Being involved in a truck accident is a scary situation that can leave you at a loss for what to do next.
Because these accidents can be complex and often involve many factors and many parties, it is often in your best interest to seek help from a trusted Silver Spring truck accident lawyer who can guide you through the entire process.
Following these steps can also help protect your rights following a crash with a commercial vehicle.
1. Stop and Report the Crash
Anyone who is involved in a vehicle accident must remain at the scene of the crash. Make sure you are safe, and remove your car from the road, if possible. Make sure other drivers can see your car by turning on your hazard lights, putting cones around your vehicle and lighting road flares, if possible. This will help prevent another accident.
If someone is injured or has died in the accident, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, call the police or state highway patrol. Once an officer arrives, he or she will assess the situation, fill out an accident report, and instruct you on what your next actions should be. Request a copy of the accident report to keep for your records and to present as evidence if you need to go to court over the accident.
2. Seek Medical Treatment
It is important to seek medical attention after an accident, whether you are obviously injured or not. Your adrenaline could prevent you from feeling pain or noticing an injury. If you do not receive treatment at the scene of the crash or are not immediately transported to the hospital, visit your doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Let a medical professional check you and determine if you need any care.
If you do not seek medical treatment or follow through with treatment recommendations, it could interfere with your ability to seek compensation for injuries later.
3. Identify Other Parties Involved
Try to find any identifying marks or signs on the truck and other vehicles involved in the accident. While the truck driver may be at fault, the company he or she is driving for may also be liable for your injuries and damage to your vehicle. This information is important for making sure all potentially liable parties are held responsible for their role in causing the accident.
4. Exchange Information with the Other Party
It is important to exchange information with the other party while at the scene of the crash. Once the other party leaves the scene of the accident, it can be hard to track them down. Even if you have their name or the truck’s company name, contacting them can be difficult. Getting their contact information will make things easier if you choose to seek compensation.
Make sure to document the:
- Driver’s name, address, phone number and email address
- Driver’s insurance company and policy information
- Driver’s license number for the driver of the truck
- Name and contact information for the truck driver’s employer
5. Check for Witnesses
You should always check for witnesses at or near the scene of the accident. You can collect a witness statement yourself or just ask for their contact information in case more details about the accident are needed. These witnesses may be called upon to testify in your case. You can also check the accident report to see if the responding officer interviewed any witnesses you may have missed.
6. Document the Accident
Take photos of the accident with your phone or a camera. These photos can be used as evidence to prove who was at fault for the accident, the severity of your injuries, the amount of damage to your vehicle, and any other necessary information. It is hard to argue with photographic evidence, and photos can be used to make sense of an accident and determine exactly how it happened.
If you were injured in the accident, take photos of your injuries, as well. You could also record your recovery with photos or a journal. This shows how severe your injuries were and how long it took you to recover from them. This type of evidence can help determine the amount of compensation you receive.
7. Speak Wisely
After the accident, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster. You need to be very careful what you say to the adjuster because they can use anything you say against you. It is best to speak with an attorney before talking to the insurance adjuster. Your attorney can advise you on what you should and should not say. If the adjuster asks for a recorded or written statement, decline until you have spoken with your attorney. You are required to cooperate with the insurance company, but you are not required to give a statement.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you believe you are entitled to compensation for injuries or damages that were the result of a truck accident, contact a trusted attorney to get the justice you deserve. The attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are dedicated to helping victims of truck accidents get the compensation they deserve.
If you are suffering from an injury or dealing with a damaged vehicle, you already have enough on your mind. Get a free consultation with no obligation. Learn about your options and put your trust in an experienced truck accident attorney who wants to help you recover physically and financially from your truck accident.