According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accidents involving large trucks (i.e. medium and heavy trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating above 10,000 pounds) have caused 3,903 casualties and about 111,000 injuries in 2014. Although there were slightly fewer deaths in 2014 than there were in 2013 (78 fewer casualties, to be exact), the number of injuries did increase by about 20,000. Police reports reveal that about 438,000 large trucks were involved in crashes. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, what do you need to do? Here are 5 things you need to do immediately in the aftermath of a truck accident:
1. Get Yourself and Your Passengers Out Of Harm’s Way.
The California Personal Injury Attorneys at The Law Offices Of Nadrich & Cohen note that the number one priority following a trucking accident is to get you and your passengers to a place of safety. This means, pulling the car to the nearest shoulder if the vehicle is operable and you can safely do so.
2. Call 911.
Of course, the first thing you need to do is to call 911 so you can report the accident and seek medical attention. File an accident report once the police shows on the scene of the accident, which you will later on need when filing a personal injury claim.
After filing an accident report, make sure that every passenger of your vehicle undergoes a thorough medical examination even if you don’t show any visible injuries. (Medical costs will be covered by your insurance or the negligent party through your personal injury claim.) You want tests performed because you may have gotten internal injuries that will only show symptoms a few days after the accident. By seeking medical attention, you can get immediate treatment for any injuries, internal or external, that you have acquired from the crash.
3. Collect evidence from the scene of the accident.
To make your case stronger, you can collect evidence from the scene of the accident. You can do this by taking photos of the crash from different angles, talking to witnesses, keeping copies of your medical record and police report, etcetera. These evidences will be useful once you file a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
4. Contact your insurance provider.
Reporting the accident to yourinsurance provider as soon as possible is also of importance. However, remember to stick to the facts of the accident (e.g. when and where the accident took place, the injuries and damages you have acquired, the name of the driver and the plate number of the truck, etcetera) and avoid informing them of any negligence or fault on your part. When discussing a settlement with your insurance provider, make sure to have your lawyer present and that you have their advice before signing any agreements.
5. Contact your lawyer.
A Los Angeles semi-truck accident lawyer like Fisher & Talwar will help you with any legal processes involving the crash. These processes include reaching a settlement with your insurance provider and filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. They will also employ experts to conduct thorough inspections so you can strengthen your claim. Therefore, remember to contact your lawyer as soon as possible, preferably right after you call 911.
Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries and casualties. In order to protect yourself and the passengers in your vehicle, follow these 4 steps in the aftermath of a truck accident.