What to Do After a Truck Accident
A typical car crash is already a jarring experience, with the potential for causing significant property damage, serious injury, or worse. Accidents involving large tractor-trailer trucks are likely to be even more severe, on average, given the sheer size of the vehicles involved and the likelihood of flying debris, dangerous chemical spills, or other hazards created by the truck’s haul. Large truck crashes are also more likely to involve multiple responsible parties, including the truck driver, the freight company, and the truck manufacturer, among others. If you have been involved in a crash with a large truck, there are a few steps you can take to strengthen your case and increase the likelihood that a responsible party will compensate you for any property damage or injury. Read on for tips for what to do after a large truck accident, and reach out to a knowledgeable Pasadena truck accident lawyer with additional questions or for help after a southern California traffic accident.
Stop, Exchange Information With the Other Party, and Report the Crash
If you were involved in a traffic accident, especially if anyone was injured or serious property damage occurred, you must stop. Get your car out of the middle of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and exchange contact and insurance information with the other party. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, call the police or state troopers to report the incident. They will likely send an officer out to assess the situation and advise you on next steps. Fill out an accident report (and request a copy for your records).
Even before the police arrive, collect information from the other party. Get their name, address, and insurance information (insurer name and policy number), get the truck’s driver’s license number, and get the contact information for the truck driver’s employer. If you leave the scene without this information, it is much more difficult to find the at-fault driver after the fact.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you have been injured, seek medical care as soon as you can. Even if the injury seems minor, it is important to get checked for any possible latent injuries such as a concussion or internal bleeding. This will help you avoid any additional complications and will also help your eventual legal claims by tying any injuries directly to the car crash.
Look for Witnesses
If anyone else was nearby the accident, including pedestrians or other drivers, you could ask them for a statement at the time or for their contact information so you can reach out to them later. The police will also want to interview them. You may need those witnesses to testify as part of an eventual legal claim.
Collect Evidence, Photos, Reports, etc..
As mentioned, keep copies of any report filed with or by the police. Take photos of the accident at the scene, documenting the damage to both vehicles, your injuries, and the surrounding circumstances. Note if there are any security cameras or traffic cameras that may have captured the accident. Keep copies of any paperwork you receive relating to the claim, including anything from the insurance company, your medical reports and medical bills, anything from your employer relating to your injury or disability, and anything else connected with the crash.
Avoid Repairs Until the Damage is Appraised
You may be tempted to get your car fixed as soon as possible, especially if you need it for commuting to work, driving your kids around, etc. It is important to leave the car as it is until an insurance appraiser conducts a review. You want either your insurance company or the other driver’s to cover the cost of any repairs, and you want the precise cost documented to support your legal claims.
While you should be frank and honest with law enforcement upon reporting an accident, it is important to speak carefully. Even simple social norms such as apologizing to the other driver may be used against you in court, used as evidence of your fault or otherwise to weaken your claim. Limit yourself to the facts, and take care with how those facts are colored.
Get a Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can involve significant property damage, serious injury, and complicated matters of fault and responsibility. The trucking company will hire a specialized accident attorney to minimize their liability, and you need someone on your side to keep them from escaping the damages that you are owed. To maximize your coverage and your potential claims, it is vital that you retain an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you with your case.
Call Pasadena Truck Accident Lawyer Andrew Ritholz
If you’ve been injured in a California truck accident, consult with an attorney who understands your rights and can represent your claim for damages thoroughly and expertly. Contact Pasadena truck accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.