10 Steps To Follow After A Truck Accident
Truck accidents are often serious and can result in significant damage, injury, or even death. If you are involved in a truck accident, there are specific steps you should follow to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights — and to ensure you are healthy. If you are in an accident, follow these steps:
- Check for injuries: The first step after any accident is to check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 immediately if someone is hurt, and wait for medical help to arrive. No matter how you feel, good or bad, make sure to seek medical attention for potentially hidden injuries.
- Move to a safe location: If you can, move yourself and any passengers to a safe location away from traffic. If your vehicle is blocking traffic, turn on your hazard lights, and use warning triangles or flares if you have them. It is okay to leave your vehicle if you feel unsafe on the roadway.
- Call the police: Call the police as soon as possible, and wait for them to arrive at the scene. The police will document the accident, take witness statements, and create an accident report. This report will be essential if you need to file a claim with your insurance company or pursue legal action. Even though they are there to help, make sure to just state the facts to the officers present so you do not damage your case.
- Gather information: While waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other driver. This includes names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. It is okay if you are unable to do this, as your lawyer can help you later.
- Take photos: Take photos of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved, skid marks on the road, and any injuries you have sustained. Videos are even more helpful.
- Don’t admit fault: Never admit fault at the accident scene, even if you believe you were responsible. Leave it to the police and insurance companies to determine fault. Also, admitting you were at fault can damage any sort of case you might have in the future.
- Notify your insurance company: Contact your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible. Give them all the information you have gathered, including the police report and witness statements. It is okay to wait and speak with an attorney first as they can guide you to ensure your claims are accepted.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel okay, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not show symptoms immediately. Also, keep records of any medical treatment you receive and bills you incur. Ask for copies of all your records from your doctors.
- Contact an attorney: If you were injured in the accident or suffered significant property damage, you should consider contacting an attorney who specializes in truck accidents. They can advise you on your legal rights and help you pursue compensation; this will help to take stress off of you.
- Keep records: Keep a detailed record of all conversations and correspondence with the police, insurance companies, medical professionals, and your attorney. Also, keep receipts for any expenses related to the accident, such as car rental fees, medical bills, and lost wages. Try to do all correspondence through written means such as email to make record keeping easier.
In conclusion, a truck accident can be a traumatic experience, but following these ten steps can help you stay safe before worrying about legal or financial matters. Contact a California truck accident lawyer at Truck Law today.