Knowing what to do when you are in a truck accident should be something anyone knows simply because there are so many trucks on the road today. Even if you have already been in an accident, you should know what to do at the scene of a truck accident to protect your financial well-being and your ability to receive compensation. At Venerable Injury Law, our Los Angeles truck accident lawyer can help you better understand what you should consider.
How Do You Put Your Safety at the Top of the List?
When you are in a car accident with a truck, your priority has to be to get medical care to yourself, those in the car with you, and anyone otherwise involved, even the truck driver. Keep in mind that you need to be safe as well, which means that it may not be safe for you to get out of the car onto a busy highway or to approach a truck that is smoking. The first thing to do, then, in any situation, is to call medical first responders by dialing 911.
Follow the instructions of the dispatcher and allow them to give you insight into how to be safe. When possible, move yourself out of the way of traffic, such as getting to the side of the road. You also want to be sure that you are not remaining in your vehicle if it is on fire or smoking.
When it comes to safety, remember that you cannot help others if you do not help yourself. Even if you feel as if you can, avoid putting yourself at further risk. Then, when medical care arrives, head to the hospital even if you feel okay. Receive a full evaluation to make sure you are completely aware of any potential injuries or medical care you need.
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How Do You Document the Incident?
When it is safe to do so, you have the right to gather as much information as you can at the scene of the crime, as long as you do not get in the way of the police or others. There are several things you can do to help you to document what occurred. With the advent of smartphones, you have one of the most powerful tools at your fingertips to use.
Start with gathering photos of what happened. Taking a video of the entire scene is a good idea, panning around the area slowly. Be sure to take photos of the damage to the vehicles and your injuries.
You can also spend a few minutes recording a statement on your smartphone about what happened. This can serve as a good way to document the details of what occurred while they are fresh in your mind. Try to record anything you can remember happening before, during, or after the accident, including what others said.
Gathering Details from Witnesses
Other people at the scene of the incident can prove to be some of the best resources for you in terms of information. Request (do not demand) that they provide you with their name and contact information so that you or your attorney can reach out to them at a later time to verify what they saw. Even if they say they did not see anything, they may be valuable witnesses later, so talk to Venerable Injury Law today.
Provide Information to the Police
When you are asked what happened by the police, be open with them and honest about what occurred, but avoid making any statement that could make you seem guilty, such as “I am sorry” or “I did not see the other driver” or “I was looking at my phone and looked up…” Be sure to provide all the facts you can without leaving them out, as you want to be sure the police officer has no reason not to believe you. The police officer will later compile all data from the scene and then file a formal report.
Think About What Happened Before the Accident
Another important step in documenting what occurred is to take the time to reflect on what occurred just before the accident. Do you remember seeing the truck swerving, or did you pass the truck a few minutes prior and see the driver on the phone? Did you notice any changes to road conditions, such as an animal running across the highway, or perhaps you saw another driver cut off the truck – any of this information could prove valuable later.
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Make Sure You Get Your Medical Care
As noted, going to the hospital is a critical step in getting the care that you need, and you should have a full evaluation. Keep in mind that this means allowing them to run blood tests and have X-rays. Often, the injuries you have are not obvious and may not come to light until days later.
We also recommend continuing to get the care that the emergency room recommends. This often includes going to your primary care provider in the days after for a follow-up or getting more comprehensive testing if it is needed. That can help to ensure you are getting the type and level of care necessary and help determine the level of compensation you deserve.
In the days to come, write down how the accident has impacted you. Did you miss work because you were in too much pain, or did you need to go back to the doctor later because of a concussion? The more information you document, the better it is for your legal situation.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Truck Accident Attorney Soon
At Venerable Injury Law, we strongly encourage you to get the care and support you need at all levels of your care, and we do take into consideration holistic therapies like chiropractic care that may help you speed up the healing and reduce your pain. Let our attorney help you determine how to protect your case and your right to compensation for all of these losses. Do not wait to set up a free consultation with our truck accident attorney after a truck accident; instead, call us now.
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