Crucial Steps to Take Following a Truck Accident to Strengthen Your Right to Compensation
When you've suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident, it's imperative to build your claim for compensation right away. If at all possible, start collecting information at the scene of your crash to prove the truck driver’s negligence. The actions you take right after the wreck and in the days and weeks that follow will have an impact on your ability to obtain the settlement that you deserve.
Crucial Steps to Take After a Large Truck Wreck
You want to do everything you can to make your claim as strong as possible. These are some of the critical first steps to take if a negligent trucker causes your accident:
- Pull over. If it's safe to do so, move off the road and turn on your emergency lights.
- Contact police. At the accident scene, call 911. An officer will investigate your accident, make a determination as to its cause, and issue traffic citations. In addition, the police report will contain helpful information for your claim regarding the trucker, his insurance company, and potential witnesses. You should obtain a copy of the police report because you'll need it when you file your claim.
- Obtain contact information. You want to obtain contact information for the driver, the trucking company that employs him, and their insurance companies. In addition, you shouldn't rely on the police to obtain contact information for witnesses. Get this information yourself to ensure it's not lost.
- Take pictures. Record the accident scene, damage to the truck and any vehicles involved in the wreck, your injuries, weather and road conditions, and any other information you believe could be helpful. These photos can be persuasive in negotiating your settlement or supporting your case if it goes to trial.
- Seek prompt medical care. Even if you don't think you were injured, you want to have a doctor's examination soon after your accident. By getting immediate medical care, you document the link between your injuries and the accident, and also avoid a hidden condition turning into a more serious medical emergency.
- Save your clothes. Torn or bloodied clothes can be powerful evidence to show the jury if your case goes to trial.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance contract may require you to report a crash, even if you don't plan to file a claim with it. Reporting the accident right away also preserves your right to file an insurance claim if you need additional support.
- Retain an attorney. You need to hire an experienced truck accident attorney who has handled other claims like this. He will understand the state and federal laws governing truckers and trucking companies and the unique challenges in these cases. He can help you help you file your claim, build a strong case, and negotiate your settlement.
Were you or a loved one injured in a serious collision caused by a negligent trucker? Start an online chat today to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you.