8 Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
What to Do After You Get Struck in a Truck Wreck
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident, it’s crucial that you consult with a Los Angeles truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Your priority after suffering any type of accident should always be your health, but an experienced truck accident lawyer can recover the financial compensation you are entitled to, as well.
Below, West Coast Trial Lawyers will discuss the immediate steps you should take following a truck accident. We are always here to answer any questions you may have about truck accidents and the damages you may be entitled to.
8 Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
- Check on everyone involved. The aftermath of a truck accident is typically highly emotional. However, it is important that you check to make sure that everyone involved is okay. If anyone appears to be hurt, and this includes seemingly minor injuries, please call 911 immediately and request medical assistance.
- Call the police. By law, you need to call the police after an accident when property damage and injuries are involved. Even if it seems that the property damage is minimal and there are no serious injuries, contacting the police is crucial. The responding police officers will need to make a report of the accident. An accident report will document, among other things, damages, injuries, and ultimately, who is responsible for the accident.
- Collect contact and insurance information. This is a crucial step. Please make sure to gather names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information from everyone involved in the crash.
- Document the accident. It is a great idea to take as many photographs as you can of the scene of the accident, the vehicles involved, your injuries, road conditions, and where the incident took place. We also recommend writing down everything you remember about the collision.
- Do not discuss the accident. It is important to watch what you say when a truck accident occurs. Keeping calm is easier said than done, especially in the aftermath of a collision. But if possible, do not talk about the incident at all. Never admit fault and do not make any statements about who may be at-fault either.
- Find a witness. If there are any available witnesses to the crash, you should ask for their consent to write down their contact information. Their testimony may be invaluable later on when proving that the other party was liable for your losses.
- Seek medical attention. As with most car accidents, injuries suffered as a result of a truck accident may not manifest any adverse effects until days or weeks after the incident took place. Whether you believe you are seriously injured or not, please get checked out by a doctor. A doctor will need to conduct a thorough medical examination to determine just how hurt you are. And most importantly, unless you are seen by a doctor, the insurance company is likely to argue that you were not hurt at all, which could be very detrimental to your claim.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer. The days following a truck accident are very delicate. Not only should you consult a doctor, it is recommended that you retain the services of an experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorney. You may be contacted by insurance representatives who will try to pressure you into settling. Do not speak to anyone about the situation until you have consulted with an attorney first. Insurance companies are not on your side. A truck accident lawyer will be there every step of the way by dealing with paperwork and the insurance companies so that you can focus on your recovery.
Truck Accidents Are Different Than Car Accidents
It’s important to understand the key differences between truck and car accidents. Truck accidents involve several unique factors that are not common to car accidents. Truck accidents involve trucking industry laws, commercial trucking insurance coverage, special accident investigations, and more severe injuries and fatalities.
Trucking Industry Laws: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has implemented several trucking regulations to help make roads safer for truck drivers and motorists. Commercial truck drivers are all required to follow these FMCSA regulations. Failing to comply with safety regulations will almost guarantee that a commercial trucking company will be held liable.
Insurance Coverage: Commercial trucking insurance is different from other insurance policies as it involves much more coverage. An experienced truck accident attorney understands the way these policies work and will deal directly with the insurance companies to make sure you obtain maximum compensation.
Truck Accident Investigations: Truck accident investigations and the process of gathering evidence for a truck accident case is more extensive than in a car accident case. A skilled truck accident lawyer knows the protocol for gathering evidence and will do so in a timely manner to preserve any crucial evidence that may be helpful to your claim.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Contact Us to Find Out How We Can Help
If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a truck accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Lawyer Trial today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.