FAQs About What to Do After A Truck Accident
A truck accident can be a terrifying, traumatic experience for everyone involved. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it’s important to know exactly what to do. But, in the moments following a collision, it’s very hard to wrap your head around what happened so you can think clearly after what you should do next. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding what to do after a truck accident:
Should I call the police?
The police need to be contacted as soon as possible after the truck accident. Call 9-1-1 and ask the dispatcher to send an officer to the scene right away. You should also ask for emergency medical assistance if someone was seriously injured in the accident, which is likely in truck crashes.
When the officer arrives to the scene, they will immediately begin inspecting the damage and interviewing the parties involved. Then, the officer will determine who is at fault based on their own observations and the statements provided by witnesses. The officer may issue a citation to the at-fault party at the scene of the accident as well. All of this information—the officer’s observations, evidence obtained from witnesses, and who is liable—will be included in the police report of the accident. This police report is an important piece of evidence that can be used to prove liability in your personal injury case. If you don’t call 9-1-1 after the accident, you won’t be able to use this evidence to your advantage.
What evidence do I need to gather at the scene of the accident?
Before leaving the scene of the accident, it’s best to gather evidence that may help your attorney prove liability later on in your personal injury case. What evidence should you gather? Start by taking as many photos as possible. Photograph the damage caused in the accident, your injuries, the positioning of the vehicles involved, and any traffic signs or signals that could have played a role in the crash. Even if something seems insignificant, photograph it anyways. You never know what photograph will be the missing piece of the puzzle in your personal injury case.
If there were witnesses at the scene, it’s a good idea to get their contact information as well. Don’t talk to them about the accident—simply ask for their contact information and thank them for being cooperative.
When should I see a doctor?
Most people who are involved in a truck accident sustain serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. But, even if you are lucky enough to walk away without serious injuries, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Why? Sometimes, the symptoms of an injury will not appear right away. For example, the symptoms of a concussion can appear hours or days following an accident. If you see a doctor right away, the doctor can diagnose your condition and start treatment right away before the injury becomes worse.
Waiting too long to seek medical attention can also affect your personal injury claim. For instance, let’s say you are injured in a truck accident, but you wait a few days to seek medical attention. When you finally see a doctor, you are diagnosed with a concussion and several soft tissue injuries. If you try to recover compensation for these injuries, the trucking company’s insurance company will need to see your medical records. The insurance adjuster will immediately realize that you waited several days before seeing a doctor. This will give the adjuster the opportunity to poke holes in your case. The insurance adjuster may argue that there is no way the injuries were sustained in the accident, because if they were, you would have visited a doctor right away. Because of this, the gap of time between the accident and the first doctor’s visit can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation.
To avoid these problems, seek medical attention right away after a crash, even if you think your injuries are minor.
What should I say if the at-fault party’s insurance company contacts me?
The trucking company’s insurance company may contact you shortly after the crash if they know their policyholder was to blame for the accident. During this call, the insurance adjuster may ask if you are willing to provide a recorded statement about the crash. There is no legal obligation to give a recorded statement, so do not agree to do so.
Insurance adjusters are trained to settle claims for as little as possible. If you agree to give a recorded statement, the insurance company will look for ways to use your words against you. The insurance adjuster may ask you misleading questions or take your words out of context in order to lower the value of your claim. For these reasons, it’s best to never provide a recorded statement without speaking to an attorney first.
The insurance adjuster may also make an offer to you during this first call. No matter how high the offer may seem, do not accept it. The adjuster’s goal is to get you to accept an offer before you hire an attorney who will tell you the actual value of your claim. If you accept an offer now, you won’t be able to file another claim to ask for additional money in the future. Work with an attorney to calculate the value of your claim so you know how much you deserve for your injuries.
Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so, contact Carpenter & Zuckerman as soon as possible to discuss your case. Let our experienced personal injury attorneys handle the many complexities of a truck accident case so we can recover the compensation you deserve.
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