawsuit and fight for you in court if needed

Initial consultations are usually free, so reach out to a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to assess your case.

6. Be careful when talking to insurance adjusters

An adjuster from the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance provider will likely contact you, wanting a recorded statement. Exercise caution. Politely decline to give a statement or answer any questions until you consult an attorney. They could try to get you to say something to weaken your claim.

7. Don’t accept a quick settlement offer

If the trucking company’s insurance makes an early settlement offer, be wary of accepting it. Their initial offers are almost always lowballing amounts that won’t fully account for your damages.

Accepting it would require you to waive your right to seek any additional compensation later. Have an attorney review any offers to ensure they are adequate before accepting.

Long-Term Considerations After a Truck Accident

Long-Term Considerations After a Truck Accident

Additional steps you can take after your accident include:

1. Follow through on medical treatment

Attend all doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, and other prescribed treatments for your accident injuries. This will help advance the healing process and demonstrate that you’re doing everything possible to recover. If you skip appointments, the insurance company could say you aren’t as injured as you claim.

2. Consider future damages

Some severe truck accident injuries could require months or years of costly treatment. You might be left with chronic pain or permanent disability that impacts your ability to work..

3. Prepare for the legal process

If your truck accident case proceeds to a lawsuit, it could take many months or years to resolve. Your lawyer will guide you through each stage of the litigation process. You may need to attend a deposition where the trucking company’s attorneys ask you questions under oath. If you cannot settle, your case could go to trial, where you’d likely need to testify.

4. Focus on your recovery

Navigating the aftermath of a serious truck accident is stressful enough. Once you have an experienced truck accident lawyer fighting for your rights, try to focus your energy on healing physically and emotionally. Lean on loved ones for support during this challenging time. Consider talking to a counselor if you struggle with trauma or anxiety from the accident.

Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Truck Accident Claim?

Here are a few key reasons why to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer to handle your claim:

1. Trucking companies have powerful legal teams

Trucking companies, brokers and their insurance carriers have teams of skilled defense attorneys and experts on their side, ready to fight claims. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible.

Going up against them on your own puts you at a significant disadvantage.

Hiring a truck accident lawyer levels the playing field by giving you an aggressive legal advocate in your corner protecting your interests.

2. Truck accident cases are complex

Truck crash claims tend to be much more complicated than typical car accident cases. There are often multiple liable parties (including parties that are not readily apparent), extensive federal trucking regulations involved, and the need to preserve critical evidence before it’s destroyed. Th

An experienced attorney will know how to effectively navigate the complexities and build the most robust case possible on your behalf.

3. A lawyer will fight for full and fair compensation

A skilled truck accident attorney will thoroughly investigate your crash, gather compelling evidence, and put together a strong case to pursue maximum compensation for all of your damages. This includes money for current and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and any long-term disability needs.

Without a lawyer, you risk settling for far less than your case is worth.

4. It sends a message to the other side

Hiring a lawyer shows the trucking company and their insurer that you are serious about your claim and won’t let them push you around.

Just having an attorney on your side often results in better settlement offers, as they know your lawyer won’t hesitate to take the case to trial if needed to achieve a fair outcome.

5. Focus on your recovery

Dealing with a truck accident claim is complicated and stressful. Trying to handle it on your own can feel like a full-time job at a time when you need to focus on healing. By having a skilled lawyer manage your claim, you can concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery with greater peace of mind.

6. No upfront costs

Most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no upfront costs, and the lawyer only gets paid if they win money for you. If they don’t secure a settlement or verdict, you owe nothing. This makes it risk-free to benefit from quality legal representation.

Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Being struck by a large commercial truck is a frightening experience that can leave victims facing a difficult road to recovery. From getting appropriate medical care to dealing with insurance adjusters to figuring out how to pay the bills if you can’t work, it’s a lot for anyone to handle on their own, especially when you are injured.

You don’t have to face this overwhelming process alone. The compassionate truck accident attorneys at Rothenberg Law Firm LLP are here to help you through every step of the way. We have a proven track record of successfully standing up to trucking companies and their insurers to achieve the compensation our clients deserve.

Contact our personal injury lawyers today at (800) 624-8888 or through our online form to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your case and advise you of your legal options at no cost.

If you choose us to represent you, you won’t have to pay anything upfront. We take truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our fee comes as a percentage of the settlement or verdict we win for you. You only pay if we win, so there’s no risk to get started.

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