A trucking accident can have a lasting impact, even if your injuries are not life-threatening. Although you may consider yourself lucky if you can walk away from a trucking accident, you must ensure you take the right steps afterward to preserve your rights and legal options.
Contact The Authorities
The first few minutes after an accident are often filled with shock and panic. However, it is essential to remain as calm as possible so you can think clearly about your next steps. Begin by contacting emergency services and assessing the condition of all parties involved.
Call 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance if anyone is injured. Follow any instructions the operator gives you about positioning or helping other victims to minimize injuries wherever possible.
Ensure the police are aware of the crash so they can document evidence as early as possible. This can provide important information about the conditions at the time of the crash and point to who may be at fault.
Seek Medical Assistance
Even if you believe you were not injured in the accident, seeking medical attention is still a good idea. In many accidents, injured individuals do not notice any problems at first because of the adrenaline rush that occurs immediately afterward. Once this wears off, however, you may notice pain and injuries that need immediate attention.
Even if you feel okay, you may be experiencing a problem like internal bleeding that is difficult to detect without a doctor’s help. Moreover, your doctor’s records may prove useful if you were not at fault in the accident and need to seek damages later.
Gather Information About Witnesses
Talk to everyone around you at the accident scene who may have been involved or witnessed what happened, and ask for their contact information. You should also ensure the officers at the scene talk to each witness.
Before leaving the scene, do your best to document as much as possible. Take photographs of the vehicles involved and the surroundings from multiple angles. Be sure you take pictures of the road signs, the street, the weather conditions, and anything else that seems relevant. You should also ask witnesses to provide you with any photos or video footage they may have taken at the scene.
Choose Your Words Carefully
It can be difficult to moderate what you say in the rush of emotions following an accident, but remember that your words could be used against you in court. Even if you are not at fault, it is important to avoid being hostile or directing anger toward other parties.
You should also avoid admitting fault. Even if you believe that you may have caused or contributed to the accident, it is best to avoid saying anything to that effect at the scene. Lying is never a good idea, but you should let the evidence speak for itself. Take care not to apologize to anyone; this may later be construed as an admission of fault.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Let your insurance company know about the accident right away. Stick to the facts, and choose your words carefully. Remember that the agent you speak to is working to protect their company, not you. If you are contacted by the other party’s insurance company, direct them to your attorney or insurer.
Fill Out A Preliminary Accident Report
Fill out a preliminary accident report while the details are still fresh in your mind. Accident reports serve a crucial function in truck accident cases as they help to establish the facts surrounding what occurred.
They will contain details such as the date, location, and time of the accident, along with the road and weather conditions. The report should also include an estimated speed of the vehicles traveling during the accident and any other relevant information.
Be sure to draw a detailed diagram of the accident, including the positions of all vehicles involved and the directions in which they traveled. The report should also contain a list of the other drivers involved, along with their driver’s license numbers and the states in which their licenses were issued.
Do Not Discuss Your Accident On Social Media
Avoid posting about the accident on social media, even if your accounts are private. The messages, photos, and videos you post online could hurt your case, even if they seem harmless.
Anything indicating your emotional or physical state following the accident or assumptions you have made about how it happened could compromise your case.
Contact An Experienced California Trucking Accident Attorney
Trucking accidents are very complex, and you need experienced legal professionals. At Lehr Law, APC, we can help you navigate this complicated area of the law and pursue a settlement that covers your medical treatment and lost wages. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.