Truck accidents are on the rise—truck accidents, truck accident fatalities, and injuries have steadily increased each year with nearly 5,000 fatalities reported in one year alone. With more cars and trucks on the road and higher populations across the U.S., the number of accidents will likely continue to grow.
The harsh reality is that these massive vehicles exacerbate any traffic incident by causing more catastrophic damage and injuries to those involved in these collisions. If you are ever involved in an accident, our truck accident lawyers compiled some steps you can take to protect your rights from the immediate moments following the unfortunate accident through your rehabilitation and recovery.
What to Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident
The moments following the impact from a vehicle such as a large truck or semi can be frightening and chaotic. As you get your bearings your priority will immediately turn to check on yourself, your passengers if any, and your surroundings to ensure you are not in any further danger. If you find yourself in a dangerous position on the road immediately try to get to safety.
Contact the Authorities Immediately Following a Truck Accident
If you can physically communicate and access your mobile phone, you must contact law enforcement immediately so that they may arrive on the scene. If you can’t call for help yourself ask a passenger or bystander to make the call for you. Regardless of the severity of the accident or the injuries sustained, contact the police to ensure they complete a police report.
Get Help Immediately From Medical Services
If you or a passenger are injured, request medical assistance at the scene. If you are unsure of the extent of your injuries or cannot move stay put, so long as you are not at risk of further injury, and await emergency medical services.
If you feel as though you are not injured but at any point begin to feel unwell following a truck accident, visit your nearest emergency room or urgent care center for medical attention. Once the adrenaline and stress at the accident scene have subsided you may begin to notice aches, pains, or injuries that you had otherwise not felt. It is not uncommon for accident injuries to take hours and sometimes even days to become apparent to the victim of the injury.
Gather Evidence, if Possible, at the Scene
Collecting information and evidence at the scene can be impossible if you are physically impaired or unconscious. However, if you are alert and can use your mobile phone it would be a great help to your case to document the scene of the accident as best you can.
Evidence you can gather at the scene of a truck accident includes:
- The truck driver’s information including driver’s license and insurance
- The license plate number of the truck involved and any other vehicles involved in the accident
- Photographs of the scene and positions of the vehicles immediately following the collision
- Photographs of any visible injuries at the scene for yourself or passengers
- Name and contact information of witnesses, if any
- Photographs of damage to the vehicles involved and any adjacent property or the road
Additional Steps to Take Following a Truck Accident
In the day, weeks, and months following a truck or tractor-trailer accident, you may face not only a difficult recovery from your injuries but the competing interests and other parties who were in the accident.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
As soon as you are able, following the accident and within 24 hours if possible, contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident. Most insurance carriers require prompt notice following an accident whether or not you are at-fault.
Take care to not make any statements or answer questions from any insurance company. Doing so could jeopardize your truck accident case or cause unnecessary delay. Instead, have your truck accident lawyer handle all communications with insurance companies—even your own.
Follow up With Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation
Proceed with any medical treatment and rehabilitation necessary for you to heal and recover from your injuries as best you can. Failure to follow through with professional medical advice and recommendations could complicate your efforts to seek compensation for your damages and injuries.
Document Your Injuries Throughout Recovery
Oftentimes, injuries will get worse before they get better. As the days following the truck accident pass and you undergo treatments, surgeries, or procedures try to document these actions as best you can. Photograph your injuries throughout the recovery process. You may discover new bruises in the days following the truck accident or may be faced with procedures and surgeries leaving visible scars or other deformities.
Contact a Lawyer With Truck Accident Experience
When you are alert and can communicate, contact a lawyer with experience in large truck or semi-trailer accidents. If you can’t contact an attorney yourself for medical reasons, a loved one may contact an attorney on your behalf to get you the representation you deserve.
Contacting a truck accident attorney as early as possible can help ensure your legal rights and best interest are protected and represented from the inception of the incident. they can also help answer any other questions you have about the truck accident claim process.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help You With a Truck Accident?
It is not easy to recover from the often catastrophic injuries that occur from accidents involving trucks and semi-trailers. You will likely be faced with a long and tedious recovery and may never fully recover to your prior self. You are likely facing financial impacts from lost work or income to rising medical expenses for your treatment. Obtaining a truck accident lawyer to represent you in your truck accident case can help you successfully protect your rights and seek the compensation you will need now and for the future. If you or a loved one are injured in a truck accident contact a team of expert truck accident attorneys for a consultation on your matter. For additional information about what to do after a truck accident review our blog about “What to know if you have been involved in a truck accident.”