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What Should I Do If I I'm In a Truck Accident?

What Should I Do If I I'm In a Truck Accident?

Commercial truck and tractor-trailer accidents make for some of the most devastating motor vehicle collisions, and they pose increased risks of serious injuries. While parties injured in preventable trucking wrecks have the right to seek compensation for their damages through the personal injury claim process, there’s no guarantee compensation will be awarded, nor any guarantee compensation that is awarded will be what claimants truly need and deserve.

If you or someone you love were recently hurt in an auto accident involving any type of truck or commercial vehicle, the steps you take in the aftermath can have a major impact on the trajectory and outcome of your case.

Our trial lawyers at Domina Law Group always encourage victims and families to reach out to our firm as soon as possible following wrecks, as we can help review cases, discuss options, and assist clients in navigating the journey ahead. Still, there are a number of things victims can do when they’re in a truck accident:

1. Stay at the Scene & Report the Crash

All motorists must stop at the scene of an auto accident and render aid if needed; it’s the law. For many involved in trucking accidents, extensive vehicle damage or injuries may leave no other option. No matter the circumstances, it’s crucial to stop, remain at the scene, and call 911 or local authorities to report a crash.

Doing so can ensure you and anyone else involved are able to receive a medical assessment or emergency assistance at the scene, and that a law enforcement officer will arrive to compile a police report – which can help capture details about the case for use at a later time.

2. Collect As Much Information as Possible

If you’re able to do so, take the time to collect as much information as possible. If your injuries or the chaos of the accident prevent you from doing so at the time of the crash, you can still do what you can to gather relevant information for your records and any attorney you may choose to work with. Some of the most important things you can gather include:

  • Names and contact information of all parties involved;
  • Name of the trucking company, insurance carrier, and policy information;
  • Driver’s license and license plate numbers;
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses; and
  • Photos of the accident scene from multiple angles.

A responding police officer may obtain much of this information for their police report, but it’s still wise to gather anything you can for your own records, or as a means to ensure there’s documentation if police miss certain details. You should also write down anything you can remember about what happened – time has a way of degrading evidence and memories.

3. Keep Focused on the Facts

Emotions run high after major collisions, but it’s important to remain as calm and level-headed as you can. Focus first and foremost on ensuring your safety, the safety of any passengers, and the safety of anyone involved in the wreck. Additionally, keep your efforts targeted on gathering the information you need, rather than engaging in any discussions over fault and liability. What you say and do can have an impact on any injury case you may file, and things as seemingly minor as an apology can be interpreted, or misinterpreted, as an acceptance of fault.

4. Seek Medical Care, and Continue Your Treatments

Whether you were treated at the scene of your truck accident, taken to a local hospital, or were fortunate enough to walk away, it’s always important to prioritize your health. Be sure to seek a full medical evaluation as soon as you can – there may be injuries or issues you’re not aware of or think you can shrug off, but which may have serious consequences. Brain injuries, for example, can quickly become medical emergencies.

Aside from initial evaluations, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and follow up with appointments and any evaluations with specialists. This can ensure you’ll receive the care you need, and that, should it come time to resolve any personal injury case, you’ll have recovered fully or as much as possible before a claim is resolved.

Forgoing treatment and follow-ups can be argued as a sign that you’re not really injured (even if you were in pain all along), and stopping too early to settle could leave you out of options for recovering damages should injuries worsen and new medical bills and losses accrue.

5. Watch Out for Insurance Companies

Commercial trucks typically carry large commercial insurance policies, and trucking companies and insurance carriers are both keen on protecting their bottom line, not making big payouts to victims. After a wreck, it’s not uncommon for a trucking operator or their insurance company to contact you for information. Be careful about this type of correspondence; those initiating such conversations may not have the best intentions.

Put simply, trucking and insurance companies are corporations, and they often value profits more than people. Their efforts in personal injury cases, which your accident may very well become, is to deny and dispute fault and liability as much as possible. Don’t accept any offers until you know what your damages are, and don’t feel obligated to speak with insurers. Your lawyer handle that on your behalf.

Questions About a Truck Accident Case in Nebraska? Call (888) 387-4134

Navigating the legal, investigatory, regulatory, and insurance issues after a truck accident is not an easy task, which is why educating yourself about your rights and the best steps to take is important. However, no amount of research can compensate for the scope of representation a licensed and experienced personal injury lawyer can provide, nor the advocacy they’ll devote to recovering what you deserve.

Domina Law Group is a nationally recognized Nebraska trial practice that fights for victims of preventable accidents and injuries. If you’d like to discuss your truck accident and how our Omaha-based team may be able to help, call (888) 387-4134 or contact us online.

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