After getting hit by a large commercial truck, you may be hurt, and your vehicle is likely to have suffered major damage.
In the moments immediately after your truck accident, you may be unsure of what to do next. Use the tips below to help you take the correct steps after your accident. These steps will ensure that you can get the medical care you need and later seek out the maximum amount of compensation available from all at-fault parties.
If you have any questions following your wreck, or you want help from an experienced legal professional, you can contact a truck accident lawyer in Atlanta at the Rafi Law Firm. Our Atlanta truck accident attorneys have years of experience helping injured victims stand up against big trucking and insurance companies.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer today when you call 404-800-9933 or contact us online.
Step 1: Check on Your Health and the Health of Others
If you’re able, check on the condition of others involved in the accident and then call to alert the authorities.
Not only is checking on your fellow accident victims the ethically right thing to do, but Georgia law actually requires you to do it.
Step 2: If Possible, Move Your Vehicle From the Road
We understand this may not be possible. If you can, take steps to move your car from blocking other traffic. This, too, is required by Georgia law when possible.
Step 3: Begin to Gather Evidence
Any evidence you can collect will be vital for insurance purposes and personal injury claims.
- Photograph the scene. Be sure to take photos of all vehicles involved in the accident, all damage done to the vehicles, skid marks, road conditions, location of traffic signs and signals, road debris, etc.
- Gather witness information. Get the names and contact information of anyone who may have seen your accident. If you have a voice recorder app on your cell phone, use it to record their thoughts and yours as well so that important details aren’t lost to time.
Step 4: Exchange Information with All Drivers
Drivers are obligated to share information with one another. When you are involved in a truck accident, you will want more specific information than just the truck driver’s license and insurance.
- Full name and contact information
- Commercial driver’s license number
- Commercial liability insurance information
- Name of the employing/contracting company
- Any branding information displayed on the cab and trailer
- USDOT number
Step 5: Provide an Accurate Statement to Police
When police officers arrive, remain calm and patient. They will take statements from everyone present, including you.
Do not assign blame or fault, but do be accurate and specific. Describe the series of events as best you can recall, step by step. Do not make assumptions or attempt to fill in blanks. If you are unsure about something or do not know a specific piece of information, say so.
You have a personal interest in not implicating yourself in any negligent or criminal activity. For instance, do not admit fault by saying something like, “The accident wouldn’t have happened if I had…”. However, you should answer all questions truthfully and completely with no attempt to mislead the officer.
Step 6: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Always be examined by a licensed doctor following your truck accident, even if you don’t feel hurt. Adrenaline and excitement can dull pain, and some injuries might not show up until a day or two after the accident.
Waiting to receive care can not only delay needed treatment, but it can also allow insurers to call into question whether your injuries were directly related to the accident. “If you were hurt, why didn’t you receive immediate care?” they may ask.
While at the doctor’s office or emergency department, consent to all tests and imaging needed to make a full diagnosis. Describe your symptoms in detail to document any pain or debilitation. Follow all doctor’s orders stemming from your medical visit. Take any drugs as prescribed, and use any assistive or rehabilitative devices recommended. If you are told to miss work or avoid certain activities, do so.
Attend all needed follow up appointments until you are fully healed.
Obeying doctor’s orders is important to heal as quickly as possible. Doing so also serves as proof that your injuries were as severe as you described to insurers and that you were doing everything you could to recuperate.
Step 7: Do Not Talk to Insurance Providers
Even though they’ll likely be among the first to contact you after your accident, the insurance providers are only interested in two things: convincing you to settle for as little as possible, as quickly as possible.
Remember, insurance representatives are professional negotiators. They will use every tactic conceivable to close your case.
Don’t sign anything or agree to make a recorded statement without reviewing your legal rights and options first. You can do so with the help of an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer.
Step 8: Talk with Proven Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers
Appointing an attorney after your truck accident can greatly simplify your responsibilities while increasing your chances of obtaining full compensation. Your lawyer will collect evidence and negotiate with insurers on your behalf. They will also keep you informed of all of your available legal options while providing advice on which actions may be in your best interest.
Before you have to deal with insurers or put a dollar amount to your accident losses, consider talking to an experienced truck accident lawyer in Atlanta at the Rafi Law Firm. Your attorney will calculate all of your losses and fight for the maximum compensation available from all liable parties. We have a proven history of winning case results for other clients, and we want to help you.
Learn more about your legal rights after a truck accident and get answers to your most important questions during a free, no-obligation case review. Call 404-800-9933 or contact us online to schedule your free case review now.
He was beyond professional and hardworking.
We highly recommend Rafi Law Firm! Mike’s services led to the most equitable outcome.
Mr.Rafi and his team were a pleasure to work with!