What Should I Do After a Trucking Accident?
Trucking accidents can result in serious injuries. These injuries can impact all aspects of your life.
While medical bills can be incredibly expensive, they often pale in comparison to the other financial and non-financial costs of a serious collision. As a result, it is important to do everything you can to protect your health and your legal rights following a trucking accident.
Of course, this can be easier said than done. Finding a good doctor can be difficult, and the insurance companies will be doing everything they can to avoid paying you just compensation. With this in mind, our Orlando trucking accident lawyers offer the following tips for protecting yourself after a collision with an 18-wheeler:
7 Tips for Protecting Yourself After a Serious Trucking Accident
1. Seek Medical Attention Promptly
After a serious trucking accident, getting treatment for your injuries should be your first priority. Given the severity of injuries common in truck accidents, you may be transported directly to the emergency room.
The key is to make sure you receive a thorough and accurate diagnosis. After a complete assessment of your injuries, you should follow your doctor’s advice concerning treatment, rest, rehabilitation, and more.
2. Report the Accident
You should report the accident to your insurance company promptly. If you were working at the time of the collision, you should also report the accident to your employer. In the latter scenario, notifying your employer is a requirement for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
You are also required to report the accident to the police. (Although you only have to file a written report if the police did not conduct an investigation at the scene of the crash.)
3. Take Notes and Keep Any Evidence You Have
As soon as possible, you should take detailed notes about the accident. Write down everything you can remember, including details about:
- The location of the accident
- The road, traffic, and weather conditions
- The location and extent of the damage to each vehicle involved in the collision
- Whether the driver who hit you was speeding, ran a red light or stop sign, or turned or merged improperly
- Whether the driver who hit you appeared to be distracted, tired, or impaired
- Any other information that may be relevant to the cause of the trucking accident
You should be sure to keep any evidence you have as well. This includes any photos and videos you took with your phone, the truck driver’s vehicle and insurance information, and any damaged personal items.
4. Avoid Discussing the Trucking Accident
While you may want to talk about the accident with your friends and family or post pictures online, right now you should avoid discussing the accident with anyone except your attorney. You don’t want the insurance companies to call your loved ones as witnesses against you, and you don’t want to inadvertently post something that could jeopardize your claim for just compensation.
5. Learn About Your Legal Rights
There are some important differences between car accidents and truck accidents. Notably, seeking compensation for a trucking accident is much different from pursuing compensation for an “ordinary” vehicle collision.
Whereas the majority of car accident claims involve taking legal action against the other driver (and typically no one else), multiple parties may be liable for a trucking accident. You may have more than one option for recovering damages, but you are unlikely to be aware of these options without talking to a lawyer.
6. Start Documenting Your Accident-Related Losses
In order to recover fair compensation for your trucking accident losses, you will need to be able to prove how much you are entitled to recover. With this in mind, you should start documenting the damages related to the accident and your injuries. Steps you should take as part of this process include:
- Start a file where you keep all of your medical records, bills, and explanation of benefits statements for medical care related to the accident
- Start a separate file where you keep employment records, letters from the insurance companies, and any other documents you receive
- Start a daily journal where you document your pain levels and the other day-to-day effects of your accident-related injuries
7. Talk to a Trucking Accident Attorney
One of the most important things you can do after being seriously injured in a truck accident is to consult with an experienced attorney. A lawyer can deal with the insurance companies for you, file all available claims on your behalf, and pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Contact a Trucking Accident Attorney Today
Although any type of motor vehicle crash can be overwhelming, truck accidents are uniquely complicated. The high likelihood of serious injuries and extensive damages combined with issues of complex liability can make it difficult for victims to know where to turn and what to do.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter can help. Please call (407) 712-7300 today for a free case evaluation. Our trucking accident attorneys serve clients in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and throughout Florida.