A truck accident is a life-changing experience for anyone to have to go through. Not only do you have to think about serious injuries, but you might be facing expensive medical bills, loss of earnings and vehicle damage.
It can be difficult to keep a clear head after you’ve been in such a traumatic collision, especially if the incident wasn’t your fault, but there are some important steps you should take that can help you in the short and long-term.
- Call the Emergency Services
- Assess Injuries
- Collect Information
- Contact Legal Experts
Call the Emergency Services
The very first thing you should do after a truck accident is call the emergency services. There is a good chance that those involved will need immediate medical attention and the quicker you call for help, the quicker they can be treated.
Regardless of what happened, it’s crucial that you call the police as well as an ambulance. Not only will they be able to clear the road for other vehicles, you’ll need to file an accident report.
Even if you think there’s no damage or you might be partly to blame, an accident report will be a vital item of evidence when it comes to claiming for compensation later on. Give a detailed, factual account of what happened. Lying or offering an account full of opinion and blame can lead to problems later.
After you’ve called 911, assess the injuries of those involved and determine if anyone needs immediate help. Only move someone who’s severely injured if they are at risk of further injury.
You’ll also need to think about your own health and wellbeing. You might think you’ve escaped from the truck accident with only minor injuries but it’s important to seek medical attention.
There could be underlying injuries, such as internal bleeding, and you may still be in shock which is preventing you from realizing the full extent of what’s happened. Have a paramedic examine you to make sure everything’s ok.
Never refuse medical help as this could be used against you at a later date. Proving that injuries were as a result of the truck accident prevents the opposition from arguing that they were pre-existing conditions.
After you’ve spoken to the police and received medical attention, you can exchange information with all those involved. Get insurance and contact information from all parties, including any other vehicles that were present and eyewitnesses.
In an instant, eyewitnesses can leave the scene and it can be very difficult to track them down again. Even just obtaining their personal information, like their name, address and phone number, will allow you to get a detailed statement from them in the future.
From the driver of the truck, you’ll need to find out as much as you can about the cab, the trailer and the cargo they’re carrying. Are they working for a company? How long have they been driving that day?
They may be unwilling to provide some information but the more details you can discover, the stronger your case can be when you claim for compensation. You may blame the truck driver for the incident, but try and keep calm when speaking to them. Angry words and threats of violence won’t help your case.
You should also take this opportunity to document the scene of the crash and the damage caused. Take pictures of as much of the area as possible, not just the vehicles involved. Document the road surface, the weather and nearby signs, street lights and cameras.
The police should also take photos of the crash site but it can be useful to have as many angles documented as possible.
After the police have finished their work, the area will immediately begin to be cleaned up to allow for normal service to resume. Make sure to document the scene as soon as possible so you have the clearest images of what took place.
Contact Legal Experts
Don’t wait when it comes to consulting legal professionals. Once you’ve spoken to the police, been given the all clear by paramedics and documented the scene, you should start to think about legal help.
Attorneys will be able to offer expert guidance in the hours and days after a truck crash. They know exactly what to do after a truck accident and can make sure you take the best course of action.
Be aware of who you’re speaking to when it comes to lawyers after the accident. You may be speaking to companies that eventually end up representing the defendants so only give factual information when asked.
It’s important to find the right truck accident lawyer to suit you. Talk to a number of different firms and ask the attorneys about their experience, track record and costs. Some lawyers will have more experience than others when it comes to truck collisions and personal injury.
Whether you go to trial or reach a settlement with the opposition, a good attorney will be able to help you every step of the way and ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Make a Claim for Truck Accident Compensation
Coxwell & Associates have helped the people of Mississippi for the last 35 years to receive compensation after they’ve been involved in accidents. Download our free guide by clicking on the button below if you’ve been in a truck collision to help you make a claim.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.