Over 3 million people in the United States are involved in a car accident every year. Many of these accidents involve a collision with a truck.
If you find yourself in a truck accident you need to know what to do and when to do it. This is because the process of handling legal claims is much more tedious than that of collisions with a car.
Here are the steps you should follow to ensure that you receive proper medical treatment and compensation for damages.
1. Asses the Conditions of all Parties Involved
If you are able to, do a thorough assessment of the state of everyone involved in the accident including your own safety. Check to see if anyone is injured and needs medical assistance right away. However, do not touch injured parties to avoid causing any further injury.
The health of everyone that is involved is paramount, serious injuries need to be noted so that the necessary medical treatment can be applied.
2. Contact the Police
It is imperative that you alert the police and file an accident report immediately even if little to no damage is seen. Doing this is not only a requirement by law, but it acts as a vital piece of evidence that you may need in the future.
Getting a police report is a good way to have a detailed and accurate record of the accident and all the parties involved. Once you alert the police, they will send your call to the local law enforcement agency and emergency responders.
Inform the police of the number of suspected injuries so that they will know how many ambulances are needed.
3. Get Medical Attention Right Away
After an accident, ensure that you pay close attention to your health and safety. In some cases, your injuries may not be so evident and will appear later on so be careful to get a thorough check. Although you may not think that you or involved parties are seriously injured, get a medical evaluation anyway.
If it happens that you will need medical attention in the future for any injury, it can be hard to prove that it was sustained at the time of the accident. Even if a medical examination was performed at the scene, be sure to ask for further medical evaluation. You never know whether or not you are suffering from internal bleeding so a doctor’s visit is important.
4. Contact the Insurance Company of Involved Parties
Call your insurance company and be sure to file a report of the accident. Skipping this step may have serious consequences later for your case. Make proper documentation of the scene and gather all the necessary evidence if you are unhurt. This can include contact information of any possible witnesses, capturing pictures, and any other information that may be necessary, such as road or weather conditions.
Documentation may also include:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance company details
- Contact number of involved parties
- Employment Information of the Truck Driver
Additionally, remember that you may end up talking to the insurance company of the other involved party. When you do this, don’t give too much information on the details but try and relate only the facts even to your insurance company.
5. Gather Contact Details of Any Possible Witness
One of the major things you need to bear in mind is the fact that you need to collect the contact information of witnesses to the accident. They could be an involved party or an individual who was in close proximity to the accident.
Once the police arrive, they will make notes of witness statements if there are no serious injuries that require immediate attention.
If it is possible, you can approach a witness and ask them kindly for their contact details which include their cell number, their name, and even their email address if necessary. You want to have this information for future reference in case the witness has to leave the scene if they are not an involved party. This information, you can either give to your lawyer or the police officer.
6. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident is far more difficult to overcome than a regular car accident as more parties are involved in the process. These parties include the employer of the driver, the registered trucking company, and or the manufacturers of the truck. There also include a great number of federal regulations that are involved with trucking accidents.
After the crash, contact a truck accident lawyer immediately as this could be an important factor for your legal case.
The truck accident lawyer will help you to get through both the difficult legal and insurance process such as the settling amount that you may need to cover medical expenses.
7. Get an Appraisal for Your Vehicle
Avoid getting your car repaired right after the crash wait for an appraisal of the vehicle to be done. You never know the internal damage that might have happened even if you only see the minor ones from the outside. Getting an appraisal will give estimates of repairs that need to be done if it’s necessary, and is important for your claim on insurance.
Your insurance company may have several requirements that need to be met before you are compensated for any damages caused. Some of these requirements may include bringing your car to a body shop to have it examined or even pictures of the car. After this is done, ensure that you bring the car to a mechanic for further assessment and for them to declare it safe to drive.
A Final Look at Trucking Accidents
Being involved in a trucking accident is terrifying. However, once you survive you need to think about getting examined by a medical professional and getting your vehicle repaired.
Follow the steps outlined here and you should be well on your way to getting compensation for any damages you may have suffered. Know who to speak to about your case and avoid making unnecessary statements to the other party since this may damage your case.
If you would like more information about compensation after a trucking accident, please contact us.