10 critical actions you need to take after a truck accident
by john j. schalter j.d.
Being involved in a truck accident is a terrifying experience that can leave you dazed and confused and rattled to the core! Added to this: YOU MAY BE MENTALLY AND/OR PHYSICALLY INJURED AND NOT KNOW IT!
- However, there are things you must do to preserve the crucial evidence in your case. Making mistake could cause you to lose MILLIONS!
- Here are some CRITICAL STEPS you need to be aware of. Print and keep a copy of this list in your center counsel storage or glove box.
- Don’t hesitate to call our firm 997 4357 (HELP) right from the scene of the crash. Like landing an airplane in stormy weather, we can walk you through the steps…FREE!
- Following these steps can also help protect your rights following a crash with a commercial vehicle.
Nothing is more important than your HEALTH, CARE AND RECOVERY. This is always your first priority. IT ALSO SHOULD BE TOP PRIORITY OF THE FIRM YOU HIRE! If you are involved in any SERIOUS TRUCK OR CAR, you should always seek medical attention ASAP! YOUR BODY MAY BE IN SHOCK! Although your injuries may not be immediately apparent, signs or symptoms could show up several hours or days later. When in doubt…go to the EMERGENCY ROOM or call an AMBULANCE. Waiting to seek medical treatment will only make your case MORE DIFFICULT and could cause the insurance company to deny your claim and refuse to pay critical benefits. Most insurance companies (and even juries) think that “no (or delayed) treatment means no injuries.”
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and could result in serious consequences. Most of all it appears to a jury (or an Insurance Company) that you were running away (perhaps intoxicated) and may be at fault and certainly not injured. Don’t take a chance. Remain at the scene and call the police (or EMS) even if the other driver leaves. (get his license number)
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO RUSH. In fact, time is of essence. Don’t let the negligent truck driver proclaim, “Everything is fine. Let’s go on our way!” IF HE TAKES OFF, YOUR CASE MAY BE LONG GONE AND TAKE OFF INTO THE DISTANCE ALSO!
You should always wait at the accident site for first responders to arrive to check for injuries and so the accident can be reported by police. Do not leave the scene of the accident until you are told to by first responders or police.
Don’t let “gawkers” (other curious and distracted drivers) cause another crash!
Immediately after the accident, make sure you are in a safe location. If you are in a location where you are still in danger or your vehicle could cause another accident, quickly move to safety on the side of the road.
However, try to stay as close to the accident site as possible and do not move if you are injured. As always, tending to injuries is always a top priority. If your vehicle is not able to be moved but is not in a safe place, leave it. You can set up flares or cones to help warn other drivers that there is an accident to prevent more wrecks.
If you are involved in an auto accident that resulted in injury or death, you must report the collision to law enforcement by calling 9-1-1. Note that the guilty party will often resist this suggestion. Why? He or she is at fault and they may even lose their job’s over this CRASH. DON’T FALL FOR IT!
The responding law enforcement officer will assess the scene and write up an accident report that states which party is at fault for the collision and document any injuries or vehicle damage. The officer will also collect witness statements.
If you get the accident report number, we can get the report for you.
Although the police will file an accident report, it is important for you to also collect your own information. This should include:
- The truck driver’s name and contact information
- The truck driver’s license number
- The United States Department of Transportation serial number, if available
- Information about the trucking company that employs the driver or owns the commercial truck
The trucking company or driver’s insurance carrier
WITHOUT THIS INFORMATION, YOU MAY NOT EVEN HAVE A CASE! Better safe than sorry! If you cannot do it because of injuries, perhaps one of your passengers or even a helpful witness can.
If possible, you should try to collect witness statements yourself. You can write down their statements or ask to take a video of them on your cellphone.
Be sure to also ask a witness for his or her contact information for your attorney to ask them questions at a later date.
Remember, a single picture can be “worth a thousand words.” If possible, you should take detailed photographs of the accident site that depict the parties and vehicles involved. Take photos of your vehicle or any personal property that was damaged, as well as photos of the other party’s vehicle.
Also, take pictures of your injuries before and after you seek medical treatment and even during the healing process.
If you were injured and a doctor has recommended a treatment plan or prescribed you medication, make sure you follow through with it. KNOW THAT YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!
The at-fault party’s insurance company will likely pay close attention to (or even video) everything you do after the accident. If you stop treatment early, an insurance company might believe your injuries were not as bad as you claimed. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS ORDERS.
The at-fault party’s insurer could attempt to use this to reduce your compensation or have your claim denied altogether.
Your health and welfare must be top priority from day one to the settlement of your case.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, it is CRITICAL that you contact an experienced attorney for help with your claim. Don’t talk to insurance companies, their investigators and/or lawyer without your lawyer present “on the phone line” with you.
People on the side of the trucking company are “not on your side” and have their own hidden agenda. THEY WANT YOUR CASE DROPPED OR DISMISSED.
For this reason, you should contact the Injury Law Center, p.c., 586-997-HELP (4357) skilled truck accident attorneys as soon as possible for a free, no obligation review of your claim. We will help you determine which party is at fault for your accident and is liable for the injuries and losses you suffered. AND IT’S FREE!
All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.
We will get you a book immediately and even hand deliver it to your doorstep. (Yes, it is that critical that you get it!) This book is truly a game-changer! CAUTION: Read this book ASAP! You will be glad you did. Personal Service is our Platform!
We speak Spanish!