Follow this advice to increase your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries.
There are more large trucks on the road than ever before, moving goods across the country. With the increase in the number of big rigs on the road comes an increase in the number of truck accidents — with nearly 500,000 truck accidents occurring in the United States each year. 5,000 of these accidents result in a fatality — up to 1 in 8 fatal accidents in the U.S. involve a semi truck.
Trucks are not going anywhere anytime soon; they’re the most cost-efficient way to move products around the country. Being involved in a truck accident can be incredibly traumatic, even if the crash doesn’t involve a fatality. Learn what you should do after a truck accident to maximize your chances of recovery from experienced Riverside truck accident attorneys.
Of course, the first thing that you should do is make sure that everyone is OK. If you are able, take these next steps to protect your ability to get compensation for the accident.
File A Report
After an accident involving a big rig, there is a good chance that a passerby or witness will call 911 for you. However, if the crash happened on an isolated road or at an odd time of day, it is possible that nobody will call the police to the scene. In this situation, make sure that you call 911 to report the accident to the authorities. You can also call your insurance company to let them know that you were involved in an accident involving a semi truck.
Get Medical Care
The most important thing after any type of accident is ensuring that you and all of your passengers are not physically harmed. Remember to not move anyone who has been hurt; doing so can cause further injuries to them.
If you require medical attention, make sure to seek it as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you are not obviously injured, there may be some hidden injuries that will cause problems in the future. Be sure to get checked out after the accident to address this possibility and to avoid the claim that you did not seek timely medical care.
Cooperate With the Police
Once the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will begin their investigation of the accident. They will likely have many questions for you, and your answers may form the basis of your claim against the trucking company. It’s important to work with the police in the investigation — but to do so smartly.
Be careful what you say to the police officers and how you say it. Always tell the truth, but avoid making incriminating statements like that you are sorry, that you didn’t see the truck, or that it was all your fault. Give them straightforward, factual answers to their questions, but do not offer additional statements that could limit your recovery.
Document, Document, Document
In 2016, most of us travel with a camera in our pockets or purses at all times. Put your smart phone to good use after a truck accident by documenting the scene of the accident to the extent that you are able to do so. Take pictures of how each vehicle is situated in the road BEFORE the car and truck are moved, and of the entire scene to show any obstructions that may have blocked your view or the trucker’s view. If possible, take pictures or write down the license plate and vehicle identification (VIN) numbers of all involved vehicles, and get the contact information for the witnesses. You should also make sure to get the insurance and contact information for everyone involved in the accident.
Avoid Talking to Insurance Adjusters
Trucks are typically owned by big corporations that may send investigators or adjusters to the scene of the accident to try to get a statement from you on the spot. Remember that you are under no obligation to speak to the other side’s insurance adjusters or investigators about the accident. You can inform them that you will be hiring an attorney and that all questions can go to your lawyer. Do not sign anything or write out a statement! They will be trying to minimize their obligation to pay for your damages — don’t help them out in limiting your recovery.
When you are able, contact an experienced Riverside truck accident attorney to help you file a claim. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have years of experience handling truck accident cases. We will fight for your ability to get full compensation for your losses. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!