Although research suggests that truck drivers are far more careful than standard vehicle owners, truck accidents accounted for over 13.49 fatal cases per million people in 2020. While such concerning statistics can be attributed to their size, there is no denying that truck accidents can be highly devastating.
That is why knowing what to do when involved in a truck accident is essential. Not only can taking the correct steps protect your rights, but it can also ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. This article provides an overview of the immediate steps you must take when involved in a truck accident.
Do Not Flee The Site
Irrespective of whether your negligence contributed to the accident, you must not flee the site after the crash. This is especially true if you suspect you may have contributed to the accident. Leaving the crash site when liability is unclear can put you at risk of being charged with a hit-and-run. Instead, pull your vehicle to the side of the road to keep the traffic going.
Contact The Police
The next step is to call the police. Reporting an accident to the police is mandated by the law. The only time when you can consider opting out of filing a police report is if the damage is minimal and no injuries are sustained. However, even in such scenarios contacting the local police is recommended. A police report and legal record are significant evidence in case any involved party decides to press charges.
Seek Medical Treatment
Once you have informed law enforcement, pay close attention to any injuries you or your fellow passengers may have sustained. While seeking medical attention in cases of severe injuries is common, most people tend to ignore mild or moderate injuries.
This can prove dangerous, considering that most injury symptoms may take a while to manifest. Since the impact from a truck accident can be pretty substantial, do not take your health lightly and seek medical assistance immediately. Getting medical attention ensures you are examined for all threats and have a medical record as evidence if needed.
Truck accidents have a reputation for being complex and complicated. Most trucks on the road are commercial vehicles operating under large corporations and organizations. If you plan to file an injury claim, you will likely go up against industry giants. To ensure you receive fair compensation, gathering any evidence you may have access to is essential.
This could include photos of the damaged vehicle, video recordings of the accident site, and testimonies from witnesses. Also, take notes and recount how the accident occurred for future use. If possible, make a note of the driver’s name and insurance details.
Contact A Local Lawyer
Trucking companies are infamous for manipulating facts and offering low-ball settlement offers. You can expect a call from the trucking company’s lawyer and insurance provider to discuss the accident and the damages incurred soon after the accident. Remember not to sign or converse with insurance providers without the assistance of a lawyer.
Legal experts have the tools and knowledge to identify poor settlement offers and strategies. They can guide you through adequately answering questions and avoiding sabotaging your case. Also, only hire a lawyer familiar with local laws and state regulations. For instance, contact a San Francisco-based truck accident attorney to protect your rights if the accident occurred in San Francisco.
If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident, you’d want to seek fair compensation for your damages. However, without taking proper steps, even prescribed legal remedies may fall short of bringing you justice. Having a rough idea of what to do in a truck accident can protect your rights if you decide to take legal action.