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What To Do After a Truck Accident

A trucking accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. It is important to know what to do in the immediate aftermath of the accident to ensure the safety of everyone involved and protect your legal rights.

Continue reading for steps you should take after a trucking accident, from seeking medical attention to collecting evidence and contacting an experienced attorney. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your injuries are properly treated and that you are in the best position to seek compensation for your damages.

Understanding Truck Accidents

If you've been involved in a truck accident, taking the necessary steps to protect your interests is important. Depending on the circumstances, the truck driver or the trucking company could be responsible. For example, if the truck’s brakes failed and it crashed into another vehicle, the trucking company could be held responsible for the accident if there is evidence that they failed to maintain the truck properly.

Your Right to File a Claim

Personal injury claims are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. The responsible party's insurance company typically compensates the injured party for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of income or earning capacity, and other damages.

The process begins with the injured party (the plaintiff) filing a complaint against the allegedly at-fault person or entity (the defendant). Both parties will then gather evidence to support their case in the discovery process. Personal injury cases are often settled through negotiation between the plaintiff's attorney and the defendant's insurer before going to trial.

If a settlement is not reached, the case may proceed to court, where a judge or jury determines fault and damages. It is crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney to navigate this complex process and ensure your rights are protected. Each state has specific laws and timelines (statutes of limitations) for filing a personal injury claim, so prompt action is essential. It is also crucial that victims take the necessary steps after an accident to protect their rights and interests.

What To Do After an Accident

Immediately after an accident, you must:

  • Ensure Safety: The first priority is to ensure your safety and that of others involved. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location out of traffic.
  • Call Emergency Services: Dial 911 to report the accident. Request medical assistance if there are injuries, even if they seem minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent due to adrenaline or shock.
  • Document the Scene: Collect information, including the truck driver's name, contact information, license plate number, insurance details, and the company they work for. Also, gather contact information from witnesses and document any additional factors like road conditions or weather that could support your claim.
  • Speak to Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, collect their contact information. Their account of the incident could be valuable evidence.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid discussing fault or liability with anyone at the scene, including the other driver and insurance adjusters. Stick to the facts when describing the accident.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company. Provide them with accurate information but avoid giving a recorded statement without legal advice.

While the steps listed above are crucial during the period immediately after an accident, there are long-term goals to keep in mind.

Down the Road

One of the most important steps after an accident is to seek medical help. While you may not feel the need to see a medical professional, it is important to note that many injuries manifest in the days or weeks after the accident.

Some latent injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, come with symptoms that may only be detectable with tests like MRIs or a thorough evaluation from a physician. In some cases, latent injuries that are left untreated could cause permanent damage.

You must also be careful to avoid discussing the accident publicly or admitting guilt. While posting about an accident or apologizing to the other driver, witnesses, or emergency responders may be tempting, you must avoid admitting guilt. The negligent party may use any apologies, posts, or public discussion of the accident as evidence against you.

One of the most important steps you can take when pursuing a personal injury claim is to contact a qualified attorney.

The Role of an Attorney

Involving an attorney after a truck accident is beneficial for several reasons, including:

  • Complexity of Laws: Truck accidents often involve complex legal issues, such as determining fault and dealing with commercial insurance policies. An experienced attorney can navigate these complexities on your behalf.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies aim to settle claims for as little as possible. An attorney can negotiate with them to ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • Legal Representation: If your case goes to court, an attorney can represent you, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf.
  • Peace of Mind: Lastly, having an attorney allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal aspects of your case.

Remember, each truck accident is unique, and this guide is a general roadmap. Always consult with a professional to understand your specific rights and responsibilities.

Get The Compensation You Deserve

At the Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C., we understand how traumatic an accident can be, so we work tirelessly to help our clients pursue the most optimal result. Whether our clients are victims of negligence by a truck driver or the trucking company, our attorney can fight for them.

Schedule a free initial consultation with our attorney today!