If you are injured in a truck accident, your immediate concern is to receive urgent medical attention to make sure you recover as completely as possible. However, there are certain steps that need to be taken to protect your case and allow you to claim successfully. We provide this guide to help you take the requisite actions. If you are unable to attend to these aspects due to your injuries, a family member can carry them out and help to preserve the information needed for a fruitful outcome that enables you to be compensated adequately for your losses. Here are the steps to take.
Contact the Police
By dialling 911 in an emergency, the police will be able to send the correct responders to deal with your situation. Let the dispatcher know how many vehicles were involved in the accident and the approximate numbers of those who are injured or in need of help.
A police report is the first piece of documentation of the accident. As such, it is an important source of information. It may indicate how the accident happened, pointing to the responsible party. The police will have an accurate record of all the vehicles involved in the truck accident and will have taken the details of bystanders and witnesses whose testimony may prove useful later.
Get Medical Attention
If you are involved in a truck accident, it is important that you are examined by a doctor as soon as practically possible after the incident. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, but by having a record of a medical check-up immediately following an accident, you can ensure that problems that emerge later can be linked to the accident. It is not sufficient to be checked by the ambulance personnel at the scene of the accident. You need to ensure that a medical record is available that can be updated if you develop other signs of trauma related to the accident.
Get Records of Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
Take photos of the vehicles that were involved in the collision. Document the weather, which could have played a role, such as in reducing visibility. If the road surface was slippery, this also needs to be documented. Get all the information available that pertains to the driver of the other vehicle and the details of the truck. You will need a full name, home address, contact details (cell and home number, email address), details of their insurer (company name and the number on the policy), the driver’s license details, and if the other party is the truck driver, you need to take down the name of their company and the employer’s contact and address details. For any type of vehicle, the number of the license plate is needed and the make and model of the vehicle.
Witnesses are important to verify details of the truck accident in court. Get full names and contact details as well as a physical and email address. Your attorney will need these details, which may be available in the police report. However, at a busy accident scene, some witnesses may potentially be overlooked. If you have taken down witness information, you should be prepared to give it to the police so that they can undertake their own investigation of the causes of the accident.
Get your Vehicle Appraised
Obtain the list of approved body or repair shops from your insurer and take your vehicle to one of these businesses. You should not select just any shop or allow your vehicle to be towed without getting permission from your insurance company. The insurer may also have special requirements to consider a claim, such as photos taken from different angles.
Your insurance may include towing of the vehicle without you having to pay for it, but only by approved companies. No work must be done on the vehicle until the insurance company has all the details and told you to proceed. Have the functions of the car tested, as internal damage may not be immediately apparent.
Do Not Comment
Keep your own counsel. You can do irreparable harm to your own case by inadvertently accepting responsibility for the accident in an exchange of words with the other driver. You may say something to make the other person feel better, or to take them to task, but your words can be misconstrued. Do not offer any comments or information beyond the exchange of personal details. If the police question you, you do not wish to damage your future credibility by making any false statements. However, you need to exercise caution not to accept liability. Your attorney will check factors that may minimize your fault and is trained to look for such evidence. Any evidence you give may resurface later and compromise your claim.
If in doubt how to respond, simply state that you will comment via your attorney and have been advised not to provide a comment at this stage. Your insurance adjustor might have someone from their offices to contact you with a supposedly concerned call. However, any information that you give them may be used to reduce your claim and adjust it downwards. The only person you can trust to take your side in a truck accident is your attorney.
Do Not Create a Social Media Post after a Truck Accident
Social media posts can be used as a source of information. Even telling your family that you will be okay to reassure them and allay their worries can be used against you. If it has appeared online, even if you delete it, a screenshot may exist, and information can be raised in a court hearing.
Get Hold of your Attorney As Soon As Possible
Getting an attorney assigned to your case is your best protection. It will also protect your interests if you are claiming compensation for financial loss or physical and emotional injuries and trauma.
Visit our offices if you’d like advice on a truck accident:
- Westerville – 4151 Executive Pkwy, Suite 355, Westerville, OH 43081
- Mansfield – 33 S. Lexington-Springmill Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906
Call now for a free consultation on (614) 224-4114.