No one ever expects to be involved in an accident with a semi-truck, but if it happens, you need to know how to act. While there are literally dozens of things you could do, there are six critical steps you must take to preserve evidence (and your case). Each year in the United States, there are thousands of accidents – some of which result in a fatality – with semi-trucks. Even without a fatality, most of these accidents result in long-term, traumatic injuries.
Even with technological advancements, it is unlikely that semi-truck accidents will ever stop in the United States. Therefore, it is important as a potential victim (or recent victim) that you know what to do immediately after an accident occurs.
Six Steps to Take After Your Incident
- Report the accident to the authorities. The first step is to contact the proper authorities. If there are serious injuries, call 911 to report the accident. If there are no serious injuries, then you can contact the local police department. Regardless, you must report it. It is required by law that you report the accident, but also having a police report could prove beneficial if you do have to file suit later on.
- Seek medical attention. You may feel as though you are fine, but you still need medical attention. Starting your medical records early is important. Also, keep track of any medical bills that you incur as a result of the accident; these will be needed in order for your attorney to request reimbursement. If you are seen at the emergency room or even by your family physician, make sure that it is documented that your injuries were the result of an accident.
- Be cooperative. Once the police arrive on the scene, they will ask questions. Avoid being emotional or pointing fingers at the other party. Instead, just speak to the police honestly and calmly. Also, avoid making any incriminating remarks, such as “I was talking on my phone.” or “I was driving too fast.”
- Document what you can. If you need to file a claim in the future, you will need information. While you may not be able to document every minute detail, there are some things that you need to write down. These include license plate numbers of your vehicle and the truck, contact information for witnesses, insurance information, and the vehicle identification number on the semi-truck.
- Do not say more than necessary. It is easy for any accident to become a finger-pointing game. If you say the wrong thing, it could be used later if you try to file a claim or the driver of the truck could file a claim against you. The most important things to avoid are statements like “I’m sorry.” Anything that can be misconstrued as an admittance of guilt should be avoided.
- Follow up with your doctor. Even if you are busy or think you are fine, contact your doctor and go to your scheduled follow-up appointments. By failing to complete treatment or following up, it could be perceived that you were faking the injuries. Even if you disagree with your physician’s recommendations, consider getting a second opinion rather than ignoring medical advice.
Do Not Forget to Contact an Atlanta Accident Attorney
To protect your rights and preserve evidence, you need someone who understands how truck accident claims work. Contact the accident team at Van Sant Law, now. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Schedule your consult at 404-991-5950, or request more information online.