Daniels Law

Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

November 27, 2023 · Truck Accidents

Everyone imagines themselves to be a great driver, and everyone else to be the problem on the road. That might or might not be true.

But if you do get into a truck accident due to someone else's fault, then it's crucial to stay calm and take immediate and measured actions to protect yourself. Yes, you might be overwhelmed and feel like switching off, but this is not the time to do that.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll outline the essential steps to take after a truck crash, offering a roadmap for those facing this challenging situation.

Prioritize Safety

The first and foremost concern after a truck accident is safety. Ensure the well-being of all individuals involved, including yourself, passengers, and the occupants of other vehicles.

If there are injuries, immediately call emergency services for medical assistance. If possible, move to a safe location away from the roadway to prevent further harm.

  • Turn on hazard lights
  • Set up warning triangles or flares
  • Take precautions to avoid additional accidents

Sometimes, you might not be able to move your vehicle out of the way because it's impossible or you need law enforcement to make a report on the accident before moving them. Whatever the reason, put on your emergency lights and warning triangles, ensuring no other motorist, pedestrian, or vehicle gets hurt or injured.

If you can't think straight enough to make this happen, request a passenger to help you out or a passing pedestrian. Don't move your head or spine if you feel like you have a neck or brain injury. Keep yourself stable and unmoving until paramedics arrive.

Call Law Enforcement

Contact local law enforcement to report the accident. Having an official police report is crucial for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

In some states, it's mandatory to call the police every single time you are in an accident, no matter how serious the collision might be. Even if there are no injuries, an accident will have to be reported.

When the police arrive, provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident. Avoid making statements that admit fault. Fault determination is a legal matter that will be investigated by authorities.

As much as possible, stay calm when dealing with law enforcement. Law enforcement will be compiling a report of what they saw and who they spoke to.  

Seek Medical Attention

Even if injuries seem minor or nonexistent, it is essential to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately after an accident. A medical examination can identify and document any underlying issues.

This documentation is not only crucial for your health but also for potential legal claims related to the accident.

When you hire a lawyer after a truck accident (and it's highly recommended you do), they will need all the medical reports to fight on your behalf. So you mustn't skip this step.

Exchange Information

Collect and exchange information with all parties involved in the accident. Obtain the following details:

  • Names and contact information of all drivers and passengers
  • Insurance information for each vehicle involved
  • Vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and license plate numbers
  • Details about the truck, including the company name and contact information

If possible, you should also grab contact details from any bystanders, passersby, pedestrians, or other motorists who stopped to help you.

They can be used as witnesses later. Witnesses can provide valuable statements about the events leading up to the accident, helping to establish a clearer picture of what happened.

Your truck accident attorney will appreciate having witness contact details. This way, the attorney can start building your case right away, rather than trying to find witnesses after the fact.

Document the Scene

If it is safe to do so, document the truck accident site thoroughly. Use your smartphone or camera to take photographs of:

  • Vehicle damage from multiple angles
  • Skid marks, debris, and road conditions
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Weather conditions

These photos can serve as valuable evidence for insurance claims and potential legal actions.

You can, if permitted, film videos of any witnesses around explaining what happened in the accident, and how it all played out. This way you have statements from witnesses recorded close in time to the incident. Time has a way of fading memories.

Avoid Discussing Fault

We cannot repeat this enough.

Refrain from discussing fault or making statements about the accident with other parties involved.

It is essential to remain calm and avoid heated exchanges. Any admissions of fault can complicate insurance claims and legal proceedings.

No matter how angry you are with the commercial truck driver, it is never a good idea to show that in public. You will need to hold yourself back and remember that justice will be served in court.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with accurate and comprehensive information, including the following:

  • Details about the other parties involved
  • The police report
  • Any medical treatments you received

Promptly reporting the accident helps facilitate the claims process.

When communicating with insurance adjusters, be cautious about the information you provide. Stick to the facts and avoid speculation. Insurance adjusters may use statements against you in an attempt to minimize the settlement.

Answer their questions calmly, without getting angry or heated.

Always consult with an attorney before providing any recorded statements.

Preserve Evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the accident. This includes keeping copies of the police report, medical records, and all communication with insurance companies.

If you had to tow your vehicle, retain the towing receipt and document any storage fees.

Consult With a Truck Accident Attorney

If the accident involves a commercial truck or tractor-trailer, consider consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney. These professionals specialize in navigating the complexities of truck accident cases and can guide you on the legal aspects of your situation.

An attorney can help protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursue legal action on your behalf.

Monitor Your Health

After the accident, monitor your health closely. Some injuries may become apparent days or even weeks later. If you experience any new symptoms, seek medical attention promptly and inform your healthcare provider about the accident.

Also, if your health gets worse, or your injuries flare up, then make sure to speak to the insurance adjuster and your truck accident attorney about it. They need to be kept in the loop of everything in the case, especially any worsening injuries or increasing medical bills.

Keep Track of Expenses

Keep detailed records of all expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, vehicle repair or replacement costs, rental car expenses, and any other out-of-pocket costs. These records will be essential when seeking compensation for your economic damages.

Understand Your Rights

Educate yourself about your rights and the legal processes involved in truck accident cases. Knowing what to expect and understanding the potential avenues for compensation empowers you to make informed decisions throughout the process.

When you hire a truck accident attorney, make sure to ask them lots of questions about the process and the case itself. Do not stay in the dark about anything.

Our Sherman Oaks truck accident attorneys have been through hundreds of such cases and can help guide you through these tough times. We will give you an honest opinion of what kind of case you have and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Consider Emotional Well-being

Truck accidents can be emotionally taxing. Don't hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or mental health professionals if needed. Addressing emotional well-being is an integral part of the recovery process.

There is such a thing as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from serious accidents. You might notice you are jittery, nervous, anxious, or feeling other such emotions when you have to go out in public or when you step into a car.

You might even feel nauseous or dizzy if you have to step anywhere near a busy intersection. Whatever your symptoms might be, document them, and ensure that you seek help for it.

If you don't take care of yourself, who will?

A Truck Crash Can Be a Very Serious Affair Indeed

A semi-truck with a loaded trailer can be as much as 40 tons in weight and a collision with a large truck can be catastrophic

That's why it's important to hire a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to guide you through the entire process and get you the compensation you deserve.

Daniels Law can help you receive compensation for your injuries and damages resulting from a truck accident. We have obtained multiple seven- and eight-figure recoveries for a variety of clients. Contact us today!

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