Truck accidents are among the most serious types of vehicle crashes. They can frequently result in major, catastrophic injuries. They also involve different laws and regulations, since big rigs typically operate as commercial vehicles. A common concern that we receive from clients when they call our law firm is: “Can you tell me what to do after a truck accident?”
Knowing what to do immediately after a truck accident can help ensure that any following claims you file go well. It can also help prevent further injury and will make the process more workable for all those involved.
What to Do After a Truck Accident: Seek Immediate Treatment First
First and foremost, if you have been injured by a commercial truck, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer, it is crucial that you receive medical care or treatment for your injuries. The size difference between commercial truck vehicles and regular passenger cars is immense.
This means that truck accident injuries can be severe. They can include broken bones, head and brain injuries, spine and neck damage, and fatalities. Be sure to attend to yourself right away after an accident; first responders can provide immediate care at the accident scene.
Report Your Accident to the Police
The next step is to report the accident to the local police. Most states require that you report a serious accident immediately and wait for the police and first responders. Reporting the accident is critical, particularly if someone has been injured. The police will draft a report of the accident shortly after the incident. Never leave the scene of an accident without talking to the police first.
When talking to the police or highway patrol, you must be truthful. However, it is also important not to make comments admitting to fault, apologizing, or promising that the insurance companies or employer will cover the costs. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to determine fault after an accident. Making comments, which might not even be factually correct, can detrimentally affect your case.
Visit a Doctor for a Follow-Up
After talking to the police, it is essential to see a doctor. Even if you feel that you don’t need to go to the hospital, you should still see the doctor. Injuries can often be latent, meaning the pain or effects will not set in until later, but a doctor can perform testing to see if an injury has occurred. This is especially true for traumatic brain injuries; symptoms for brain injuries might not appear for days or sometimes weeks after a crash.
Also, an accident can often lead to confusion, head trauma, and dizziness. It is best to see a healthcare professional as quickly as possible to assess the injuries.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney After a Crash
It is also important to contact an attorney immediately after the accident so that they can begin investigating the accident. An attorney can preserve the evidence and ensure that experts are given an opportunity to inspect and examine any evidence before it is destroyed. Such critical evidence concerns the physical state of the truck, the driver’s logs, maintenance logs, and company procedures.
An attorney can also obtain:
- The truck driver’s history
- A list of prior accidents
- Any citations or violations that the truck driver received
- A history of the maintenance performed on the truck
- GPS data
- The company’s accident history.
An attorney can also help find out if the driver is unlicensed or has invalid certifications. The attorneys at Pierce | Skrabanek have extensive experience providing legal guidance for those who have been injured in a truck accident. For more information regarding truck accidents and advice on what to do after you have been in an accident, please contact us at (832) 690-7000. You can also fill out a consultation request here.
Causes of Truck Accidents
When thinking about what to do after a truck accident, it can help to try and assess what may have caused the incident. While it’s the lawyers’ job to determine who is at fault, you can help by taking notes and information regarding what happened. Doing so will help tremendously for your case.
Common causes of truck accidents may include:
- Negligent or reckless conduct by the truck driver (such as speeding or running a red light)
- Drunk driving/DUI/DWI
- Disregarding road safety rules
- Insufficient training
- Poor safety standards by the trucking company
- Defective truck parts or mechanical failure
It is often much easier to gather such information while at the accident scene, if possible. Evidence like skid marks or broken glass is often cleaned or removed quickly.
Compensation for Truck Crash Injuries
As mentioned, truck accident injuries can be significant and life-changing. They can result in permanent damage and may affect one’s ability to work or earn wages in the future.
On the other hand, compensation for injuries through a trucking accident lawsuit can help a victim and their family handle financial losses like:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death expenses
Truck accident lawsuits can be complicated and require the assistance of a legal professional. Working with a qualified truck accident lawyer can help ensure that such losses are remedied and justice is served.
Related Truck Accident Links
For more information on truck accidents, you may read the following resources:
- Trucking Accident Injury Attorneys
- 5 Causes of Trucking Accidents
- Truck Accident Injuries & Compensation
- Truck Accident Liability: Rules & Regulations
- Truck Accident Facts & Statistics
Get in Touch With a Trucking Accident Lawyer
Understanding what to do after a trucking accident is critical for the outcome of your case. You may need the expertise of a lawyer to help you through the process. At Pierce | Skrabanek, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle your truck accident and answer your questions.
Our reputation for success has garnered several awards, including induction into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and SuperLawyers by Texas Monthly Magazine. Contact us today at (832) 690-7000 if you or a loved one need assistance with a truck accident case. We are here to ensure you get the recovery you deserve.