Truck accidents are vastly different from other crashes on the road. Commercial trucks are massive vehicles, so the damage they leave behind when they collide with smaller cars is immense. There are also many potentially liable parties after a truck accident, so determining all the parties that may be financially responsible for your injuries is essential.
Although the moments and days after a crash can be chaotic, there are some steps you can take to help protect your claim for compensation. You should also know that many trucking companies have teams of lawyers, investigators, and accident reconstruction experts on standby to immediately start gathering evidence in their favor and preparing their defense. This is why it’s crucial that you have an experienced attorney on your side from the very beginning.
Call 911 or Law Enforcement
Calling 911 or law enforcement to the scene will ensure that everyone receives the emergency attention they need and that the details of your crash are properly documented. Law enforcement officers will collect evidence, interview all the parties involved, talk to witnesses, and write up an official report. This accident report can later be used as evidence in your personal injury claim.
There is a lot of information you will need to exchange with all drivers involved in the accident. This includes their name and contact information, insurance information, driver’s license number, and their license plate number. Also ask the driver what company he or she works for and whether he or she owns the vehicle. If you are able, it can be helpful to take photos of any lettering or numbering on the truck itself. You can also ask someone to do this for you.
Save Any Evidence
After a truck crash, you are likely suffering from serious injuries. This can make it extremely difficult to collect evidence at the scene, but you can ask someone else to collect it for you and save all the evidence you have.
If you can, take photos of the truck, your own vehicle, and any other vehicles involved. When taking these pictures, focus on the damage done to the vehicles, which can help indicate how the crash occurred. Also take pictures of your injuries, the scene as a whole, and of any other relevant information, such as a stop sign, traffic lights, or skid marks. If you cannot take these pictures, ask someone to take them for you.
Witness statements can also provide vital evidence about how a crash happened, so if possible, ask anyone who saw the crash for their name and contact information. Your attorney can then follow up with these witnesses to get their statements.
Another type of evidence that many accident victims do not think of is a journal. From the day of the accident, and throughout the claims process, it is important to make notes about your injuries and how they have impacted your life. Over time, memories fade and you may not remember all of your injuries or how they limited your daily activities. A journal will ensure that your pain and suffering is documented so you can demand the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Get Medical Treatment
It is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after a crash so you can receive the treatment that is critical to your recovery. Any notes or diagnosis a doctor makes can also provide important evidence when you file your claim, as these records will ensure that your injuries are documented.
In addition to your own health and well-being, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible because it can help protect your claim. If you do not seek treatment right away, the insurance company or the at-fault party will likely claim that you were not injured because you did not see a doctor. They will use this argument even if you sustained an injury, such as a concussion, that did not present symptoms until several days after the crash. To prevent at-fault parties from making these claims, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately following the crash. Furthermore, if you delay more than 14 days in seeking medical treatment, your automobile medical insurance claim for all future treatment will probably be denied by your insurance company.
Save All Paperwork
There is a lot of paperwork associated with truck accidents. Police reports and medical records are some of the most important types of paperwork after a crash. It is important to take copies of these documents and to store them in a safe place so your lawyer can access them when filing your claim. Other paperwork that is important to keep includes receipts for your medical visits or any other costs associated with the crash, such as an invoice for home renovations if you had to make adjustments to your home to accommodate your injury.
Paperwork is extremely important to your claim because it can help evaluate your damages so you can seek the full amount of compensation you deserve. It is also important because some of that paperwork, including the police report, can help determine liability. If you are unsure of how to get access to some of this paperwork, a lawyer can communicate with doctors and law enforcement to obtain it for you.
Contact Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
Truck accidents are not only some of the worst crashes on Florida’s roads, they are also some of the most complex personal injury claims to file. If you have been injured in a truck crash, do not try to file your claim on your own. Our Gainesville personal injury attorneys at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., are here to help.