When you are involved in a crash with a truck – whether you are driving a car, SUV, motorcycle, or another 18-wheeler – it is important to know what information you need and what you need to do next. Our attorneys help people who have been involved in trucking accidents all over the U.S., and we know what it takes to make a truck accident lawsuit successful.
It is important to get all of the information you can. If you have been injured, you may need to prove those injuries in court. Proving that the truck driver was at fault and proving the severity of your injuries means collecting information and keeping it organized. Our checklist has tips for collecting information to help support your truck accident lawsuit and help you maximize your compensation. To talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer, call the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team today.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Checklist
When you’re involved in an accident, especially with a large truck, it can be extremely jarring. Everyone suffers different levels of injury in car accidents, so if you are too injured to do these things, focus on recovery instead. You may even need to have a family member, friend, or attorney help collect this information and perform these tasks while you recover.
In any case, after a truck accident, you should make sure to do all of the following:
- Call 9-1-1: Always call for emergency services when you are involved in a car accident, especially if you face injuries. EMTs can help get you medical treatment, and police can create accident reports, which will be helpful when dealing with insurance or lawsuits.
- Seek medical treatment: If you are injured, make sure to see a doctor. Getting medical help is important for recovery. Additionally, if you plan to sue the truck driver for your injuries, you need some record of your injuries from a doctor.
- Get the other driver’s info: Collect information from the truck driver and any other drivers involved in the crash. Make sure to get their:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- Vehicle registration information
- Employer information – especially for truck drivers
- Collect witness information: Get the name, address, and phone number of anyone who witnessed the car accident. You should do this yourself, too – do not expect that police will talk to every witness. You should always be concerned with who caused the accident, and protecting yourself from blame.
- Get photos of the accident scene: Good accident photos include wide shots that show the entire accident scene and where the cars, intersections, streetlights, and traffic signals are. You should also get good, close-up shots of vehicle damage and injuries. These help a jury and experts put together the accident scene to determine the accident’s cause. If you cannot take photos, write down what you see as soon after the accident as you can, or ask a friend or family member to bring a camera.
- Organize your information: The personal information, photos, insurance information, and other documents may become evidence. Whether the evidence is to prove your injuries to an insurance company or a jury, you need to make sure you have good access to all of it. Keep photos and other information in a folder. If you can, make multiple copies of the info – digital and print. Get copies of police reports and medical records, if you can, and add them to the folder as well.
- Call your insurance company: Most drivers are required to have auto insurance, and many states even require you to carry some “no-fault” or “personal injury protection” coverage. This may be able to help you take care of your own injuries, regardless of how the accident occurred. You can also start the process of making a claim against the truck driver’s insurance.
- Talk to a lawyer: If you have been injured, it is difficult to know how much an insurance company or a trucking company should pay you for your injuries. Personal injury and truck accident attorneys, like those at The Truck Accident Team, work with injured victims all the time. We have a better idea of what an injury is worth and, even if you do not want to go to court, we can help you know what your case is worth so you can accept a settlement that will cover your needs.
- Document your injuries: Keeping a journal of your injuries and how they affect your life can help prove the severity of your injuries. Get a notebook or keep a file on your computer where you can add new information about changes to your condition.
- Follow-up with your physician: Whether you already sought medical attention or not, you should see your doctor soon after the accident. So many head, neck, and back injuries take a day or so to “set in” or otherwise become noticeable. Talk to a doctor if you feel pain or experience symptoms of brain or spine injuries.
This is not part of the checklist, since it is something you should not do: do not talk to the trucking company or accept any settlement offers. Early offers to settle are usually too low to cover your needs. Also, the other side in a lawsuit can use anything you say as evidence, so simply ask them to talk to your Bucks County personal injury attorney.
Talk to Experienced Trucking Accident Attorneys Today
Our national trucking team can help you if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a large truck. Call the Philadelphia truck accident lawyers of the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team today for a free consultation (215) 709-6940.