Being in a trucking accident can be a scary experience. Knowing what to do if you get into one can save you time, energy, and hassle in the future. It may also impact how much compensation you get, if any. Even just one misstep could have significant repercussions, but following the proper steps can make a substantial positive difference.
Move Off to the Side
If you get into a trucking accident, chances are you likely will not be able to move your car off the roadway, especially if the accident involves an 18-wheeler. However, never stay in the vehicle if it is on the road, and you cannot move it. Move off the roadway to protect yourself, and make sure you are far away from your vehicle in case another car comes along and accidentally hits it and moves it in your direction. Do not go back to your car to retrieve any belongings.
You need to call 911 after getting into a trucking accident. This emergency response will be invaluable in multiple ways, the most important being that you can get checked by medical personnel to ensure you are okay. Any information involved in the 911 call and after may be part of your trucking accident legal case.
Take Pictures and Video
Do not leave it up to anyone else on the scene to take suitable videos and photos. Take as many videos and pictures of the trucking accident scene as possible. It can be an excellent way to protect yourself, especially if the truck driver says the accident was your fault when you know it was not.
Regain Your Composure While Waiting
Regain your composure before calling 911 and law enforcement and medical personnel arrive. You do not want anyone to hear you say something – or especially have it recorded – that you said in the heat of the moment or an instance of upset. Take deep breaths, try thinking clearly, and do not say more than you must. You have just been through a traumatic experience and need to be patient with yourself.
Swap Info With the Truck Driver and Witnesses
You do not want to be ushered off by medical personnel or have anyone leave the scene before you can exchange names and phone numbers with them. It is not just about the truck driver but also about any witnesses and/or anyone who stops to help you but did not see the accident happen. Keep the information for yourself and also give it to law enforcement.
Do Not Diminish Your Pain
After getting into a trucking accident is not the time to diminish your pain. As previously mentioned, anything you say can become part of a trucking accident case in the future. If you claim that you are okay, that nothing hurts, or that nothing is wrong besides a few bumps and bruises, it could be problematic if your condition worsens after your statements. You certainly do not want to embellish your injuries and make them seem worse than they are, but you also do not want to diminish your injuries and level of pain.
Accept Medical Treatment
Let medical personnel evaluate you when they arrive at the trucking accident scene, even if you feel like nothing is wrong. You may have injuries you are not yet aware of, such as a concussion, that could cause severe issues if left untreated. Regardless of whether or not you feel fine, take extra care of yourself after the accident anyway.
Your refusal to accept medical treatment after a trucking accident may show as an indication that nothing was medically wrong with you, and you felt completely fine. After medical personnel evaluate you, you could later have your personal injury attorney use their report, along with the records from the hospital, as part of your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
One of the most important things you can do is contact a personal injury attorney following a trucking accident. It is vital even before you contact your insurance company and take your car to get checked. They can advise you on what you should and should not say and do that may inadvertently negatively impact your case going forward. Depending on the situation, they may want to contact your insurance company and mechanic on your behalf or have you call while they are in the room with you.
It is ideal to have at least a few personal injury firms in mind that can handle various cases, including vehicle accidents. If the time comes when you need to hire one, unfortunately, you have a high-quality one in mind to call who you have already researched.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company is going to need to know about your trucking accident. Follow the steps that your personal injury attorney gives you so you can give them all the accurate information they need without overdoing it with all the extra details they do not need.
Bring Your Car to a Mechanic
Unless your car becomes a total loss to the point where you know there is no fixing it, you will have to bring it to a mechanic. Let them give you a detailed breakdown of what needs fixing and how much it will cost, then run it by your personal injury attorney before you commit to doing anything.
When looking for an Allentown trucking accident lawyer, choose one with experience in that area of law and an excellent reputation. You deserve the best personal injury attorney who will do everything they can to help you win your trucking accident case.