It’s estimated that there are over 500,000 trucking accidents in the United States every year, with around 5,000 each year causing fatalities. If you have been involved in a truck accident, the situation can be frightening, and you may not know what to do next. Here are five steps you must take in the immediate aftermath.
Call the Police
In the seconds that follow your truck accident, you must call 911. Make sure that you are safe and, if possible, remove your vehicle from the road. Once an officer arrives on the scene, they will assess your situation and fill out an accident report. This can be used as evidence in truck accidents cases. You must comply with law enforcement and, when taking your case to court, ask for a copy of the accident report.
Seek Medical Aid
Your health and wellbeing matter more than anything else after a truck accident. Whether you believe you have injuries or not, it’s always best to seek medical treatment. In some cases, injuries may not be visible right away, and you may be dealing with shock or internal injuries. When you see a doctor or nurse, they will provide the treatment you need, and you can use your medical records as evidence in your case. Should you not seek medical aid, this could have an impact on your ability to obtain compensation later down the line.
It’s your job to collect as much evidence as you can both at the scene of the accident and beyond. Only do so if you are uninjured and safe to be out of your vehicle and walking around. There are all kinds of documents which can be used as evidence in your truck accident case, so taking photos, noting down the weather conditions, and using a diary to document your experience is essential. If you’re able to, you should obtain the name, phone number, and insurance company of the other driver involved.
Look for Witnesses
If your truck accident took place on a busy highway, there will likely be many witnesses who saw what happened. This means you can check for witnesses at the scene of the accident. Whether you collect witness statements yourself or leave that up to law enforcement, they too can be used as evidence and strengthen your case.
Hire a Lawyer
Once you’ve collected evidence, the next step is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled truck accident cases. When on the hunt for an attorney, many will fight for your custom, so you need to find a lawyer who knows your situation inside out. All reputable truck accident lawyers will have excellent communication skills and have empathy for your experience and injuries. If you don’t feel comfortable with one lawyer, trust your gut and look elsewhere.
Truck accidents can cause serious and lifelong injuries. Whether you’ve sustained cuts and bruises or something more catastrophic, taking all the steps above will help you on your journey to recovery, and enable you to get the maximum compensation for your injuries.