What Should I Do in the Days Following a Truck Accident?
A truck accident can immediately and permanently change the course of your life. The steps you take in the hours and days following the accident can impact how prepared you are to rebuild.
What To Do Immediately After a Truck Accident
Trucks can do serious damage to a passenger car, and some of that may be hidden from sight. Additionally, some trauma injuries do not appear for a few days. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need someone else to take charge of things.
The hours immediately after an accident are often traumatic. However, no matter how dire the situation is, certain matters must be addressed immediately.
Contact the Police and File a Report
Contacting the police provides you with a concrete record of what happened. According to state law, contacting the police and waiting for them to arrive is necessary even if you are involved in a minor accident. If it is safe and there are no serious injuries resulting from the accident, move the vehicle from the roadway and wait for emergency personnel. However, if anyone was seriously hurt or killed, leave the vehicles where they are and wait for help.
Exchange Information With the Truck Driver
In addition to the police report, you will want to exchange information with the truck driver. At the very least, get a full name, insurance company name and policy number, and a license plate number from the vehicle. Verify that the information you were given matches that provided on the police report.
Take Pictures and Video of the Accident Scene
If possible, take pictures and video of the accident scene before any vehicles are moved. Even if you have already moved them, scale pictures showing where the accident took place, any damage to the surrounding landscape or structures, and markings on the road may be helpful later on.
Seek Medical Attention
While there are many reasons people skip this step, such as a lack of pain, not having obvious cuts or broken bones, and shock, you should always have a thorough medical evaluation after a truck accident. As mentioned earlier, some trauma injuries after an accident take days to manifest visible symptoms, especially if you are experiencing shock. These often include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Punctured lungs
- Cracked ribs
Injuries can also include emotional and psychological trauma, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which may develop in the days and weeks following a major accident. Getting evaluated will show that you have taken the necessary steps toward a diagnosis and treatment of any accident-related trauma.
Steps To Take Over the Next Few Days
In addition to the immediate actions necessary after an accident, some details will need to be worked out over several days and weeks. In some cases, it can take months to reach an independent agreement or court-ordered settlement with an insurance company.
At Mike Morse Law Firm, we know how you handle these tasks can make all the difference in making your case to insurance companies and legal professionals. We also know that each accident is unique, so we cannot give blanket advice. However, we recommend taking the following steps to improve your chances of a speedy recovery and settlement of your case.
Keep Thorough Records
Start by documenting everything. If it is connected to your accident or recovery in any way, you want to save it. That includes the pictures or video you took at the accident scene, medical records, and receipts. Continue documenting damages as they occur. Examples of things you should record include:
- Receipts for medical care and rehabilitation
- Costs for vehicle repairs, rentals, or replacement
- Prescribed medications
- Lost income
It may also be helpful to keep a journal or other documentation of the pain, suffering, and anguish caused by the accident.
Resist the urge to toss items that seem insignificant or unrelated to the accident, which can cause small but important items to fall through the cracks. Those parking fees from hospital visits? Save the receipts. Not only do they show that you paid for parking, but they also document a medical appointment in the wake of your accident.
Continue Medical Treatments
Injuries tend to heal better when you receive consistent medical care. Unfortunately, some providers are hesitant to work with accident victims, particularly those without health insurance. Be persistent and continue to seek care for any injuries that were caused or exacerbated by the accident.
We cannot overstate this: It may take time for accident injuries to manifest themselves. As a result, you must continue to seek medical care for any symptoms that appear. It is much harder to prove a connection between your injury and the accident if you have not spoken with a medical provider.
Discuss Your Accident With an Attorney
Handling matters after an accident can be overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with the process. That is why one of the most important actions you take in the days after a truck accident is hiring a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will handle legal matters such as:
- Keeping you updated on the progress of your case
- Handling communication and negotiations with insurance companies
- Gathering and presenting evidence to support your injury claims
- Filing lawsuits or claims on your behalf
When you hire Mike Morse Law Firm, you get more than an attorney. A complete team of researchers, top personal injury attorneys, and assistants are on your case from the first day. They will work tirelessly to get you the help and compensation you deserve after a truck accident and any related injury.
Limit Contact With Insurance Companies
There is a good chance that you will get a call from the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance company several days after the accident. You want to avoid disclosing too much information or sharing any details about your injuries, treatment, or accident. As a general rule, less is more when dealing with insurers.
Despite their claims, insurance companies are rarely working in your best interest. Rather, they are focused on settling the accident claim with as little damage to their bottom lines as possible. For example, they may offer a lump sum settlement that barely covers your current medical bills. While that may seem attractive while you are out of work and recovering, it is far from what you could receive.
Be polite but firm when speaking to the representative. Refer him to your attorney’s office or tell him you will schedule an appointment when you and your attorney can both be present. If you haven’t hired an attorney yet, now is the time to do that. Mike Morse Law Firm is Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm. We can work with you to get the settlement you deserve after a truck accident.
Get the Help You Deserve After a Truck Accident
Don’t let a truck accident control the rest of your life. Take charge by contacting the experienced team of personal injury attorneys at Mike Morse Law Firm. We can help you explore options and decide your next steps, whether that is a settlement with an insurance company or litigation. Speak with one of our knowledgeable staff today by calling 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946) to learn more and start your free case review.