Modern society relies on the trucking industry for everyday conveniences people often take for granted. The ability to fill your car up with gas, shop at the grocery store, or even have items shipped directly to your front door is made possible by the commercial trucking industry and the overworked drivers behind the wheel. While the commercial trucking industry is heavily regulated, accidents still happen. Unfortunately, these accidents are often catastrophic in nature because of the sheer size and massive weight of these large vehicles.
A small consumer automobile or pedestrian is no match for a monstrous commercial truck. When these disastrous accidents happen, individuals and families often partner with experienced truck accident lawyers seeking justice and financial compensation for their terrible injuries. Taking specific steps directly after one of these terrible accidents can help maximize your claim and ensure you get the justice and reprieve you are rightfully due. Here’s a step-by-step guide to navigating the aftermath of a terrible truck accident.
Clear the Road
These terrible accidents often take place on freeways or highways because of the routes large commercial trucks must travel. Other motorists typically travel these roadways at high rates of speed, and staying in the roadway increases the chances of a secondary accident.
If possible, consider moving your vehicle off the road. If it is too badly damaged and you are able to move, then get yourself to safety. It is imperative to remove yourself from the path of oncoming traffic while you wait for help.
Call Emergency Services
The next thing you should do is call emergency services immediately. Even if you don’t feel badly injured, you should still go to the emergency room and get checked out. Many injuries are not immediately apparent, especially when adrenaline is flowing and your body is in shock.
It can often take a few days for the symptoms of injuries to manifest. Seeking immediate medical care and submitting to certain tests can often help prove these injuries are the direct result of your accident with a large commercial truck.
While you are waiting on emergency services, gather any helpful information you can. If there are witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and contact information. Exchange information with the driver of the commercial truck, if possible. Many times, catastrophic injuries may prevent victims from doing this.
If necessary, make mental notes of any potentially helpful information. Take pictures of the scene and surrounding area with your cell phone if you have access to it. If not, you can attempt to write down information or dictate oral notes into an app on your phone.
Get Medical Attention
When emergency services arrive, let them check you out. Even if you don’t think you have any serious injuries, let them know about any potential injuries that may become worse over the next few days. If they want to transport you to the emergency room, let them.
Emergency personnel are trained to recognize the symptoms of shock and potential serious injuries. Submit to any tests or medical evaluations requested by medical staff. If you need to ask questions, that’s okay. You may even want to ask about the protocol for getting copies of your medical records, especially those pertaining to the accident.
Make a Report
At some point between medical services and the emergency room, a police officer will likely want to take your statement. Explain exactly what happened without admitting any fault. Do not admit to taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. Just give them the facts and answer their questions without offering additional information.
You’ll also want to take note of the responding officer’s name, and if anything seems odd, make a note of it. Consider asking when the officer’s report will be available and how you can get a copy. You may have to submit a request in writing or visit a specific police station. Many times, your attorney can get this information for you, but it’s good to be informed.
Take Personal Notes
Soon after the accident, you’ll need to take the time to make some personal notes. Sometimes the brain temporarily blocks painful memories, which typically return quickly but may fade with time. Write down every single detail you can remember about the accident. It may be necessary to return to the scene or even take pictures of what’s left of your vehicle.
Include what you were thinking at the time, the way things smelled, and what you saw. Sometimes the most seemingly insignificant details can shed light on the cause of these terrible accidents. It’s important to write down everything while it is fresh in your mind but do not share it with anyone at all. The only person who should see this is your truck accident lawyers.
Contact Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers
Contact experienced truck accident lawyers even before you contact your insurance company. Skilled attorneys can help guide you through the entire process while preserving the value of your claim. They will help you report your claim to your insurance company.
You may assume that your insurance company is on your side, and they probably should be. Unfortunately, they will take any steps necessary to reduce their responsibility in your claim, even if it means using your own words against you. It’s best to let your attorney guide you through the process of reporting your claim to ensure you preserve the value of your claim and that your words can not be used against you by your own insurance company.
Preserve Your Rights
Accidents with large commercial trucks rarely have a positive outcome. It’s critical to follow these steps exactly and partner with experienced truck accident lawyers early on. Getting skilled attorneys involved early in the process is the best way to protect your rights and maximize the value of your claim. They will walk you through the entire process while ensuring you get the expert medical care you need after a serious accident of this nature. The right attorneys will assertively represent your rights and guide you through the process of navigating the legal system while you seek justice and financial compensation for your injuries. They will help hold the responsible party accountable for the negligent actions that caused this terrible tragedy.