What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Dec 21, 2017 in Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can happen in an instant. Accident victims are often very confused and scared after being hit by such a large vehicle. Serious injuries often result. However, knowing how to respond to a truck accident can help you protect your rights.
The well-respected South Bend truck accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak have more than 100 years of combined legal experience that we use to help truck accident victims receive the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. We are dedicated to helping you understand the steps to take after a truck accident, including the actions below.
Call (844) 678-1800 now for a free case evaluation.
Stop your vehicle in a safe location, preferably out of the roadway to avoid further damage and injuries. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists of possible hazards.
Call 911 and tell them where you are, and answer any questions they ask you. They will likely send police and fire department vehicles to the scene of your accident, so sit in your car and wait for them to arrive.
Tell the Police What Happened
Even if you think that the damage is not that bad or if the truck driver assures you that he or she will take care of any damages, it is critical to report the accident to the authorities in order to support any later claim.
A law enforcement officer may initiate an investigation to determine how the accident happened. He or she may include important conclusions on the accident report. The report may indicate who the law enforcement officer believes is responsible for the accident.
Gather Information at the Scene of the Accident
It is important that you collect information from the truck driver, including:
- The driver’s name and contact information
- The driver’s license number
- The driver’s insurance carrier
- Information about the trucking company that employs the truck driver
- The name of the trucking company that may be displayed on the truck
- The United States Department of Transportation number, if applicable
If any witnesses saw the accident and stopped, get their names and contact information as well. Objective witnesses can be valuable during claims because they are neutral parties.
Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident, including:
- Posted traffic signals and signs
- Street names
- Damage to your vehicle
- Damage to the commercial truck
- Skid marks
- Condition of the truck’s tires or cargo, if this could have affected the accident
- Your injuries
It is also in your best interest to continue taking pictures of your injuries as they develop and heal.
Seek Medical Treatment
Sometimes the adrenaline that accident victims experience may mask the injuries that they have sustained. Therefore, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident to determine if you have sustained injuries, and to document a link between your injuries and the accident.
Failing to seek medical treatment in a timely manner can adversely affect your ability to recover maximum compensation for the injuries that you sustained. It is also important to follow your doctor’s orders so the insurance company cannot deny your claim on that basis.
Keep careful documentation of all aspects of your claim, and share this information with your personal injury lawyer. Write down what you remember about the accident. Include notes about your injuries and the symptoms that you have experienced, including the intensity of pain.
Only Talk to Your Lawyer
Your truck accident attorney can take steps to protect your legal rights. You should only communicate with him or her about the accident; avoid giving a recorded statement to the insurance company. Your lawyer can handle communications with the insurance company after you hire him or her.
Insurance adjusters are paid by insurance companies to minimize their payouts. They are trained to find information to use against you. Do not make any apologies at the scene of the accident or discuss liability. A lawyer can help make the legal determination and argument regarding liability.
Contact a South Bend Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are dedicated to helping truck accident victims recover maximum compensation for the injuries they sustain. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so you can learn about your legal rights and the options available for recovering from your injuries.
We can gather information and conduct an investigation to determine which parties may be liable for your truck accident. We can then help you recover the compensation you need and deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Because we work on contingency, you only pay us if we can help you recover compensation for your case. There are no upfront fees or costs, and there is no risk to you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.