What Steps Should I Take After a Commercial Truck Accident?
Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard of care than other drivers because the large, heavy trucks they drive can cause devastating injuries in the event of a collision. Though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has numerous regulations in place to regulate truck driving practices in an attempt to keep motorists safe, truck drivers are human and therefore have the ability to make mistakes and act negligently. When negligent acts cause truck accidents, any injured victims have the right to recover.
Following a truck accident, there are many steps that a victim can take to help preserve evidence and improve their chances of prevailing in a subsequent commercial truck injury claim. Accidents can be very traumatic and stressful, however, so the first thing on your mind is generally not a legal claim. For this reason, everyone should be familiar with the steps that they should take following a commercial truck accident.
Seek medical treatment if needed.
Because of the dangerous nature of commercial truck accidents, many victims sustain serious and even life-threatening injuries. In such situations, your first priority should always be taking care of yourself and stabilizing your injuries. If emergency personnel recommend that you receive immediate trauma care and transportation to the hospital, you should never argue. Once your injuries are stabilized, you may address any other concerns regarding the accident. If you do not require emergency treatment, you should still undergo a full medical evaluation in the days following the accident to identify and document your injuries.
Collect as much information as possible.
If you do not require emergency medical attention, there are many steps you may take at the scene of the accident to improve your case. Though you may be shaken up, you should attempt to stay calm so that you can gather as much information as you can. The following are some examples of information you should collect:
* Names and contact information of any other motorists involved in the accident, including the truck driver
* Names and contact information of any potential witnesses.
* Write down or take pictures of all identifying information on the commercial truck, such as the identification number and truck company.
* Take photos of the scene of the accident, including any tire marks, damage to your car and to the truck, weather and road conditions, and more.
All of this information can be very helpful should you decide to file a legal claim.
Do not give too much information to the truck driver’s insurance company.
In the day or so following an accident, you will more than likely receive a phone call from the insurance company of the truck driver or trucking company. While it is okay to give them basic identifying information such as your name and address, you never want to offer any details regarding your version of events that led to the accident. While the insurance agents may act like they are trying to help you, in reality they can use anything you say to try to limit the amount of your settlement. For example, if you admit even the slightest amount of liability in the accident, they may try to deny a claim altogether. You should always contact an attorney to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Call a truck accident attorney.
Following a truck accident, as soon as your health is stabilized, you should always contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle truck accident cases. Florida has a limit on the amount of time in which you are able to file a legal claim, so you should not delay in setting up a free consultation. Call the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater at 727-451-6900 for assistance today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756