With an estimate of around USD$750 billion, the trucking industry is hailed as the most reliable goods transporters from manufacturers to consumers across America. This oversized freight usually weighs 25-30 times heavier than regular passenger vehicles, and a collision with one can be catastrophic and highly fatal.
Each year, roughly 470,000 road accidents involving trucks occur in the United States. Truck accidents usually happen due to several avoidable factors such as failure to wear seatbelts, overloading, brake failure, overspeeding, adverse weather conditions, and late-night delivery shifts. These accidents often leave victims with lifelong injuries, severe vehicle damage, and mental trauma.
Accidents happen instantly, and it’s difficult to assess what to do immediately in the aftermath. The immediate step you take after being in a collision is critical to protect yourself physically and legally. It’s also to ensure that the person at-fault will be held responsible for the damages, medical treatment, and other financial losses.
To further address the situation, here are the steps you should follow:
Call The Authorities And Report The Crash
The first step you need to do after the collision is to call the authorities for help. The responders and the police will be immediately summoned to the scene after you call. When the police make an accident report, make sure to get a copy of it. It may not be used as evidence, but it may help authorities with the crucial information it contains.
Here are the pieces of information you should see in a police report:
- Statements from both parties involved
- Witness statement
- Contact information of both parties involved
- Police’s opinion about the accident
- Sketch of the accident scene
Also, the insurance firm that holds the trucking company will do everything to put the pressure and the blame on you instead of the truck driver. If this happens, an experienced attorney will start building strong evidence to make the truck driver, the insurance firm, and the trucking company liable and compensate for your losses. If you’re looking for legal assistance, Luis Guerra accident attorney and others may be able to help.
Engaging in a truck collision may result in catastrophic injuries, so getting immediate medical help is vital. Not all injuries are fatal and extreme. Some injuries may not be easily seen such as internal or other serious injuries that may not immediately show symptoms.
Furthermore, seeking immediate help may prevent your injuries from getting worse. You’ll also receive a proper diagnosis of your condition and a prognosis of its possible effects in the future.
In addition, your medical report will state that your injuries are directly linked to the collision and didn’t happen in a different accident. And failure to get immediate treatment after the accident may stop you from receiving total compensation for your injuries.
Collect All Possible Evidence
Collecting possible evidence is crucial to prove what happened in an accident. By collecting pieces of evidence, you prevent the opposition from falsifying your claims and altering other information. You can take a picture of your injuries, the entire accident scene, the driver’s plate, or the damages done to your vehicle.
If you’re not able to take evidence, have someone else get it for you. Gathering evidence can significantly affect your case’s outcome.
Exchange Information Between Parties
As the law states, you’re obliged to exchange valuable information such as your license number, insurance information and policy number, and personal contact details. Make sure to get all this information to speed up the process of receiving claims.
Furthermore, don’t forget to ask the driver if he’s driving a truck for work. If so, the trucking company should be liable for all the damages.
Check If There Are Witnesses And Get Their Contact Details
Look if there are people around the scene. They’re possible witnesses who could help you with your case. Don’t forget to ask for their contact details so your attorney can contact them later. Ask them if they could provide statements to the police. The information they provide is critical for the investigation since they’re unbiased and can give eyewitness reports. Their testimonies are powerful enough to receive truck accident claims.
Seek Professional And Legal Assistance
If you’re not at fault, you should seek legal help from an experienced personal injury lawyer. With their expertise in the legal field, they’ll help you answer questions regarding the incident.
Moreover, if an insurance company asks you to sign something, don’t sign or do anything unless your lawyer tells you to. Make sure to ask your lawyer before making any unnecessary moves. Any mistake may backfire against you and may prevent you from taking total compensation.
Truck collisions can be deadly, so be extra careful when driving. Before you plug in your keys, examine yourself if you’re in the right state of mind and free from the influence of alcohol. Trucks have a lot of blind spots; be sure to avoid them and make proper distancing a habit.
Also, always seek professional help when you need them. Even if you’re partly at fault, you could still receive up to 50% of the claims. Seek legal assistance to help you with your case and receive fair compensations.