Getting in an automobile accident is a terrifying experience that can be even scarier when it involves a large transport vehicle. Unfortunately, these accidents can be significantly more damaging and can have devastating effects on your physical and mental health.
If you get into a truck accident, you will likely need ongoing support. Here’s what to do following a semi-truck accident to ensure you get the help you need.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The top priority following a truck accident is to seek medical attention According to the professionals at Icon Medical Centers, this step is vital whether you determine the accident to be serious or not. For example, if you are rear-ended by a semi-truck at a stop sign or get side-swiped in a wide turn or squeeze, you may not experience any apparent injuries. However, there could be underlying issues or ailments that pop up in the days and weeks following the accident.
Even if you don’t experience a noticeable injury, seeing a medical professional starts a paper trail. This paper trail is an important part of the documentation process and can provide a link for future injuries such as chronic back pain, a neck injury or PTSD, for example.
Have Someone Document the Scene
If you can, take some time to get photos of the scene before you leave. If your injuries prevent you from doing so, call a trusted friend or family member to do this for you. Collecting as much data as you can before the scene is cleared or your recollection fades will help you build a claims case in the future.
In addition to photos, you’ll also want to capture the truck driver’s name and insurance information. Record the license plate number and any branding information on the vehicle.
File a Police Report
Call the police as soon as possible after the accident occurs. It’s best to file a police report, even if the accident seems minor. Again, this process builds a paper trail to keep you covered if any issues arise down the road.
In the days after the accident, you can request a copy of the accident report from the police to keep for your records.
Contact an Attorney
As soon as your immediate medical needs are taken care of, call an attorney with experience in truck accidents. A specialized truck accident lawyer can help you learn more about your options, understand fault, and plan your next steps. Depending on your area, there might be a statute of limitations on when you can file an accident case. Contacting an attorney immediately will help you make the best decisions for your long-term health and happiness.
It’s also important to speak to an attorney before you talk to an insurance adjuster. The trucking company’s legal team or an insurance adjuster might offer a settlement or try to get you to admit fault. Speaking to an attorney first can help you avoid expensive mistakes.
Keep an Ongoing Log of Events
Keep a detailed log of everything that happens following the accident. Keep notes about the accident, your medical appointments, calls to the insurance company, and what was said during those interactions. It’s also important to note the dates and times of your interactions to create a strong paper trail.
Think of it this way: if everything works out, you don’t have any lasting injuries, and there’s no lawsuit, you’ve only spent a few minutes jotting down your notes. However, if you experience chronic health issues from your accident and get into a lawsuit regarding fault, you’ll have a solid paper trail that’s admissible in court.
Take Care of Yourself
The days and weeks following an accident can be stressful, emotional, and painful. Take some time for yourself (noting any time away from work in your log) and give yourself space to heal.
By following these steps, you can protect your long-term health and wellness after a truck accident.