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The aftermath of a truck accident is painful and frightening. It can be difficult not knowing if you or your loved ones are going to be okay, and you also may start worrying about how you’ll cover the costs of medical care, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and more.
This can be an extremely confusing and disorienting time--but focusing on a few important things can help you in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
Here are a few important steps you can take in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident to protect both your health and your right to compensation.
It’s common for car and truck accident victims to forgo calling 911 because they assume someone else already did. The problem is, other people may make that assumption, too. The more time that passes after a crash before 911 is called, the more time you and other victims wait to get medical attention—and in many truck accidents, every second counts.
If you have access to a phone and are capable of dialing, call 911 and give the dispatcher as much information as you can about the crash. Tell him or her where the crash happened, how many vehicles and victims are involved, and any other pertinent information. Stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you that you can hang up.
Calling 911 will dispatch emergency responders to the accident scene. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, you should let them check you for injuries. If they believe you’re injured, or if you know you’re injured, you can ride with them to the emergency room in the ambulance, or you can arrange your own transportation to the hospital or your doctor’s office.
If your injuries aren’t life-threatening or don’t require immediate medical attention, you should still get medical treatment as soon as possible.
Doing so accomplishes two important things: First, it treats any injuries you DO have while also helping to diagnose or rule out injuries you may not have noticed yet. Second, it creates a medical record of your injuries and ties them to the truck accident, which is important evidence if you later file a claim.
After you’ve received initial medical treatment for your injuries, you’ll need help getting compensation from the at-fault party or parties, which may include the truck driver, truck company, truck owner, or even another driver.
An experienced lawyer can begin building your claim right away, which is extremely important in a truck accident case. The at-fault parties and their insurers will definitely begin building their cases as soon as they learn of the crash, because they know how much money is on the line. The sooner you get a lawyer on your side, the better your chances of getting maximum compensation.
If you were injured in the truck accident, there’s a good chance you will need additional treatments after your first visit to the hospital or your doctor’s office. Whether you need X-rays, physical rehabilitation, specialist appointments, or even surgery, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s orders as closely as possible.
As with getting medical attention in the first place, this helps protect your health and helps prove to the insurance company that your injuries are serious and worth the compensation you demand. When victims miss their appointments for any reason, insurance companies often become more skeptical of their claims.
It’s natural to want to talk about your accident, whether it’s on social media or even with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster if and when they contact you. Unfortunately, what you say after a truck accident can and probably will hurt your claim. Insurance adjusters not only check claimants’ social media accounts for potentially incriminating statements, but they also contact them in the hopes of obtaining such statements directly.
As a rule of thumb, you should stay off social media until your case concludes. And if the insurance company contacts you, tell your lawyer right away. Once you’ve hired a lawyer, all communication to and from the insurance company should go through him or her, whether it’s phone calls, emails, physical mail, or other correspondence.
Truck accident claims are in a category of their own. These claims require knowledge of not just Ohio traffic laws and federal trucking industry regulations, but also the ability to determine who is at fault when multiple parties are pointing fingers at each other.
Because truck accident claims often settle for larger amounts of money than car accident claims, insurance companies are even less likely to cooperate. That means victims’ lawyers need to be not just compassionate towards victims and experienced with filing claims, but also aggressive and determined.
The Ohio truck accident attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy know what it takes to win truck accident cases like yours, and we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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