What Should I Do if I Am Involved in a Truck Accident?March 22, 2022
Car accidents are bad enough. You could end up with a severely damaged car and serious personal injury. Getting into a truck accident only magnifies the potential damage to your vehicle and the severity of your injuries.
Because commercial trucks weigh nearly 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, the damage they can cause in even slow speed crashes can be deadly. When victims of truck accidents survive, they may be left with life-altering injuries and unsure of where to turn next. Here is a guide to help you figure out your next steps after being involved in a truck accident.
After any accident, calling 911 is useful for two main reasons: emergency medical personnel rush to the accident scene, and the police come to document the accident. Having emergency medical personnel evaluate you at the accident scene is crucial to ensuring your injuries get the medical attention they need right away. You may even need to be transported to the hospital for further medical care. Without this prompt medical attention, your injuries could be even worse.
Calling 911 will also send police to document the accident. They will speak with witnesses, the truck driver, you, and anyone else who can provide relevant information. They will compile this information in their police accident report. Although the officers may not assign fault in their report, their objective documentation of the accident may prove valuable to your legal team when they need to show the truck driver was to blame for the accident.
Take Pictures and Video
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to complete this step alone. Ask a trusted friend or family member to help you.
Getting pictures and video of the collision can provide valuable evidence of what happened. Make sure you get images and video of the entire accident scene, all vehicles involved, and your injuries. This will help your legal team show the severity of your injuries and the impact those injuries have had on your life.
Get the Truck Driver’s Information
As with any vehicle accident, you should exchange information. This is even more critical in a truck accident because both the driver and their employer could be to blame.
Make sure you get the truck driver’s insurance information but also get their employer’s information. Your legal team may need these details later to help you recover compensation.
Speak with Witnesses
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to do this step without assistance. You will want to speak with witnesses to understand what they saw. Witnesses can often provide useful information about the seconds leading up to your accident that can conclusively prove the truck driver was at fault.
The police will speak with witnesses when they compile information for their accident report. But you want to speak with them as well, at least getting their contact information. Your legal team will want to speak with them as soon as possible after the accident to record their statement about what they saw.
See Your Doctor
Even if you are taken to the hospital, it is a good idea to see your regular physician after your truck accident. No one knows your body better than your doctor, and they can help you chart a path toward recovery.
Your doctor’s notes and medical records will also be vital to ensuring that you get the compensation you need after your accident. The medical records will show how your body has changed since the accident, what procedures and hurdles you have had to endure, and how your overall life has changed since the accident. These medical records can paint a clear picture of why you should be compensated for the injuries you have suffered in the truck accident.
Call Your Insurance Company
Whenever you are in a car accident, you should let your insurance company know. However, you should not give them a recorded statement.
You might think that your insurance company is looking out for your best interests. They are not. They are only concerned about their profits, so although it is their job to battle the truck driver’s insurance company, they may settle your case for less than it is worth simply to save money.
Do Not Give a Statement to the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company
Soon after your truck accident, the truck driver’s insurance company may call you. Do not speak with them. They are most certainly not on your side.
They are going to try and get you to say something that would make it seem like the accident was in some way your fault. If they are successful, they may have a legitimate reason to deny your claim. They may also try to offer you a quick settlement, in the hopes that you take the offer without realizing it is far too little money to cover all your expenses related to your truck accident.
Keep a Personal Injury Journal
Sometimes, the best evidence of your accident, injuries, and how your life has been affected comes in your own words. If you are able, starting the day of your truck accident, write in a journal. Every single day, keep notes about how you are feeling, the pain you endure, what you can and cannot do, and generally how your life has been affected. Do not forget to include details about your mental state and how your injuries have impacted your relationships.
Keeping these notes might seem trivial. But they can prove invaluable to show just how severely your life has changed as a result of someone else’s negligence. When you have these notes written daily, you also ensure you do not forget any of the hurdles you faced. Over time, you will not remember all the pain and medical procedures you had to endure. Keeping a journal helps retain all that crucial evidence.
Speak with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
When you are injured in a truck accident, you need an aggressive legal advocate on your side. Although filing a lawsuit, you should call a lawyer soon. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that witnesses forget what they saw and evidence goes missing.
Your lawyer will have your best interests in mind. And they will be able to fight for full and fair compensation while you tend to your injuries and your recovery.
Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
Too often, truck accident victims do not realize the vast amount of money they will need to recover to ensure they do not pay a dime out of their own pocket. The truck driver’s insurance company knows this and may try to take advantage of you in this situation. They may offer you a quick settlement, tell you that you do not need a lawyer, and that a lawyer will only take money out of this offer because their offer will not go up.
To be blunt, they are lying to you. In the vast majority of cases, a lawyer advocating for you will actually increase the amount of money you collect. This will help keep you financially stable with an uncertain physical future.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Clients Get Justice after a Truck Accident
Getting into an accident with a truck is terrifying. They are massive vehicles that can cause catastrophic injuries to you or a loved one. If you have been involved in a truck accident and you are not sure what to do next, speak with the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our experienced legal team can help to hold liable parties accountable for injuries and damages. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.