Truck accidents are incredibly dangerous, often causing serious, life-changing injuries for victims in passenger vehicles. The crash may have been caused by negligence, which means you could be owed compensation for the damages you suffered.
However, truck accident victims often do not know their actions after the crash can help or hurt their chances of recovering compensation. Taking the steps outlined below can help preserve your claim and possibly give you a better chance of recovering compensation. For help with your claim, contact the experienced Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Anderson & Cummings.
Call the Police
Anytime you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should remain at the scene of the crash and contact law enforcement right away. If someone is injured in the accident, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, call your local law enforcement agency.
After you contact authorities, a law enforcement officer will arrive at the scene of the accident and complete a cursory investigation. He or she will talk to you, the other driver and any witnesses. He or she will also complete an accident report that may contain important details about your accident. Request a copy of this report and keep it for your records.
It is important to exchange information with the truck driver at the scene of the accident. If you do not get this information, it may be difficult to make a claim or track down the responsible party. Request the following information at the scene:
- The truck driver’s name, address, driver’s license number and phone number
- The trucking company’s name
- The driver’s insurance company and policy number
- The license plate number and any other identifying names or numbers
- The driver’s employer’s name, address and phone number
- The vehicle’s Department of Transportation license number
It is important to seek medical attention after a truck accident, whether it is obvious you were injured or not. You may have sustained an injury and not be aware of it, such as whiplash. Failing to see a medical provider may prevent you from properly documenting your injuries, which can make it difficult to prove that you were injured in the accident and can make it more difficult for you to seek compensation for these injuries later.
Find and Collect Evidence
By the time you contact a lawyer, important evidence may be swept away. If you are able, try to find and collect the following evidence to document the accident scene:
- Gather as much information as possible – If there were any witnesses at the accident scene, ask for their names, phone numbers and addresses. It can be difficult to track down eyewitnesses after the accident, so it is important to get this information as quickly as possible.
- Take pictures of the accident scene – Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the truck, skid marks, the condition of the truck’s tires, any property that was damaged and any debris on the roadway.
- Take pictures of your injuries – Take photos of your injuries immediately after the accident and as they progress. Your accident claim may not be finalized for some time after your injuries have healed, so these pictures are an important record of your suffering.
Watch What You Say
Be careful about what you say to any insurance adjuster who contacts you. Insurance adjusters look out for the interests of the insurance company because they can use anything you say against you. Avoid talking to anyone representing the trucking company, including its insurance provider. It is better that you seek assistance from an attorney who can handle these communications on your behalf. You should also avoid making a recorded or written statement if you are asked. You should strongly consider talking to a lawyer before signing anything.
Contact a Lawyer
One of the most important steps you can take after a truck accident is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney. There are many complex legal principles involved with truck accidents and you will likely need the help of an attorney. The trucking company will most likely have a specialized attorney trying to minimize its liability, so you should have an advocate on your side to level the playing field.
Our accomplished Fort Worth personal injury attorneys have recovered fair compensation for many injury victims. We can take the necessary steps to conduct an investigation, preserve evidence and handle communication with the insurance company. We can discuss your legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation. We charge no fees or costs unless you receive compensation.
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