What to Do if You’ve Been in a Truck Accident
According to a recent study published by NHTSA, fatal truck accidents rose nine percent from 2015 to 2016. The rise is somewhat unsettling for a couple of reasons: (1) overall, the number of total traffic fatalities dropped by almost two percent; and (2) of those categories that saw an increase, truck accidents were by far the most significant. Commercial trucks are often 20-30 times the weight of the passenger vehicles with which they share the road, making them capable of causing devastating damage and injury when they are involved in collisions. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a large truck, these are the steps you should take to protect yourself.
Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. If you haven’t already, see your doctor, even if you think your injuries are nothing to worry about. Pain and stiffness can be signs of serious injuries that aren’t immediately obvious, such as organ damage or a concussion. If you’ve already been to the doctor, don’t hesitate to return for a reevaluation if you experience new symptoms. Many injuries do not manifest themselves right away but appear days or even weeks later.
Get Plenty of Rest
Your body needs rest in order to heal. We realize that you don’t want to miss work – missing work means lost income while the bills are already beginning to pile up. But if you don’t give your body the rest it needs, you could make your injuries worse or prevent your body from recovering properly. If your doctor tells you to stay in bed for a couple of days, follow his or her advice.
Document Your Claim
Once you’re on the road to recovery, you need to be sure to carefully document your claim. This means keeping track of all bills, receipts, medical reports, and other documents regarding the accident and your injuries. Be sure to include any lost wages or other income, the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, and any subsequent transportation costs. In addition, keep a journal about how your injuries are affecting you on a daily basis. Be sure to keep all of these records organized and stored in a safe place.
Take Lots of Pictures
It’s cliché because it’s true – a picture tells a thousand words. Take photos of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and the scene of the accident. Try to capture multiple angles and get good lighting so that your pictures clearly depict the severity of the crash and your injuries.
Write it Down
Write down everything you can remember about the accident – traffic and weather conditions, the time of day, the direction you were traveling, and so on. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses and their contact information. You want to be especially sure to get the name of the driver, the company he or she was driving for, the type of truck, and anything else that strikes you as even remotely relevant. The bottom line is that more detail is better than less in the event that you have to pursue a claim for your injuries.
Contact a Downey California Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are usually more complicated than the typical car accident. If you need to pursue a claim, keep in mind that you’ll be going up against a corporate entity that has protections in place to help it avoid responsibility for accidents. If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, you want an attorney who has experience with truck accidents and knows how to get trucking companies to pay you the compensation you deserve.
The JLF Firm in Downey, California is here to help. Call us at (562) 418-6880 or send us an email in order to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.