What To Do After a Truck Accident

Jul 1, 2024 | Pierre Prialé
What To Do After a Truck Accident

Any accident can be devastating but the size and speed that most trucks travel at can lead to serious injury and ongoing loss. Knowing what to do after a truck accident is critical for anyone sharing the road with these vehicles today.

If you have already been involved in a truck accident in Virginia, contact an experienced law firm for immediate help. Our truck accident attorney can navigate this process fighting to recover damages for you, maximizing your potential compensation claim.

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What to Do Right After a Truck Accident

With so many truck accidents occurring today, every driver needs to know what steps to take to protect their life and to get compensation for their losses. In the moments after such an accident it is hard to know what to do or how to react, and it is easy for accidents to become even more complex because of a lack of proper response. Consider these steps.

Make Sure the Accident Gets Reported

After a truck accident, one of the most important steps to take is making sure the accident gets reported to the proper authorities. Reporting the accident not only ensures that the necessary documentation is completed, but it also helps protect your rights and strengthens your case if you decide to pursue a legal claim.

The first thing you should do is contact the police and file a formal accident report. Even if the accident seems minor and there are no apparent injuries, it's still important to have an official record of the incident. However, in many cases, the truck crash will not seem minor and it will be obvious that a report is necessary.

The police report will include vital information such as the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as the parties involved and any witnesses. This report can be crucial evidence in establishing fault and liability.

By promptly reporting the truck accident to the police, you are taking a crucial step in protecting your rights and establishing the necessary documentation for any future legal claims.

Get the Medical Care You Need

A Female Doctor Bandaging a Patient's Leg after a truck accident.

In a truck accident, you may have very obvious signs of an injury, or you may not. Every situation may be very different, but this rule remains. Always going to the emergency room after a truck accident. It is the best way to document your condition and to ensure you are safe from unknown injuries. Getting medical care as soon as possible after your accident helps in several ways:

  • You may not know the full extent of your injuries right after the accident. It is common for internal organ injuries to take some time to develop symptoms. Yet, they can be critical to treat immediately.
  • Waiting too long can make the insurance company think you are okay. The trucking company's insurance company will look for small bits of information that may indicate your injuries are not as serious, and this type of delay can be one of those steps.
  • Your doctor at the emergency room will document your condition thoroughly. That means that it is clear that your injuries came from the truck accident and not any other incident that occurred after the accident.

If you are hurt significantly, allow 911 to get an ambulance to you. If you do not have an ambulance called, you still need to head to the ER.

Write Down Your Own Statement

While everything is fresh in your mind, write down (or even record) a statement about what occurred in your own words. Your goal here is to document what you remember throughout this accident so you do not forget important details that can end up costing you later.

Document anything you can:

  • What happened right before the accident
  • What you saw before the accident (swerving, changing lanes, drivers on the phone)
  • What happened during the accident – describe it as it happened in a step-by-step process
  • What happened right after the accident
  • What anyone involved in the accident said to you, or that you overheard

This information may be helpful later when you need to file a claim or when there is some question about what occurred. Remember that your medical care needs are the most important factor here.

Be Careful What You Say to Any Parties or Insurance Companies

Insurance Agent with a Digital Tablet Standing Behind Trucks

After a truck accident, it can be overwhelming in the following days. You may find yourself dealing with medical appointments, repairs, and phone calls from insurance companies. In this chaos, it is important to be cautious about what you say to any parties involved or insurance companies. The words you choose can have a significant impact on your case and potential compensation. In fact, it is best to avoid speaking to insurance representatives or trucking companies at all if possible.

When speaking with any other parties in the accident, it is important to remain calm and composed. Emotions can run high after a traumatic event, but it is crucial not to let anger or frustration dictate your words. Avoid making any statements that may admit fault, even if you think you may have been partially responsible for the accident. It is best to stick to the facts and let the professionals handle the determination of fault. You might not have contributed to the accident at all, and saying the wrong thing can memorialize your statement as admissions that affect your claim.

Similarly, when communicating with insurance companies, you must be careful about what you say. Insurance adjusters are trained to gather information that may be used against you later on. They may twist your words or use them out of context to minimize your claim. Keep your conversations with insurance representatives strictly factual and concise. Provide only the necessary information about the accident and your injuries, avoiding any unnecessary details or personal opinions.

The best thing to do is tell insurance companies and adverse parties that you are planning to hire a truck accident attorney and you will refer all communications to your legal counsel. You can politely decline to answer any questions or give statements until then.

Soon after your truck accident, you may find yourself facing a situation where the insurance company representing the responsible party offers you a quick settlement. You might have medical bills already piling up, and you might have already lost income due to missed work. Your financial concerns might be mounting due to your inability to cover household expenses because of your injuries.

Financial concept of TRUCK INSURANCE Application Form with the phrase on a business paper.

A quick settlement offer might come at just the time when your stress is rising. While it may be tempting to accept this offer and move on, it's very important to understand the potential consequences before making a decision.

Insurance companies often want to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. They may offer you a settlement soon after the accident, hoping that you'll accept before fully understanding the extent of your injuries and the long-term impact the accident may have on your life.

It's important to remember that once you accept a settlement, you usually cannot go back and ask for more money if you later realize that your injuries are more severe than initially thought. This is because when you accept a settlement, you also sign an agreement releasing the insurance company from any further liability regarding the accident and your injuries.

By consulting an experienced truck accident attorney before accepting any settlement offer, you can ensure that you fully understand your rights and options. An attorney can assess the true value of your claim by considering factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical needs. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to seek a fair and just compensation package.

Additionally, accepting a quick settlement without legal advice may result in you inadvertently waiving your right to pursue legal action against the responsible party in the future. This means that if your injuries worsen over time or if you discover additional damages later on, you may not seek further compensation.

Always consult a truck accident attorney before accepting any quick insurance settlement. An attorney can provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to make an informed decision that protects your best interests and ensures that you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Don't let the insurance company rush you into a decision that may have long-term consequences. They want you to accept a settlement before you have an attorney because it benefits the company, not you. Take the time to seek legal advice and advocate for your rights.

Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible

At this point, your goal should be seeking the medical care you need. That includes all the ongoing care you need. This is also the best time to contact an attorney.

An attorney can begin to help you navigate what comes next: getting compensation for your losses through your accident claim. There are many ways an attorney can support you, but what is most important to your situation right now is knowing how to protect your rights.

Insurance companies for truck companies are aggressive. They want to deny all of the claims possible, or they will do whatever they can to get you to settle your claim quickly. In both cases, you are at risk. For this reason, allow your truck accident attorney to navigate the next steps.

Report the Claim to the Appropriate Insurance Companies

This includes documenting your claim with your insurance company or contacting the truck driver's insurance policy. At this point, you are not ready to file a claim, but they may want you to get an appraisal for the damage to your vehicle from an approved location.

Let Your Attorney Handle the Claims Process

Truck Accident on a busy road.

When you suffer an injury, you may not be sure what your losses are, and you may find that those losses will grow over the next few weeks as you continue to seek medical care or you miss work due to your injuries. Your attorney will begin to gather information about your injuries and losses from the start. This may include:

  • All of your medical care
  • Ongoing medical needs or limitations
  • Missed time at work
  • Property damage claims

Your Attorney Will Handle the Evidence

In addition to proving what your truck accident case is worth, your truck accident attorney will also work with the evidence available to create a clear outline of what happened and who is to blame. If there is any risk that you may not receive full compensation, your attorney will find all available evidence to back up your claims. This may include gathering witness statements, speaking to medical experts, getting information about the truck driver's driving history, log of work, and medical condition, and much more.

Continue to Get the Medical Care You Need

Your truck accident attorney will handle the rest of the process of filing a claim, but it is very important that you continue to receive all of the care you need. That includes follow-up appointments, taking time off according to doctor recommendations, and seeking mental health support when needed. Document all of the appointments you have and any costs you have as a result of the accident.

How Our Attorneys Can Start to Help You After Your Truck Accident Today

The right personal injury attorney will be passionate about providing

clients with skilled support for all of their needs. In a trucking case, your experienced personal injury attorney will work very diligently to ensure they know all of the details, including who was involved and what your losses are. This allows them to file a comprehensive claim.

If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, focus on your recovery and let our truck accident attorneys pursue full and fair compensation for your losses. Never wait to set up a free consultation with a trusted legal team as the first step in this process. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney in your area now to learn more about the legal options available to you.

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Pierre Prialé

Founder and CEO

Over the course of his career, Prialé has handled approximately 2,000 criminal defense and traffic cases, including DUI, reckless driving, weapons charges, and personal injury cases. His dedication to helping clients in difficult and desperate situations has earned him a reputation for being a committed and knowledgeable attorney.

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