Accidents involving commercial trucks are often more severe than those involving passenger cars. Trucks are larger, heavier, and more challenging to maneuver, making them potentially more dangerous on the road.
The impact of a truck accident can lead to severe injuries, significant damage to your vehicle, and financial losses. Knowing what to do is essential if you’re ever involved in a truck accident. The step-by-step guide below can help you navigate the situation and protect your rights.
Step #1: Call 911
Seeking medical attention should be your top priority. Calling 911 is the first step you should take if you or anyone else has been injured. It’s always a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional after a traffic accident, even if you feel fine.
Your injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a delay in seeking medical treatment could negatively affect your health and your insurance claim.
Another important reason for calling 911 is to report the incident to the relevant authorities. The police will create an accident report, which can be crucial in establishing liability and insurance claims. They will also secure the accident scene, redirect traffic, and ensure the safety of everyone involved.
When the police arrive, provide a detailed account of the accident, including any injuries or property damage.
Step #2: Document the Scene
While waiting for the police to arrive, you should start documenting the scene. Photos of the accident, including the damage to both vehicles, any injuries, and the surrounding area, can provide substantial evidence for your insurance claim and any legal action that may follow.
Be sure to capture the license plate of the other vehicle involved, as well as any nearby traffic signals or road signs. If there were any witnesses, try to get their contact information.
Documentation is essential in a truck accident case, as it can help establish liability and prove damages. If you’re unsure about what to document or how to do it, contact a truck accident attorney.
Step #3: Exchange Information
After ensuring everyone is safe, and the police have been called, you should exchange information with the other driver. This information should include their name, contact information, insurance information, and license plate number.
Being polite and cooperative when exchanging information with the other driver is important. However, do not apologize or admit fault. These statements can be used against you later, even if you were not at fault.
If the other driver is uncooperative or attempts to leave the scene, make a note of their vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, and report this information to the police. Also, don’t forget to get the name and badge number of the police officer who responds to the accident.
Step #4: Contact Your Insurance Company
Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s still important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. They can guide you through the claims process and help you get your vehicle repaired or replaced.
When speaking with your insurance company, stick to the facts and be honest about what happened. Provide them with all your gathered documentation, including photos and witness statements. They may also ask for a copy of the police report, so be sure to obtain it from the police department.
Step #5: Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
A truck accident attorney can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. They can advise you on what to say and what not to say to insurance companies, represent you in court, and help you negotiate a fair settlement.
The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein (LawSB) is one firm that specializes in truck accident cases. Call LawSB for truck accidents in New York and get their experienced attorneys to assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can also help you investigate the accident and gather evidence.
Step #6: Keep Records
Throughout the claims process, it’s essential to keep accurate records of all the expenses related to the accident. This includes medical bills, car repairs, rental car costs, and any other out-of-pocket expenses you incur.
Keep all receipts and bills, and note any conversations you have with insurance adjusters or lawyers.
Having detailed records will help you accurately calculate your damages and negotiate a fair settlement. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal of how the accident has impacted your life, including any physical pain or emotional trauma you’ve experienced.
Step #7: Follow Up on Medical Treatment
If you have been injured, it’s important to listen to your doctor. This includes attending follow-up appointments, undergoing recommended tests and procedures, and taking any prescribed medications.
Failing to follow through on medical treatment can negatively affect your health and hurt your insurance claim or legal case.
Keep track of all medical appointments and treatments, and provide this information to your insurance company and attorney. If you require ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation, your attorney can work with medical experts to calculate the total cost of your care and seek appropriate compensation.
Involvement in a traffic accident of any kind can be a traumatic experience, but following the steps outlined above can help you protect your health and legal rights.
Remember to prioritize medical attention, document the scene, exchange information with the other driver, contact your insurance company, consider contacting a truck accident attorney, keep accurate records, and follow through on medical treatment.
With the help of experienced professionals and careful documentation, you can get the compensation you deserve and get on with your life.