Millions of commercial trucks operate every day in Smyrna, GA. It poses a risk and danger to others on the road. The size and weight of trucks can cause severe injuries and death to parties involved in a collision. So, after a crash, consult an experienced truck accident attorney in Smyrna.
A truck crash is more complicated than a passenger vehicle accident. Knowing what to do in the crash’s immediate aftermath may be challenging. Also, the actions you take following the crash can impact your health and legal rights.
After a truck collision, you must take specific steps to preserve and protect your right to financial compensation. This article provides a checklist of actions to take after a truck collision.
How Commercial Truck Drivers in Smyrna, GA, Cause Collisions
Truck drivers are to exercise reasonable care when driving. They are to adhere to state and federal safety regulations. These drivers are negligent when they cause accidents by:
- Driving while texting, distracted or fatigued
- Failing to secure cargo
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Driving with malfunctioning truck parts
- Ignoring cautionary signs
- Disobeying traffic laws, etc.
What You Should Do After a Truck Accident
If you are involved in a truck collision, you must protect your rights to compensatory damages. The process of dealing with the traumatic event begins at the crash scene. These critical steps will guide you on what to do.
1. Stop at the Accident Scene
To avoid being charged for hit-and-run, you should stop your vehicle at the scene. Although you may be in shock and fear, try to remain calm.
Take your vehicle off the road and move to a safe spot. Check yourself for injuries and wait for the police and paramedics.
2. Call the Police
You should call the police immediately for assistance. It does not matter whether the collision is minor or severe. When officers arrive at the scene, explain the event that led to the crash. Don’t say anything that suggests you are to blame or can jeopardize your right to compensation.
The officer will collect evidence and detail the findings of their investigation in a police crash report. They will also speak with witnesses at the scene. This step helps to preserve evidence and establish records of the event.
The report can help prove you were injured through no fault of your own. It is essential to show you’re not liable to recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
When evaluating injury claims, the insurance company and accident lawyers rely on the police report to determine fault and damage. Also, obtain a copy of the report for documentary purposes.
3. Get Immediate Medical Help
Truck crashes can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, the shock and adrenaline can mask your pains. No matter how minor or severe your injuries, it is best to diagnose them early.
Some injuries like concussion, whiplash, etc., may not have symptoms initially. Also, there may be underlying injuries such as internal bleeding. Hence, seeking immediate medical care is the best way to know the extent of your wound.
In addition, delaying or refusing medical care can affect your compensation rights. It will be challenging to connect your injuries and the crash if you don’t see a physician. As a result, the insurance company may infer that:
- There is no established link between the collision and your injuries
- You are making up the wounds
- The injuries occured under different circumstances
- Postponing medical care qualifies as negligence
- The injuries are from a preexisting medical condition.
Diagnosing, treating, and documenting accident injuries can be complex. It is better to start early to avoid making mistakes. Don’t give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim or pay you cheaply.
4. Take Photos of the Scene and Injuries
A truck crash happens quickly, and the details can become fuzzy in the resulting chaos. Therefore, it is critical to photograph the crash scene and your injuries. You preserve valuable evidence by doing so.
Pictures don’t lie, and they are used to reconstruct the incident to determine the at-fault party. They also affect your injury claim. If you cannot take photos due to shock, ask someone to help you.
Your injury claim can come down to a “he said” “she said” situation without photos. Hence, pictural evidence gives you undeniable proof of what happened in the crash.
5. Identify Other Parties Involved
Trucking accidents can involve multiple parties. Therefore, it is essential to identify all parties involved in the crash and their role.
This step is a complicated task. A truck accident attorney in Smyrna can help identify the parties involved and those who bear the responsibility. Potentially liable parties are:
- The truck driver
- The truck owner/company
- Truck manufacturer
- Loader or shipper of the cargo, etc.
6. Exchange Contact and Insurance Information With the Truck Driver
Get the contact and insurance information of the truck driver. Don’t say more than your identifying information. Every statement can be used against you when you try to recover damages. So get the following details:
- The truck driver’s name, phone number, and address
- Insurance information
- Trucking company information
- Driver’s license number
- License plate
- A detailed description of the truck, etc.
7. Get Eyewitnesses Information
Getting witness information helps to preserve your potential lawsuit or settlement. Eyewitnesses can back up your version of events. In addition, their testimonies can help your injury claim.
Get the information of those who witnessed the crash to contact them when necessary. Also, encourage them to give a statement to the police willingly.
8. Contact an Attorney Immediately
You protect your rights to recover compensation for the crash by hiring a lawyer. The attorney will pursue your claim and handle all legal processes while you focus on your health.
They will evaluate your claim to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve. In addition, attorneys in Smyrna offer free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. So make use of this opportunity.
9. Notify the Insurance Company
Finally, you should notify the insurance company about the truck crash. However, do not accept any settlement or sign any document until you speak with a lawyer. Let a lawyer handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
Take Legal Actions With a Truck Accident Attorney in Smyrna Today!
Truck crashes are catastrophic, and they involve significant amounts of damage. As a result, seeking compensation can be challenging. The earlier you speak with a lawyer, the better your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
At Jamie Ballard Law, we understand the impact of truck crashes. We are ready to represent your interest and recover maximum compensation for you. We charge no fee until we obtain a settlement. So get legal help by speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Smyrna.