Driving is something that many of us do every day. Yet, we often forget about the serious dangers that go along with this activity. Car crashes are responsible for the third-highest mortality rate when it comes to accidental death in the United States after poisoning and falls.
When a car crash involves a large truck, the chance for fatalities or severe injuries increases dramatically. Getting your life back on track after a truck accident can be a long struggle. However, by taking some simple steps immediately following your accident, you can put yourself in a position to greatly reduce the time it takes to get your life back to normal.
Steps to Take
A car accident sends your adrenaline pumping and can leave you disoriented. It is critical to ground yourself and take charge of the situation. You need to control the accident scene, not let it control you.
Bring Your Vehicle to a Complete Stop
Following an accident, the first thing you need to do (if possible) is to pull over to the side of the road and turn off your vehicle. Leaving the scene of the accident is one of the worst things you could do following a crash, and the consequences could be severe.
Check for Injuries
After you have shut off your engine, the next step is to check yourself for injuries. You may not notice an injury immediately due to the adrenaline rush, so a visual inspection of your body is important. After examining yourself, check to see about the injury status of any passengers in your vehicle. Then, if possible, leave your car and check to see if anyone else involved in the accident was injured.
If anyone has suffered an injury, you will need to call 911 to get an ambulance to the scene and follow any directions from the operator to provide assistance to the injured party.
File a Police Report
If you called 911 to report an injury, then the police will be on their way to the accident scene as well. However, if nobody was injured, it is still important to call the local police to the scene. Depending on the severity of the damage done, failing to file a police report could get you in legal hot water.
Even if the damage is mild, filing an accurate report at the time of the accident provides you with protection against any false claims that may later be made by any other parties involved in the accident.
It is important to get as much information as you can from the scene of the accident at the time if you are uninjured enough to do so. The more information you have, the better position you will be in when filing an insurance claim or dealing with questions of fault.
Exchange insurance information with the truck driver and any other drivers involved in the accident. Also, make a note of the vehicles involved and any conditions that may have contributed to the accident such as weather.
Take pictures of everything.
Speak With Witnesses
Tracking down witnesses after leaving the scene is nearly impossible. Speak to witnesses and get their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
Have the paramedics at the scene check you out, even if you believe you are uninjured. Whether you leave in the ambulance, your own vehicle, or the vehicle of another, your first stop should be the hospital. It is critical to get a more thorough examination from a doctor following an accident. Failing to get a proper diagnosis immediately following an accident can have deeply hurt any injury claim you may attempt to make.
The insurance company will have severe doubts about the actual cause of your injury if you do not see a doctor until days after the accident.
Contact a Lawyer
Insurance companies have a penchant for doing everything in their power to deny any claim or at least severely undervalue the claim. They have a whole bag of tricks they will attempt to use against you. Fortunately, an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney is aware of all of these tactics and knows how to combat them. Hiring a lawyer can be critical to getting the compensation you deserve to move on from your accident.
Contact Your Insurance
Whether you are filing a claim with your insurance or the insurance of the trucking company, it is important to contact your agent. They need to be made aware of the accident so that they can properly adjust your policy.
Keep Your Head
As long as you are able to keep a clear head and follow these steps after a truck accident, you will be in the best position to put this difficult chapter of your life behind you. A truck accident is never fun, and the quicker you can move on from it, the better.
About the Author
Cheryl Roy has built a successful legal career over the years. However, she wanted to reach out to people beyond her practice and decided to do so by writing. Cheryl took it as a personal mission to make legal information more accessible to the public. Therefore, she started sharing her expertise with individuals and businesses facing a legal dilemma. Now she has branched out to many online and offline platforms and works as a collaborative editor for Bader Scott Injury Lawyers.