Trucking accidents can be extremely devastating. The size and power of these vehicles often greatly amplifies the damage to catastrophic levels. However, if you have been in a collision with an 18-wheeler or similar type of vehicle, your actions after the accident will be critical and may end up affecting the compensation you could receive after the incident, and thus the rest of your life.
The moments after a trucking accident will be important, but they can also feel overwhelming. Whether you’ve suffered a minor crash or a severe collision, your life may currently be plunged into chaos and frustration, especially if your injuries are pretty severe. Here are 6 steps you should take after a truck accident to properly document the incident, treat your injuries and increase your chances of getting fair compensation.
- Call the police
Hands down, the first thing you should do after a trucking collision is to call the police. Be sure to notify law enforcement of every detail you can, as the number of people involved in the accident, so they can send out the necessary ambulances.
Even if the crash was minor and no one was injured, this is still the first thing you should do. The police will take care of collecting evidence and documenting the accident. They will also try to determine who was at fault for the wreck. The police report will be a critical tool that you or your truck accident attorney can use further down the road.
- Seek medical attention immediately
Remember, your health is the most important thing. Truck accidents often result in severe injuries, so try to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Even if your injuries appear to be minor, you should keep in mind that many injuries are not noticeable to the naked eye. You could have suffered an extremely severe injury and not even know it until it is too late. Therefore, if you think you don’t need to see a doctor, you might want to reconsider.
Moreover, you should also keep in mind that your doctor’s report will be important throughout your compensation claim. If you don’t document your injuries properly, rest assured that the insurance company will try to discredit your claim and you may end up receiving an insufficient settlement, or nothing at all.
- Document evidence if possible
If your injuries allow, try to collect evidence of the collision while you are at the scene.
Document any damage sustained to your vehicle, and also try to take photos of the damage other vehicles sustained in the accident. Besides, try to take photos of any visible injuries you sustained. Some injuries may change shape over time, so it is important to document them right after they have occurred.
Furthermore, you should try to get all possible information from everyone involved in the accident, and the contact information of any nearby witnesses.
The more details about the accident you can document, the easier your attorney’s job will be, increasing your chances of obtaining adequate compensation.
- Avoid accepting liability
After a trucking accident, be assured that the trucking company’s insurance provider will try to contact you as soon as possible.
Their goal will be to try to exploit your situation to get you to admit that you were partially or fully responsible for the accident. That way, they will be able to save the money they would have to give you as compensation, and you will receive nothing at all.
Don’t fall into their trap, don’t agree to talk to any of their representatives no matter how nice they seem to be.
Also, it’s a good idea to log off from social media until you resolve the situation since it is highly likely that the insurance company will try to use all the photos and information you share against you during settlement negotiations.
- Don’t accept the initial settlement
As a general rule, you should not accept the first offer the insurance company makes you. Remember that their goal is to save money, not for you to get the money you need. Therefore, their first offer will almost always be too low and insufficient to pay for all your medical expenses in the long run.
You are free to listen to their offer but be assured that you can get much more money if you are patient.
- Contact an experienced attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, working with a local trucking accident attorney may be the key to obtaining the maximum compensation available.
The attorney will thoroughly investigate the case, and will aggressively negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to increase your chances of success.
Many trucking accident lawyers in Los Angeles offer free consultations and are always ready to help you, just like C&B Law Group. Feel free to contact them if you have further questions or would like to know the value of your case in minutes.