A truck accident can result in major or even fatal injuries. The process for filing a legal claim for compensation in a truck accident can often be significantly different than in a car accident. A person who is involved in one of these accidents, often an occupant of a smaller vehicle – could become very seriously injured. If you or a loved one has been injured, your immediate need may be medical help.
However, there are several steps you need to take and pitfalls you need to avoid, so your truck accident claim is not jeopardized. There are a number of actions you can take to protect your rights soon after a truck accident.
Call the Police
When you are involved in an accident, including a truck accident, one of the first steps to take is to call 911. This will trigger a response to the scene, which typically includes police and emergency responders. Take this action even if you believe you haven’t suffered any major injuries. This will make sure that a police report is generated. In many cases, police officers will investigate the scene, question witnesses and all those involved in the accident and generate a report, which will often contain the officer’s determination as to what happened and who appeared to be at fault. This information can be extremely valuable should you choose to file a truck accident claim in the future.
Get Prompt Medical Attention
Get a medical evaluation of yourself and your passengers even if you don’t believe you’ve been injured. A number of injuries suffered in truck accidents may not surface right away but may be felt hours or even days after the accident. Do not decline medical attention at the scene. If you have suffered injuries that need immediate attention, go to the emergency room right away. Getting medical attention, care and treatment for your accident-related injuries not only helps put you on the road to recovery but also document the types of injuries you suffered in the accident and the type of treatment you received.
Document Evidence at the Accident Scene
This type of evidence may include photos and videos of the scene; information about the other driver’s name, home address, phone number and email address; insurance company information for others involved; license numbers; name and contact number for the truck driver’s employer and trucking company; and the truck’s license plate number and other identifying information. It would also be a good idea to get contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the truck accident.
Be Careful What You Say
Never acknowledge fault to anyone at the scene. Anything you say can and often will be used against you. It is a good idea to keep a cool head after an accident so that you can avoid saying something that could potentially jeopardize your case. Do report the incident to your auto insurance company as soon as possible. However, you are under no obligation to share all the details. Remember that your insurance company is not a friend. Their goal is often to save money, which means they may use time-tested strategies to minimize the value of your claim. The only person who is on your side after a truck accident is your truck accident lawyer.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is best to avoid posting anything about it on your own social media networks that may indicate your physical or emotional condition or how you think an accident may have happened. Remember, there is no such thing as absolute privacy. What you say on social media can be used against you in court. Even if you delete something, screenshots of the post may exist. It is best to be discreet on social media. Even posts that are unrelated to your accident may be used against you.
Call a Rhode Island Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the most important steps to take after a truck accident is to contact an experienced Rhode Island Truck Accident Lawyer who will advise you about how to proceed with your claim and also educate you about the pitfalls you can avoid. Your truck accident lawyer can help preserve crucial evidence such as the truck’s event data recorder or black box, the driver’s logs, or the truck’s maintenance records, which could all help tell the story of how the accident happened and who was at fault.
The experienced truck accident lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates have helped victims and their families secure maximum compensation for their losses, including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries and pain and suffering. Because a truck accident could involve multiple parties and federal trucking regulations can be complex, it is imperative to contact a lawyer who has successfully handled truck accident cases. Call our office at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.