How to Get Help After a Truck Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Patrick DiBenedetto with Metier Law Firm.
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Patrick DiBenedetto, a Personal Injury attorney based in Colorado.
Any accident with a large truck or 18-wheeler has the potential to result in long-term and even permanent harm; from medical bills and lost wages to pain and suffering and disability, it’s important to explore every option for recovery following a semi truck accident. While it is generally recommended to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible following a collision with a tractor-trailer, it is possible to do so at any time during the process. If you choose to handle the issue on your own, it is still highly recommended to consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer, as it is not uncommon for trucking companies and insurance providers to take advantage of accident victims who did not have help calculating the true value of their case.
Consider the following steps after a truck accident:
- Call emergency services. The first thing you need to do if you are involved in an accident with a large truck is to call 9-1-1 and ask for law enforcement to come to your location. If you are in need of emergency medical care, ask for an ambulance as well and leave the collecting of evidence to a friend, loved one, or even a truck accident attorney. Calling emergency services can help preserve important evidence and protect you and other drivers on the road from further harm.
- Take pictures and video at the scene. It’s extremely important to collect evidence at the scene of the accident as soon as possible following the event. If you are too injured to do so, a friend, loved one, or attorney may do so on your behalf, but it’s wise not to leave the collection of evidence entirely up to law enforcement, as they might not see what you see. Pictures and videos of both vehicles, contributing conditions, weather, and any damage resulting from the accident can all help an accident reconstructionist determine how the accident happened and who was liable.
- Collect witness contact information and testimonies. It’s also important to collect the contact information of any witnesses to the accident as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the more time that passes after the incident can make it harder to locate valuable witnesses. If witnesses agree, you may also choose to record their testimonies regarding what they saw.
- Seek medical care. If you were not taken in for emergency medical care at the scene of the accident, or if your pain begins to worsen, seek medical care as soon as possible. Toughing it out and hoping the injury will heal on its own isn’t a good idea for your body or for your case. Waiting to seek medical care can result in worsened injuries and longer recovery times, not to mention lending unjust credibility to the trucking company’s argument that you couldn’t have been that hurt.
- Contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Truck accident attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on contingency; this means that clients don’t pay for their services unless and until their case is won. This allows truck accident victims to receive expert help from the people who understand trucking law the best, as well as the way a truck accident can affect a victim’s life and that of their family far into the future. A truck accident attorney can also help collect key evidence that might be hard for the victim to locate on their own, including surveillance footage from cameras in the area, accident records, driving logs, and more.
To learn more about options for support following a truck accident, or for help investigating your claim, reach out to an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area.