Truck accidents are, for many people, a worst case scenario. According to The Barnes Firm injury attorneys, there’s no denying the physical, emotional, and financial impact that an accident with a truck can have on an individual’s life. In addition, the legal process can be quite different from a standard car accident due to a variety of factors. Here are 6 steps you should take after a truck accident to ensure that you walk away with the best result possible after the crash.
1: Call 911
The first and most important thing you should do after getting in an accident with a truck is to call 911. This will allow for medical professionals and police to arrive on the scene as quickly as possible. Let your 911 dispatcher know how many vehicles and, if possible, how many people are involved in the accident – this will allow them to send the number of ambulances needed to effectively deal with the scene. When the police arrive on the scene, make sure to get a police report even if the accident seems minor. This will ensure that there’s proper documentation of the accident. This paper trail will be essential for any future legal action, since it will allow you to accurately portray the involved vehicles, what medical attention was given on the scene, and other details that may become unclear in your memory in retrospect.
2: Get All Necessary Medical Attention
Even if you don’t believe you are hurt and the emergency medical technician on the scene doesn’t require you to go to the hospital in an ambulance, you still need to seek medical attention for any injuries that may not show immediate symptoms. Not only is this necessary for your medical well-being, if you require medical attention weeks later for an injury sustained in the crash you may have a difficult time demonstrating that it was caused by the accident. There are also some injuries, such as internal bleeding, that can be difficult to know yourself or diagnose on the scene but that will be clear to a doctor.
3: Document the Scene
Once the scene has been secured by police, or if the scene is in a place that’s safe to walk around, you need to document the scene for yourself. This includes taking pictures, getting contact info from witnesses and those involved in the crash, and noting weather and road conditions that may have been a contributing factor to the crash.
4: Get Your Car Appraised
Even if you believe your vehicle only has minor damage, there may be internal problems that can severely affect your vehicle. You should not, however, get your car repaired immediately. Different insurance companies have different requirements for what needs to be part of an insurance claim. Make sure that the mechanic appraising your vehicle knows that you don’t want any work done on your car before you’ve filed the claim with insurance and gotten the all clear.
5: Avoid Admitting Liability or Posting on Social Media
With truck accidents, which often are more serious and more legally complicated than the average car accident, it is essential to avoid admitting liability in police statements and posting on social media. If you admit even partial liability, it can be used against you in court and result in a less favorable result for you – be factual, but avoid speculation or apologies. Likewise, posting on social media can cause legal issues later down the line. Even seemingly innocuous posts reassuring your friends and family can hurt your case in court. Contact only close friends and family to reassure them or talk about the incident, and only do so face-to-face or over the phone – not through social media or text messaging.
6: Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
With the legal complications of truck accidents, it’s essential to get a lawyer specializing in truck accidents involved as soon as possible. Truck accidents often involve more parties than just the truck driver – the driver’s employer, the shipper or manufacturer, and the trucking company will all be involved, and there are specific regulations at both the state and federal level that will need to be taken into account. A truck accident lawyer will be able to ensure the best result possible in the legal battles to come.