If you or a loved one are ever in a semi-truck accident, this helpful article by the truck accident lawyers at Cousin Benny gives you each step to take to ensure you are taken care of and your rights are protected.
If you’ve been in a truck accident and need help getting the compensation you deserve, call Cousin Benny for help. At Cousin Benny, we treat you like family!
1. Contact the Police
Call 911 immediately regardless of the severity of the accident. Not only must law enforcement be involved, but emergency medical services may be required whether it was a fender bender or a major, multiple vehicle accident.
Many types of injuries are not immediately apparent, especially head and spine injuries and internal bleeding, and the consequences of not receiving immediate treatment can be dire. Also, adrenaline may be masking pain you or your passengers will feel later. For these reasons, you should consider accepting emergency medical services even if you do not believe you are seriously injured.
Even if no law was broken, a police report is a record of the scene, the weather, how the people involved and witnesses describe how the accident occurred, and the identity and contact information for witnesses.
2. Gather Evidence from the Scene
If you are not injured and it is safe for you to remain on the scene of the accident, gather evidence in case you must litigate.
Smartphones are ubiquitous. They make it easy for anyone to document the scene of an accident. Use your smartphone to take photographs or video of the accident scene, the truck involved, anything that caused the accident such as ice, a blown tire, or a missing traffic sign, the people involved and their injuries, the vehicles involved and their damage, the license plate numbers of vehicles involved, witnesses, and anything else you think may be important.
If you have access to the other driver(s), try to get:
- Name, home address, phone number, and email address
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license numbers
- Name and contact information for truck driver’s employer and trucking company if different
3. Get Contact Information from Witnesses
If anyone saw the truck accident, get their name and contact information in case you need their testimony. Even their name and cell phone number will do. It is very difficult to track down bystanders once the scene is dispersed. Pretrial depositions of witnesses often prompt an insurance company to offer an acceptable settlement prior to trial.
4. Seek Medical Attention
This is very important. Even if you do not accept emergency medical attention, you should visit your doctor as soon as you can. Again, you may have suffered a serious injury that is not manifesting immediately. Your physician will document your injuries or pain and knows what to ask you about the accident that may uncover the risk of a serious injury, such as, did you hit your head?
You will need this initial medical record as well as records of the diagnosis and treatment of any injuries to accurately calculate your compensatory damages, should your matter go to court.
5. Get an Appraisal on Your Vehicle
Just like serious injuries often have no immediate signs of symptoms, serious damage to your car may not be visible. Be sure to get an independent appraisal of the damage to your vehicle. DO NOT GET THE VEHICLE REPAIRED. The insurance companies of the other parties involved in the accident may need to inspect the vehicle themselves in order to validate your claim.
6. Don’t Sign a Settlement Right Away
It is common for insurance companies to offer a settlement early in the process. There are a couple of reasons to turn that offer down.
First, if you were injured in a truck accident, you do not yet know the extent of medical care you will need in the future, the success of any treatments or therapies you get, and what affect your injuries will have on your personal and work life. You need some time to heal before medical experts can anticipate your future needs and condition and forensic experts can calculate the effect on your ability to work.
Second, insurance companies are notorious for offering low-ball initial settlement offers, especially if you are not yet represented by a truck accident attorney. The insurance adjuster hopes to contact you when you are hurting, you are out of work, and you have to fix or replace your car, and you will just take the money just to get it over with.
Don’t. Insurance companies are like any other business in that they are concerned with making a profit. The more they collect in insurance premiums and the less they pay out in insurance claims, the more profit they make.
Hold out for the compensation you deserve.
7. Contact a Truck Accident Attorney for Help
Let an experienced truck accident attorney help you. You have enough on your plate right now. Focus on healing and let your attorney deal with the insurance company and anyone else who is harassing you, like medical bill collectors.
It is well-known that insurance companies try to take advantage of unrepresented truck accident victims, and if someone is represented, they check out the reputation of their attorney. You need a tough, persistent, experienced truck accident attorney to get you the settlement or judgment you deserve.
Why Choose Cousin Benny for Truck Accident Cases
The Philadelphia truck accident attorneys at Cousin Benny fight for the compensation you deserve and deal with anyone who is distracting your focus from resting and healing – bill collectors, employers, medical collectors, and anyone else. When you trust Cousin Benny to handle your truck accident case, you will rest assured it is being handled with the attention it deserves. Call us today to find out how much your truck accident case is worth – free of charge!