Accidents involving a large vehicle like a truck pose significant physical and legal ramifications. Collisions of this magnitude result in vehicular damages, collateral damage, even personal injury or death.
However, the best response lies in remaining calm, not letting emotions get the best of you, and keeping in mind these five steps to save lives in the event of a truck accident.
Step 1: Inform Authorities Immediately
Always contact the police and other related local or federal law enforcement agencies. Authorities can immediately file an official report of the accident, which can substantiate your insurance or medical claims post-incident.
If it requires legal action, the details are no longer considered hearsay since authorities have properly documented them to help with your situation.
Step 2: Call 911
When calling for medical help, you can do this simultaneously with step one if you have someone with you who is unharmed. If not, call 911 after contacting the police. Even without physical injuries, such as wounds and scratches, bruises, and skeletal misalignments, they could have occurred due to impact collision.
Paramedics can take down an official medical report of immediate or late-onset afflictions related to the truck accident. Much like an official police report, this document substantiates your claims for insurance, medical, and even damages if it goes to court.
Step 3: Avoid Signing Other Legal Documents
In a truck accident, the logistics company will reach out to the victims through their insurance provider. They do this to extend a settlement offer to avoid lengthy, costly lawsuits that could impact their image.
However, when that happens, we strongly advise you not to sign anything they offer as it could negate your claims for damages, especially in a court of law. Hear out their proposition first and speak about it with your truck accident attorney. They can give you the best counsel concerning your case, particularly if the remuneration offered is not equal to the damages caused.
Step 4: Document Evidence
The amazing thing about this digital age is that citizens can gather their evidence with the flick of their smartphones. Evidence is a visual documentation of the events, so you have visible proof when speaking to authorities.
Photographic evidence you need to document are:
- Damage to your car.
- Physical bruises, cuts, and injuries you and your passengers acquired.
- Damage to the truck.
- Collateral damage to neighboring structures, if applicable.
If the accident happens at night, make sure you turn on the camera’s flash for clearer images.
Make a personal document about the incident on your phone, too. Open your notes and detail exactly what and when it happened as faithful to memory as possible. Interview the driver, police officers, and paramedics to note down technical jargon that may be helpful for your truck accident attorney or a court jury.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Lawyer
As particular as you can be in following steps one to four, a truck accident can leave you emotionally and mentally shaken to represent yourself if it escalates into a legal trial. That is why you need to talk to a legal representative first, particularly a personal injury lawyer or a truck accident attorney, before signing anything.
A personal injury lawyer handles cases of physical damage and accidents and can guide you through the process. They understand the guidelines of the trucking industry, can help you fight for your rights, and prove your case in court.
The Final Verdict
Whether medical or legal, always ensure you have proper documentation of an accident or personal injury incident. Discuss these matters only with the police, paramedics, and your lawyer, never to the other party, to preserve your testimony and build a solid legal case.
Get in touch with Swiney & Bellenger today if you need a truck accident attorney in Birmingham, AL. We are personal injury and worker’s compensation legal representatives who will help you fight for the compensation you need to recover and move on.