What to Do After a Truck Accident in Pasadena
Thousands of motorists are seriously injured or killed in accidents with 18-wheelers and other large trucks every year. These crashes can be devastating. Commercial motor vehicles can weigh up to 40 tons or 80,000 pounds. In a crash, the occupants of smaller vehicles often suffer the serious or catastrophic injuries.
The moments after a truck accident can be disorienting. But if you are able, there are some important steps that you can take at the accident scene to protect your legal rights.
What Should I Do Immediately Following a Truck Wreck?
- Check for injuries. The most crucial step is to check yourself and everyone involved for obvious signs of injuries.
- Call 911. It is important to get first responders and law enforcement on the scene as soon as possible so that injuries can be treated and an accident report can be filed.
- Move to a secure location. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid being hit a second time. If the car cannot be moved, leave it and move to safety yourself.
- Gather information: Collect contact and insurance information for all drivers involved in the truck accident. This includes name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and the make, model, and year of the vehicle they are driving. Make sure to get the truck driver’s license number and the United States Department of Transportation serial number, as well as the name of the trucking company and its insurance carrier.
- Take pictures: Get photos of the accident scene, the roadway, and all of the vehicles involved in the truck wreck. Make sure to get shots from many angles and include details of the surrounding environment, such as skid marks, damaged guardrails, traffic signals, and broken glass. All of this may be evidence used to establish who was at fault for the crash and can help your truck accident attorney pursue a claim for compensation.
- Identify witnesses: Gather the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Get their names, phone numbers, and addresses. It is important to get their information right away, as witnesses can be hard to track down later.
- Notify your insurance company, but do it carefully: You must report the truck accident to your insurance company. Insurers put time limits on how long you have to notify them of a crash, so make sure to check the deadline on your policy. Stick only to the basic facts of the accident, telling the adjuster when and where it happened. Do not agree to make a recorded statement until you have consulted with an experienced Pasadena truck accident lawyer.
- Contact a trusted truck accident attorney. Crashes involving commercial motor vehicles are more complex than an average car accident case. Truckers have Rules that are more stringent. They must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations and the State Commercial driving Rules. Also, truck drivers must not drive while fatigued.
If you have been injured, you need to speak to an attorney right away to determine whether you have rights to compensation. Our firm will send a strike team to investigate the truck accident since evidence is lost or destroyed if you wait too long!
Should I Seek Medical Treatment Even if I am Unsure of Injuries?
You should seek medical attention even if it seems to you that you are not injured following a truck accident. You may have suffered internal physical damage that is not immediately visible. Your adrenaline surges after an accident and could be masking your pain. It can take days or weeks for symptoms of some injuries to appear, so it is important to get checked right away.
There is a legal reason that you should see a doctor after an accident, too. When filing an injury claim, insurance companies will look for any reason to deny or minimize compensation. An adjuster may see your failure to seek timely care as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Documenting injuries is everything since the ploy of the insurance company is to undermine your injuries and claim.
If injuries are found, follow through with the prescribed treatment plan. Attend all physical therapy appointments and fill all prescriptions. Your truck accident attorney can guide you with the treatment plan. You could lose out on compensation by not following doctor’s orders.
Who Should I Talk to About My Truck Accident?
If you have been hurt in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you need to speak to an attorney who has specific experience handling commercial truck accident claims.
The trucking industry is regulated by strict federal and state laws. An attorney with a history of handling claims involving truck accidents in California will understand how those laws apply to your case and determine what violations may have led to the wreck.
When you hire a lawyer, you have the added benefit of not having to deal with the insurance company anymore. Your attorney can take over all talks with the insurance carriers for you. This prevents you from accidentally saying something that jeopardizes your case. It also gives you space to do the most important thing — taking care of your health and healing from your injuries.
Things to Avoid After a Truck Accident
There are certain activities that you should avoid doing to protect your rights to compensation after a truck crash. These include:
- Talking to the truck company’s insurance carrier: You are not required to give a statement to the truck company’s insurance company. Leave that to your attorney.
- Posting about the wreck on social media: People use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post information about what is going on in their lives every day. But do not do it after a truck accident. Your social media may be scrutinized as part of the accident investigation. Even with every privacy setting activated, all it takes is for someone to take a screenshot of an incriminating post to harm your case.
- Discussing the case with others: You may need to share details about the circumstances of the accident with your doctor to get proper treatment. But keep most of your discussions about the wreck between you and your lawyer.
How Can the Law Offices of Pius Joseph Help Me?
Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Many of those injuries can result in lifelong disabilities, ongoing medical needs, and significant financial hardships. If you have been hurt, the Law Offices of Pius Joseph can demand maximum compensation for you and your family. We have handled many truck crash cases to a successful conclusion.
In California, compensation can cover economic and noneconomic losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost employment opportunities
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
After a careful review of your claim, our truck accident attorney can discuss your legal options in a free and confidential consultation.
It is clear that the trucking company will have a powerful legal team and insurance company always looks out for its best interests. We care for our client’s personal and health interests as a priority. Truck accident attorney Pius Joseph has over 30 years of experience and proven results helping injured victims in Pasadena and southern California.
Call or contact us to arrange a free consultation today, the call is free and the advice is free.