As with any accident, you cannot afford to waste time in the aftermath of a truck collision. Adrenaline coursing through your system and the fact you were in an accident with a massive vehicle could make it difficult to get your bearings and know what to do first. Having access to a handy guide and the right resources helps you know what steps to take to build your case against the at-fault party and get the compensation you need to heal your injuries and repair the damage to your vehicle. Get a breakdown of the actions to take in the days following a truck accident.
Seek Medical Attention
If a doctor did not look you over immediately after your accident, schedule an appointment as quickly as possible. You may think yourself lucky if you emerged from a truck accident without injuries, but you could have delayed harm that you do not notice for days or weeks after the accident. If you do not report your injuries to insurance providers as quickly as possible after an accident, they may doubt your claims.
At your appointment, let your doctor know what happened, and share any minor twinges, aches or pains you experience after the accident. Even if you think a back or neck ache has more to do with your posture and less with the truck accident, let your doctor be the one to decide that. You never know if the accident aggravated an existing injury. Either way, you deserve to know the full scope of your injuries and how the accident affected you.
Listen to Your Doctor’s Advice
If your doctor advises you to refrain from specific actions and activities, follow her or his instructions to the letter. Going against your doctor’s orders may not only jeopardize your health and recovery, but your claim, too. Ask whether you may return to work and in what capacity, as your injuries may prohibit you from carrying out your standard duties.
Attend all follow-up visits and appointments. Doing so protects your legal right to compensation and could speed up your recovery. If a physician recommends you see a specific practitioner, make an appointment sooner rather than later. Should your physician prescribes a medication, fill the prescription as quickly as possible. If you feel uncomfortable taking a specific prescription or undergoing a specific treatment, communicate your worries with your pharmacist or doctor. You could qualify for an alternative.
Watch What You Say to Insurance Providers
Think twice about what you say to insurance providers, even your own. Insurance companies have their own interests at heart, not their policyholders. If they feel they have grounds to dismiss a claim or offer a low settlement, they could pounce on the opportunity.
If you file a claim with your auto or health coverage provider, only offer facts rather than guesses. Do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” Guessing and offering extra details could complicate your claim. Stick to the facts, and let your adjuster work out the rest. After all, it is their job to figure out what happened, not yours.
If the truck driver’s or trucking company’s insurance provider contacts you, do not give a statement. Seemingly innocent questions could conceal an attempt to undermine your right to compensation. Insurance companies often weaponize statements and turn them against injured parties. Rather than speak to representatives yourself, have them contact your legal advocate.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
When the police come out to the scene of an accident, they make a report of what happened and the parties involved. If you did not get a copy of the report at the scene, get one in the days following the truck accident. The police report helps to establish negligence and fault, two essential cornerstones of a successful truck accident case.
Another benefit of police reports is they may contain vital contact information for the police officer who investigated the crash, the truck driver, accident witnesses and the driver’s insurance company. Additional details you may notice on the report include:
- Road conditions
- Location, date and time of the accident
- Description of the accident scene
- Points of impact
- Whether anyone drove drunk at the time of the accident
All these details paint a picture of the factors that contributed to the accident.
Record All Incurred Expenses Related to the Accident
After the accident, you may need to pay for an ambulance ride to the emergency room, gas to make it to your doctor’s appointments, over-the-counter medication for aches and pains related to the collision or a rental vehicle while you put your car in the shop for repairs. Keep detailed notes of all expenses incurred because of the accident. If you have a personal injury claim, your notes could help you recover fair compensation.
Even if insurance covers some expenses, it still makes sense to keep records of everything. If you win your legal case, your insurance provider may expect reimbursement. Keeping records of your expenses helps determine your case’s worth.
Keep a Journal of Your Physical and Mental Health After the Collision
Between doctor’s appointments, keep a journal of how you feel physically, and note how your injuries affect your daily life and routine. If you cannot engage in the same hobbies or activities you enjoyed before the collision, write that information. Should you notice new pain or discomfort, note it in your journal and share it with your doctor.
Keep notes on your mental and emotional health after the truck accident. You may experience anxiety, stress or depression when you think about the accident or how it affects you. If you have trouble falling asleep, have nightmares about the accident or cannot get back behind the wheel or in another vehicle, write about it. Depending on your legal case, you could qualify for pain and suffering or emotional distress damages. Maintaining a journal helps you document your recovery and could support your legal case.
Touch Bases With Your Employer
You may need to take time off work after your accident, or your doctor may recommend light-duty work while you heal. Either way, keep your employer in the loop regarding your injuries and physical limitations. If you must take time off work, keeping in touch with your employer could help protect your job. If you must work in a reduced capacity, communicating with your employer may help you find an ideal position that suits your current capabilities.
Consider Hiring a Legal Representative
Even when it seems obvious that the truck driver caused your injuries, consider turning your case over to a reputable truck accident lawyer rather than tackle the matter yourself. Legal representatives have the resources and experience to build your case and help you understand how much you stand to receive from the at-fault party. You should also expect the driver’s employer to have its own legal counsel to protect its interests. Even if you recover damages on your own, you may receive less than you deserve if you do not hire a lawyer.
Contact Us Today
Do not take chances with your legal rights or peace of mind. If you were involved in a truck accident, the professionals of Jason Stone Injury Lawyers stand ready to help you. To schedule a consultation or learn more about our Stone Cold Guarantee, call 800-577-5188 or submit an online form. There’s No Obligation, Just Information (R).