Accidents on the road can be chaotic and stressful, especially for truck drivers who have more than just a personal vehicle to worry about. If you or a loved one has found yourself in a trucking accident and you’re mulling over your next steps, please know that you’re not alone.
Now, let’s get into the specifics.
What Immediate Actions Should Take Place After An Accident?
Right after the accident, your first priority should be to check for injuries — both for yourself and the other parties involved, if it is possible and safe to do so. Once that’s done, you should call emergency services to report the accident.
Remember: Even if the damage seems minor, a police report is essential for legal purposes.
Your Obligation To Stay
Remaining at the accident scene is legally required. State laws and the Federal Motor Carrier Act are mandates for drivers involved in accidents to stop, exchange information, and potentially provide assistance.
The last thing you want on top of an accident is a legal charge for fleeing the scene. Plus, staying gives you a firsthand perspective that could be invaluable for later legal discussions.
If someone is seriously injured, your immediate call for medical aid could be a literal lifesaver. However, assess the situation carefully. If intervening could jeopardize your own safety, it’s best to wait for professional emergency services.
When an accident happens, your instinct might be to resolve it on your own with the other party involved. Bad idea. An official police report acts as a neutral record of events and is vital for any insurance claims or legal action that might follow.
The police will likely also initiate the accident investigation, ensuring that all the facts come to light and helping to establish who’s at fault. Moreover, the presence of law enforcement helps keep things civil at the accident scene.
Emotions can run high, and a neutral third party can prevent any further escalation. So if the other driver tries to dissuade you from involving the authorities, firmly insist on doing so. Your future self will thank you.
Note: The window to collect all the money and benefits you are entitled to, may soon close forever. To keep that from happening, act now and have the experienced team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight – and win – for you!
The Information Exchange
Exchanging information is a critical step that could make or break your case down the line. Moreover, you should know that it’s not usually enough to just jot down the name of the other driver’s trucking company.
Companies can change names, go bankrupt, or become otherwise untraceable. To protect yourself and your financial future, you must cover all your bases. To that end, you should collect all available names, phone numbers, driver’s license details, and license plate numbers. Additionally, if witnesses are present, their contact details could also be invaluable later on, so you shouldn’t shy away from asking.
As well, you should take photos of all documents for a quick and foolproof way of gathering the data you need.
The Eyewitness Hunt
Witnesses could be the linchpin in your case. Often, they’re still around post-accident, buzzing with adrenaline and ready to share what they saw. Gather their contact details for future use. If possible, get a written statement then and there; time tends to blur details.
The police report is another good resource for witness information, as it often contains statements from those who spoke to law enforcement.
In instances of severe injury, a seasoned personal injury lawyer can go above and beyond to track down these valuable witnesses. Their testimony could be the difference between a failed case and a substantial settlement.
Your Insurance Company
After an accident, your insurance company should be among the first to know. Neglecting this step could result in them dropping your coverage altogether. When dealing with the at-fault truck driver’s insurance, exercise caution.
Never admit fault or provide any statements without first consulting a skilled legal professional in trucking accidents. Lawyers specializing in this area are skilled at navigating the intricate web of insurance communications, ensuring your interests are safeguarded.
For additional details at no charge, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online now. Your financial future is worth it. Protect it today with a free consultation and so much more!
We’re living in a digital age, and the humble smartphone is your best friend when documenting the accident. Snap pictures of the damaged vehicles, the road conditions, your injuries, and anything else that might be relevant.
Visual proof is compelling and hard to argue against, whether you find yourself in a courtroom or hashing out a settlement. As such, when possible, you should take as many photos as you can.
Documentation Is Everything
Gathering your medical bills, medical records, and any other receipts or documentation related to the accident can play a vital role in your case. Store this information carefully, as you’ll need it later for various reasons. Proper documentation also makes things a lot easier for your lawyer.
Proof of income prior to the accident is another essential; it helps establish how the incident has impacted your financial stability. The more comprehensive your records, the less room there is for ambiguity when it comes to calculating a just settlement.
In the chaos following a truck accident, every word can have serious implications. And unfortunately, it’s a component of car accidents that tends to get people in trouble.
Saying “I’m sorry” might seem polite, but it is more often taken as an admission of guilt. If the truck driver tries to place the blame on you, hold your ground and seek legal guidance pronto.
The bottom line is that even compassionate words can hurt your case down the road, so please be careful about what you say after an accident. Moreover, sometimes choosing your words carefully means not saying anything at all. Said differently: Silence is golden, and so is your right to exercise it, especially following a car accident.
Immediate Medical Attention
You might feel like a champion after surviving a truck accident, but that’s not a medical evaluation. Immediate medical attention isn’t only important for treating visible injuries — it’s also about ruling out issues that might emerge later.
Documented medical evaluations can become powerful pieces of evidence. Furthermore, medical reports and the testimonies of healthcare providers can reinforce your case in the courtroom. It’s just one more instance of covering all your bases, as this information will likely come in handy later on.
Securing competent legal representation is the linchpin for safeguarding your rights and recovering all the money and benefits that you deserve. And as trucking laws tend to differ from state to state, a local attorney with the right qualifications can be invaluable in successfully guiding you through the entire process.
How Can You Make A Strong Case After A Truck Accident?
After collecting relevant materials such as medical reports, witness information, photographs, and so on, the next step to be taken is to build a strong case.
Now’s the time to consolidate all the pieces you’ve gathered and hand them over to your attorney. Just remember, the relationship between you and your attorney isn’t a one-way street.
Your legal team can’t perform miracles without your active participation. Share everything, even if you think it’s insignificant — what seems minor to you could be the key to unlocking your case.
A unique but often overlooked strategy is to consult subject matter experts relevant to your case. This could range from accident reconstruction experts to medical professionals who can elaborate on the long-term implications of your injuries. Their findings and testimonies add an extra layer of credibility to your case, possibly tipping the scales in your favor.
By now, your attorney should have enough to chalk out the legal strategy. This could involve deciding between settling out of court or going to trial, determining the types of claims to file, and identifying the most promising legal arguments. Keep the lines of communication open with your attorney. After all, this master plan can serve as the roadmap for your legal journey.
Track Ongoing Developments
As your case progresses, there might be developments that could impact its outcome. New laws could come into play, or key witnesses might change their testimonies. It’s important to stay updated and flexible so you can tweak your strategy accordingly.
Building a strong case is about smartly utilizing any evidence within a strategic legal plan. And while a skilled attorney will serve as the architect of this, you are the cornerstone. To that end, throughout the process, you should remain engaged, informed, and keep the partnership with your legal team on sure footing.
Your Road To Recovery Starts With One Call
Getting through the aftermath of a trucking accident is no small feat, with every twist and turn holding its own set of challenges. You’ve done your homework, but there’s only so much you can do alone. That’s where we come in.
As award-winning attorneys in New York State trucking accident law, Schwartzapfel Lawyers is ready and able to assist with your claim. And with the clock ticking, you can’t afford to miss out on the compensation and benefits you may be entitled to.
For a free consultation and so much more, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today. Whether it’s working toward a fair settlement or taking the case to court, it will be our honor and privilege to fight for you every step of the way.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!