Six Crucial Steps To Take If Injured In An Accident Involving A Commercial Vehicle On Interstate 75
Sadly, accidents involving commercial vehicles happen far too often, and to most people, especially those living in larger cities, it’s almost a normal occurrence. However, when the accident involves a commercial vehicle, the scene can be disastrous, considering the size of most commercial vehicles. If you find yourself in such an accident, you should immediately seek the services of a personal injury law firm for guidance on how to go about the process of recovering your damages. Below we highlight the steps you need to take if you are involved in an accident involving a commercial truck.
Seek Treatment Immediately
The first step is to seek medical attention. Underestimating any injuries could be risky, however minor they seem. Most people ignore seeking medical attention since they cannot see any blood, physical injury, or they are not in any kind of pain. What many do not understand is that any type of discomfort could grow to feel worse after shock wears off, and internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma is one of the major causes of death after commercial vehicle accidents.
To put it simply, an internal hemorrhage happens from the “inside” and is difficult to detect since the individual might be okay from the “outside.” The same occurs when sensitive body organs go into shock from an accident impact. In most cases, only medical personnel can fully diagnose accident injuries, which in some cases can take a while to manifest visually or through pain.
Keep All Medical Records
Always request documentation for tests and treatments you receive, as these will be crucial to your lawyer’s arsenal of evidence in your case. If you have an appointment such as physiotherapy, rehabilitation, or lab tests arising from the accident, ensure all these documents are well preserved as they play a major role in the case. For instance, the same is used to determine the nature of compensation owed.
Part of the medical records includes previous illnesses or injuries that you feel may have been worsened by the accident. This must be clearly documented by the medical practitioner. Communicate these things so they can be documented.
Do Not Leave The Accident Scene
Even though all accidents should be categorized as emergencies, if you can help it, it is advisable not to leave the accident scene. You may prefer to ignore the processes that follow an accident, especially if you were not in the wrong. But in such a scenario, a rogue driver may report you and seek compensation; after all, you left the scene in a hurry. To avoid such a scenario where the hunter becomes the hunted, stay at the accident scene until the law enforcers arrive to determine the error and what transpired. You may call 911 from the accident scene and if options are limited, ensure you report the accident right away afterwards.
Do Not Speak to Insurance Company Representatives
Insurance companies are in business and would do anything to reduce their losses. One way they do this is by ensuring they win the case and offer no compensation or ensure the compensation is as minimal as possible. For commercial companies, the policies are higher due to the higher risk involved. As a result, the insurance company representative will be seeking incriminating evidence from you. If they insist on speaking to you, direct them to your attorney. They may even accuse you of causing the accident to provoke you to speak. Maintain your cool and remain silent.
Do Not Give False Information
If the law enforcement officers approach you to record a statement, be as truthful as possible. Remember any falsified information can be used against you. Ensure you also provide your attorney with accurate information whether you were in the right or wrong. They always know how to work with the truth whether you feel it will work for you or against you. The same applies to information given to your doctor. If you begin the case on mistrust, it becomes difficult to proceed in a helpful manner later on. You may be forced to write other statements to validate your earlier statement. It could hurt your case permanently.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
This includes the names and contacts of those involved in the accident, the driver, occupants, and witnesses. Other key information includes the truck owner, the truck driver’s employer, the responding police officer, name, badge number, and report number. This makes it easy to follow up on your case.
If you are in the right state of mind, with no injuries, take photographic and video evidence of the accident scene. You may take pictures and videos of the vehicles involved in the accident, the people involved, the injuries and the road signs, anything that may be obstructing or may have contributed to the accident, any damaged property, and the specific location of the accident.
Find Legal Representation
Most commercial vehicle accidents are due to driver error. An attorney who has experience dealing with commercial vehicle accidents can take up the investigations necessary immediately and come up with enough evidence for a water-tight case. The federal law prohibits drivers from being on the road longer than 11 hours for example. However, it is not always the case that drivers follow this rule. With such information, an attorney can develop evidence that may not be obvious from a client’s perspective. As an accident victim, you also may assume you are the cause of the accident, but the accident could have been caused by a fatigued driver. These are the points you may miss if you don’t seek legal consultation.
Besides the accident scene records, a commercial accident attorney offers guidance on what to say and what not to say. Remember, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. Much of what you say could end up sabotaging the case, especially in an era where those around are armed with recorders and video-enabled phones. If you have an attorney’s contact information, the best approach is to call and ask them what to do in such a situation. They not only guide on what to do and say but also advise on what questions not to answer. Always remember the law enforcers are looking for their evidence to present to court too. Do not be quick to give information regardless of how intimidating the situation may look.
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