What to Do After a Truck Accident in TX
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Each and every motor vehicle accident is frightening. However, a truck accident can be particularly jarring. Commercial trucking accidents involve a much larger vehicle than your everyday car, which in turn may result in more severe damage and consequences for a victim. According to the Texas DMV, even the smallest of trucks are authorized to carry at least 20,000 pounds in weight.
After suffering a trucking accident, it can be difficult to know what to do in order to take care of yourself, your injuries, and any potential legal claims. The following is a guide to the steps you should take in order to protect yourself, your claim, and your ability to seek compensation for your injuries. This process may be overwhelming to recovering victims, and you should never have to go through it alone. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience dealing with trucking accidents and may be able to help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to.
CONTACT THE POLICE
Whenever you are involved in an accident, regardless of injuries or property damage, you should call the police to the scene. Even if the other driver suggests or tells you not to, it is important that you do not listen and call them anyway. The police may investigate the scene by questioning witnesses, getting victim statements, and provide official documentation with an accident report.
The accident report may serve as an important piece of evidence in your claim because it describes an objective and unbiased assessment of the accident. Remember to ask the police officer what you need in order to get access to the report later on.
GET THE TRUCK DRIVER’S LICENSE, INSURANCE, AND EMPLOYER INFORMATION
In addition to contacting the police, always get the other driver's information yourself. Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, licenses, insurance company info, and policy numbers. You may also want to get their license plate number and employment information.
Don’t Apologize, Admit Fault, or Discuss Injuries
It is a natural human reaction to want to apologize in a situation where there has been injury and damage. However, apologizing to the other driver is not advisable. Even if you believe you were at fault, there are variables you may be unaware of, and it will not be helpful to admit your fault right out of the gate. Additionally, do not discuss any of your injuries, or lack thereof, with the other driver. This could hurt your claim further down the road.
DOCUMENT THE SCENE AND YOUR INJURIES
Sufficient documentation is vital when filing a claim. It is best to document everything as soon as possible. Preferably before any of the vehicles or debris are moved from the scene. This is because you want everything to be exactly as it was when the accident happened. This will give attorneys and insurance providers an accurate idea of the severity of the accident.
In addition to documenting the scene, it is also important to thoroughly document your injuries. Take photos of any injuries before they are treated. You will want to be able to show what was hurt and what it looked like in the moment that the accident occurred.
Overall, take particular care to document anything you think could be helpful. Take photos of the road, the vehicles, and your injuries. Write down notes about what you remember and what happened. Get the names and numbers of anyone you think may have seen the accident happen and would be willing to talk about it later on.
GET EVALUATED BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Some injuries are not always immediately apparent. Even if you think you are fine, it is important that you take yourself to get evaluated by a medical professional. As with everything in an accident, sooner is better than later. However, later is better than never.
A doctor’s evaluation and records will help you in determining what your claim is worth. These records will also be of assistance when negotiating with the insurance companies. Keep track of all relevant medical documents and try to keep the information organized for later use. An additional tip is to keep a journal detailing your doctor visits. Be sure to take note of the date you visited as well as the name and contact information of the doctor. Without taking notes somehow, it may be hard to keep track of your medical treatments.
NOTIFY YOUR INSURER
Within 24 hours of the accident, promptly notify your insurance carrier about what happened. The insurance company will want to know what happened, who was involved, and if anyone was hurt. You may be honest, but be very careful not to give more information than you need to. In reality, the insurance company doesn't need every detail about what was hurt. A simple response of "there were physical injuries" is enough. Giving them too much information may backfire later on if you decide you feel differently than when you spoke to them originally. Be honest, but be concise.
If the insurance company reaches out to you to record a statement or sign any document, settlement offers included, never take any action without consulting an attorney. Keep in mind than an insurance company's goal is to make money, and ultimately, that means trying to pay you as little as possible. Be skeptical and critical of the information and offers they try to extend to you and let an experienced attorney determine what is appropriate.
CONTACT A TRUCKING ACCIDENT LAWYER
The claims process is complicated and can be resource-intensive to navigate. Trying to handle your own claim is inefficient and may be ineffective. Even the smallest mistakes can ruin your chance to pursue any compensation you may be entitled to from your accident.
Having an attorney on your side allows you to be confident that you are seeking maximum compensation for your injuries. Your attorney may combine your medical costs, lost wages, and any pain and suffering in order to negotiate an appropriate settlement. In the event that the insurance companies don’t want to offer an appropriate settlement, your attorney may be able to advise you on the process of going to trial.
Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group believe that everyone should have access to quality legal representation. We offer free initial case consultations and additionally work on a contingency fee basis. You will only owe us money if we can reach a settlement in your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.