Ever wonder what to do after a truck accident? If you have been injured or involved in a truck accident involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, bus, or another commercial vehicle, follow these critical steps and take immediate action to preserve your personal injury claims.
Immediately Following the Accident and at the Accident Scene
Call the Police
It is imperative to file an accident report with the police. This report is required by law and can be used as crucial evidence in your case later. The police will also help to preserve the accident scene and help with step two. Even if you think the damage is minimal, it is best-practice to call the police and have an accident report filed.
Once the police have been contacted, begin to collect and preserve as much evidence as possible. Here are a few examples of information you will want to have:
- Truck driver license & information
- Insurance information
- Name of the trucking company
- Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers on the truck and on the trailer
- Information about any advertisements on the truck or trailer
- A copy of the police report, once available.
In addition to your accident report and other critical information, take photographs of the truck accident scene. Then download the photos and save them (without deleting from your smartphone) and share them with your truck accident lawyer. Photographs should be taken from a variety of different angles and include:
- skid marks (or lack thereof)
- the condition of the tires of the truck and/or trailer
- the damages and condition of each vehicle involved
- pictures of injuries
The more evidence you are able to gather at the scene, the more likely your personal injury attorney will be able to establish a winning case.
You will want to have the names and contact information for the truck owner, operator, and any responsible party. Also gather any witness information that may be available from other drivers or bystanders. Think outside of the box and try to determine if any nearby stores have video surveillance cameras.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Your health and safety are most important after a truck accident. Your truck accident attorney will need to establish the extent of your personal injuries. This is best accomplished through detailed documentation in the medical record and the medical testimonies of the personnel who provided your care.
It is vital to seek medical treatment swiftly. Some injuries can be slow to show symptoms, such as internal bleeding. You want to make sure you are thoroughly checked out to ensure that the extent of your injuries is well-documented.
If you refuse medical attention after your accident, it could be used against you later in your case. Plus, that it is harder to prove an injury was related to the truck accident later on if you do refuse.
After Receiving Medical Attention
Follow all instructions given to you by your Doctor. If you do not follow the medical recommendations provided by the doctor, many insurance adjusters and even potential judges or juries will interpret your non-compliance as admission that your injuries no longer exist. In order to avoid that interpretation and increase your chances of a quick recovery, be sure to carefully follow the doctor’s instructions.
Write it Down
Write down everything you can remember about the accident while it is fresh in your mind. It is best to immediately try to remember everything you can about what happened before the accident, during the accident, and after the accident. It is important that your version of events is clear and interpreted accurately.
Contact your Insurance Company
This step can affect the outcome of your case. It is important that you state the facts, but withhold from elaborating on the details. Insurance companies can twist or misinterpret your statements especially when you are in a state of panic immediately following an accident.
Call Polk County’s Trusted Truck Accident Attorneys
The truck accident attorneys at Fulmer Law, PA have over 40 years of experience. Our expertise and guidance will help ensure the facts, evidence, and statements about your truck accident are interpreted clearly and truthfully so you win your case. We can answer all your questions about what to do after a truck accident.
Contact us now to schedule your no-obligation case review!