What Should I Do At The Scene of a Truck Accident?
Nobody wants to experience a truck accident, but more than 500,000 occur annually in the U.S. Do you know what to do if a truck hits you? Your health is the most crucial aspect to concern yourself with, but your actions can also protect you if you need to file a personal injury claim.
The Mike Morse Law Firm understands that you probably can’t think clearly immediately after a collision, so we compiled a guide outlining the steps you should take and the reasons behind them.
What Should You Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
Truck-related collisions typically cause severe injuries to passenger vehicle occupants. If you’re able, follow these steps after an accident.
Assess your injuries and those of anyone else in your car. Attempt to administer first aid.
Many times, truck accidents involve multiple vehicles. If circumstances permit, check on the occupants of other cars and the truck’s driver. Note the types and severity of the injuries sustained.
Contact the Police
Almost everyone has a cell phone these days, and the chances are that someone else will dial 911. However, you have a duty to notify the authorities as well. You may have crucial information to pass on, such as the presence of a severely wounded passenger.
Your description of injuries helps the dispatcher to mobilize enough ambulances and first responders. You could save someone’s life by making that call.
Use Your Phone
Although laws prohibit the use of phones while driving in most states, you’ll need to use your phone after a truck crash. Take photos and videos of:
- Vehicle placement and damage
- Skid marks
- Any debris, including cargo that fell from the truck
- Roadway conditions (potholes, ice, etc.)
- The witnesses present and their statements
- Your recollection of the events leading up to the wreck
Although the police and investigators will do the same, you’re in the unique position of being present at the scene immediately. You might capture evidence that isn’t there even a few minutes later. For instance, heavy winds can blow debris to different positions.
The exception to this advice is if a car is on fire or if hazardous materials spill from any vehicles, including cargo on tanker trucks. In those cases, get to a safe distance as quickly as possible to await the police.
Accept Medical Treatment
Accepting the attention of medical personnel is crucial for two reasons. First and foremost, they can spot injuries that aren’t apparent, potentially saving your life. All other considerations are secondary.
However, receiving an immediate medical assessment helps establish your injuries’ time, type, and severity. This information can prove vital to your possible personal injury case.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Although you don’t have to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident, why wait? Every state has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, and preparing a case is often a lengthy process.
Truck accidents are more complicated than most because of the many potentially liable parties involved. Your attorney needs time to perform a thorough investigation.
In addition, evidence is freshest immediately after a collision. Witness’s memories can fade over time, and video surveillance recordings that might have captured the wreck as it happened may be lost.
Is There Anything You Shouldn’t Do After a Truck Accident?
As crucial as knowing what you should do after a truck collision is, it’s just as vital to know what NOT to do. These actions could damage both your health and your personal injury case.
Don’t Admit Guilt
Although evidence can point toward someone else causing the accident, an admission of guilt can turn the tables against you. The damages you recover often depend on your degree of blame, so don’t say anything to anyone implying you caused the wreck. Don’t even say that you’re sorry the accident happened.
Don’t Post on Social Media
During the course of your personal injury claim, insurance company investigators often scrutinize your every move. They look for proof that your injuries aren’t as bad as you say they are, attempting to minimize the damages they owe you.
Any text, photo, or video posts you make after your accident can become evidence used against you. It’s best to avoid social media altogether during this time. Similarly, don’t put accident details or other relevant information into writing in emails or texts.
Don’t Discontinue Recommended Medical Treatments
The amount of damages you can receive partially depends on the severity of your injuries and the effect they have on your everyday life. If you discontinue medical treatments, rehab, medications, or mental health appointments against doctors’ recommendations, that action indicates that your physical or mental condition is better or healed.
Don’t Speak to Insurance Company Representatives
Communication with insurance companies has to happen if you’re involved in a truck accident, but their representatives don’t have your best interest in mind. They often trick injured accident victims into making statements that are harmful to their cases.
Your personal injury lawyer can handle all communications with insurance company investigators and representatives on your behalf, or they can be present to advise you when you speak to them. Along the same vein, don’t sign any paperwork until your attorney approves it.
Why Should You Consult a Personal Injury Attorney?
You likely have a long road to recovery if you sustain injuries in a truck accident. Not only do your medical expenses keep adding up, but you’re losing wages because you’re unable to work. Accidents require lots of paperwork, which is often confusing. All you need to focus on is getting better, but the stresses continue to grow.
A competent personal injury lawyer is intimately familiar with the laws surrounding truck accidents, required paperwork, insurance company tactics, your financial burdens, and the challenges you face. More than that, we can help.
Most reputable attorneys, including those at the Mike Morse Law Firm, offer free case evaluations and take your case on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t pay any fees until we win your case.
After investigating your truck accident and preparing your case, we will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies to obtain the maximum compensation we can get for your damages. Most cases settle out of court, but we will litigate if necessary to get the best results for you.
Not only do you deserve reimbursement for your accident-related expenses like medical bills and lost wages, but you may also qualify to receive compensation for things like pain and suffering, permanent disability, and PTSD. When you contact an attorney at Mike Morse, we can tell you the types of damages you can receive and how much they’re potentially worth.
How Can the Mike Morse Law Firm Help You?
Truck accidents are complicated, but you don’t need to navigate them alone. When you hire the Mike Morse Law Firm, we do everything possible to make your case easy for you while we do the heavy lifting.
Someone is available to speak to you 24/7. Call us at (855) MIKE-WINS or (855) 645-3946. You can also reach out via live chat or email and by submitting our online case evaluation request form. We’re standing by to assess your case and tell you how we can assist you.