What to Do After a Truck Accident?

Nov 1, 2023

Truck accidents are scary situations, especially on Florida’s busy roadways. Trucks can cause deadlier accidents and more damage than auto collisions due to their larger size and carrying capacity. While many of us know what we should do at the accident scene, what comes later is often a bit of a mystery.

Place hiring a qualified truck accident attorney at the top of the list, but you’ll want to provide them with as much ammunition as possible to ensure you win a lawsuit and your life quickly returns to normal.

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The Dos

We should automatically call the police, obtain the other driver’s information, and get medical attention after a truck accident, but people often overlook a few things in a crisis.

Watch Your Words

What you say to police, witnesses, and insurance adjusters can affect future court proceedings. Avoid admitting fault or apologizing for the accident. Insurance adjusters could use it against you later. When discussing the accident with the other party and any authorities, stick to the facts.

Don’t Wait to Call the Insurance Company

Even if you don’t plan on filing a claim, inform your insurance company about the accident. They can provide guidance and ensure you follow the correct procedures.

See Your Own Doctor

Getting emergency help is always the right thing to do, but you’ll also want to see your personal physician. They know you better than any other doctor and can identify changes in your health more efficiently.

Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, see a doctor. Some injuries may not appear until later, and you need a medical record for insurance purposes.

Check for Secondary Damage

Accidents often result in hidden damage. Hire a professional mechanic to inspect your vehicle for concealed issues. This extra step can save you from costly consequences down the road.

Hidden damage may compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle. Ensure it’s in top condition for your safety and that of your passengers.

Identify all damage when dealing with insurance claims. Undiscovered damage could mean you receive insufficient compensation, leaving you to cover unforeseen repair costs.

If you plan to sell your vehicle, a record of thorough inspections and repairs can significantly boost its resale value.

Structural damage, mechanical issues, electrical problems, fluid leaks, and alignment problems often appear long after an accident. Obtain a professional mechanic to thoroughly inspect your vehicle before filing a final insurance claim.

Have your vehicle checked for hidden or secondary damage following an accident to ensure your safety, aid in insurance claims, and preserves the value of your vehicle.

Maintain Comprehensive Records

Maintain a meticulous record of all aspects during your legal proceedings, including the careful preservation of medical receipts, invoices from repair service providers, and a detailed account of the hours you have had to miss from work. You need these records to construct and substantiate your settlement case, ultimately demonstrating the precise extent of what you deserve.

Your medical receipts reflect the costs incurred and offer a tangible trail of the treatment you received due to the incident. Similarly, a well-organized collection of bills from repair companies clarifies the extent of the damage you suffered due to the incident, and your lawyer can factor these expenses into your settlement.

Documenting the hours of work you missed illustrates the tangible impact the incident had on your professional life. Documentation quantifies the lost time and income and underscores the disruption and inconvenience it caused, further strengthening your case.

Meticulous records are the bedrock of your case, substantiating your claims with concrete evidence and ensuring you receive the proper compensation to rectify the losses and hardships you’ve endured.

Take Photos

Photograph an accident’s aftermath for insurance claims and a thorough understanding of the incident and its implications. The initial snapshots you take at the accident scene serve as a primary reference, but they may not capture the comprehensive details necessary for a complete record. Once you are safe and can do so, take more extensive photos to provide a comprehensive visual account of the accident.

Take a series of photographs that showcase your vehicle’s damage from various angles. Capture close-up shots of the damaged areas, including broken glass, dented panels, or detached parts. These detailed images can establish fault and repair costs.

If you or any passengers sustained injuries, document them as well. Photograph visible injuries like cuts, bruises, or scratches and any more severe injuries. These images can document the extent of bodily harm for medical and legal purposes.

Take wide-angle shots encompassing the entire area to provide a holistic view of the accident scene. This will help recreate the accident’s context, potentially shedding light on contributing factors like road conditions, weather, and visibility. It also offers a perspective that could help investigators and insurance adjusters.

Photograph any skid marks, tire tracks, or debris on the road. These details can provide clues about how the accident unfolded and help experts reconstruct the sequence of events.

Document any relevant traffic signs, signals, and road markings. It will help when determining if anyone violated traffic regulations and who you can hold at fault.

Take pictures of the surrounding environment, including nearby buildings, intersections, and landmarks. These images provide additional context and may reveal factors influencing the accident, such as obscured traffic signs or poor lighting.

If weather or lighting conditions played a role in the accident, document them as well. Capturing the current weather, time of day, and lighting conditions can help establish how they may have contributed to the incident.

If there were witnesses to the accident or other vehicles involved, photograph them and, if possible, obtain their contact information. Witness statements and vehicle conditions can be invaluable in corroborating your version of events.

If other vehicles were involved, capture images of their license plates. This can help your lawyer identify and contact the other parties involved.

Prioritize safety when taking these photos. Do so from a secure location, and if you cannot do so due to injuries, request assistance from law enforcement or medical personnel.

These comprehensive photographs can significantly assist insurance claims, legal proceedings, and accident investigations, ensuring a more accurate representation of the details.

Consider Legal Advice

If the accident is severe or you’re facing a dispute with the other party or insurance companies, consult an attorney experienced in personal injury law.

After a truck accident, these crucial steps can make all the difference, helping you navigate the complex road ahead and protecting your rights and well-being.

The Don’ts

It’s easy to get confused after a truck accident. You’re scared, hurt, and more than a little upset, but avoid these mistakes.

Don’t Admit Fault

Refrain from apologizing for the incident or stating that you feel fine or are okay.

Avoid Social Media

Sharing just one post on social media can complicate your efforts to receive rightful compensation. An insurer might misconstrue even an old photo as recent. Most importantly, refrain from discussing your injuries online. In simpler terms, exercise caution when using social media after your accident.

If you wish to inform your loved ones, opt for a phone call and provide private updates. Seek guidance from your personal injury attorney before returning to your usual social media activity to prevent any unjust denial of your claim.

Don’t Give a Recorded Statement

Always avoid having your statement recorded by an insurance adjuster following an accident. This is a well-established and standard procedure for most insurance adjusters.

Insurance adjusters receive bonuses depending on how many injury victims they capture talking about their injuries on record. Insurance companies prefer you to engage with their adjusters, who are skilled in coaxing you into making statements on the recorded line that downplay your injuries.

Later, when doctors thoroughly diagnose your injuries and the initial shock subsides, the other parties can use these recorded statements against you in your injury case.

Don’t Accept a Settlement Too Quickly

You might want to say yes when the insurance company offers to settle your claim quickly and give you money immediately. Instead, wait for your attorney’s advice and get a larger payout.

Don’t Delay Medical Treatment

Get medical help when you have symptoms because the insurance company, whether you have a lawyer or not, might say that if you wait too long to go to the ER or get treatment, your injury might have resulted from something other than the car crash.

Don’t Sign Anything Without Legal Advice

The best personal injury lawyer is a helpful guide by your side. They can answer your questions, explain what you can do, and handle your needs when dealing with the insurance company. If someone hurt you, a Florida accident lawyer can explain your rights and get you the most money possible to cover your losses.

Avoid these critical mistakes and seek the guidance of a qualified personal injury attorney. A truck accident lawyer lets you navigate the challenging aftermath of a truck accident with greater confidence and a higher likelihood of securing the compensation you deserve.

Do I Need a Lawyer if a Truck Hit Me?

Even the smallest of trucks can cause big, scary accidents. Truck drivers know their power and insure against it, often leaving accident victims wondering what to do next to get life back to normal.

Accident victims may wonder if they need a lawyer, especially when the truck driver is obviously at fault, but choosing to go it alone can leave you without the compensation you need.

With their knowledge and experience in the Florida legal system, a local attorney can help you navigate the confusing claims process and defend your rights.

Many people believe a lawyer’s only job is to show up for you in court or talk to the judge on your behalf. There’s so much more to it.

Many people believe a lawyer’s only job is to show up for you in court or talk to the judge on your behalf. There’s so much more to it. Besides legal expertise, lawyers help you:

Determine liability

Establishing liability means figuring out who is at fault. Lawyers investigate the accident, gather evidence, and work with experts if necessary to determine liability.

Compensation maximization

Experienced lawyers know how to assess the full extent of your damages. They consider medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They use the information to maximize the reward you receive.

Negotiate with insurance companies

Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts to accident victims. Lawyers handle negotiations with insurance adjusters to ensure you receive your rightful settlement.

Legal documentation and deadlines

Submitting a personal injury claim requires mounds of paperwork presented on a strict deadline. A lawyer can file all necessary documentation correctly and on time.

Contingency fees

Personal injury lawyers most often work on a contingency fee base, which means they only get paid if you win. This arrangement can make legal representation more accessible to those who may not have the funds to pay hourly fees upfront.

Access to resources

Chris Castillo, Attorney for Truck Accident

Chris Castillo, Truck Accident Lawyer

Lawyers have exclusive access to a network of professionals, including accident reconstruction experts, medical specialists, and investigators, who help build a solid case.

Don’t let a lack of legal representation worsen a bad situation; seek the legal support you need today. Let experienced personal injury lawyers at Apex Law help you get your life back on track after a truck accident.