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What To Do After a Truck Accident

Truck accidents are among the most devastating and life-altering events that can happen on the road. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles make them capable of inflicting massive damage to smaller vehicles and their occupants.

In the aftermath, victims may find themselves facing a long and difficult road to recovery, both physically and emotionally. If you have been involved in a truck accident, make sure to take the following steps to protect your health, well-being, and legal rights.

steps to take after a truck accident

Step #1: Call the Police

One of the first and most critical steps to take after a truck accident is to call the police. Even if the accident seems minor and there are no apparent injuries, you need to have an official police report that documents the incident.

This report will contain crucial information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and parties involved. It may also include statements from the truck driver, other motorists, and witnesses, as well as the officer’s observations and preliminary assessment of fault.

Without an official record of the accident, it may be more difficult to prove that the collision occurred and that the truck driver or trucking company was at fault. Additionally, the police report can help establish the severity of the accident and the extent of any injuries or property damage.

Step #2: Seek Medical Attention

Next, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel injured at the scene, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to rule out any hidden injuries or delayed symptoms. Many serious injuries may not be immediately apparent, such as concussions, whiplash, and internal bleeding.

Seeking treatment can also protect your legal rights. Insurance companies and defense attorneys may try to argue that your injuries are not related to the accident if you delay seeking treatment or have gaps in your medical care. By getting evaluated by a doctor right away and following their recommended treatment plan, you can help establish a clear link between the accident and your injuries.

When seeking medical care, inform your doctors that you were involved in a collision and describe any symptoms or pain you are experiencing. Additionally, keep detailed records of all medical appointments, diagnoses, treatments, and expenses related to your injuries. These records can serve as valuable evidence in any future legal proceedings.

Step #3: Exchange Information with the Truck Driver

After the accident, make sure to exchange information with the truck driver, just as you would in any other motor vehicle collision. Ask for the truck driver’s full name, phone number, and email address, and the name and contact information of their employer. Get the name and policy number of the truck driver’s insurance company, as well as any other relevant insurance details.

Make sure to limit your conversation with the truck driver to only the necessary details. Avoid discussing fault or apologizing for the accident, as these statements could be used against you later on. If the truck driver becomes hostile or uncooperative, do not engage further and instead wait for the police to arrive.

Step #4: Collect Evidence at the Scene

If you can do so safely, collecting evidence at the scene of the truck accident can be incredibly helpful for building a strong legal case. Gathering this evidence can help ensure that important details are not lost or forgotten over time.

Some key pieces of evidence to gather include:

  • Photos and videos: Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures and videos of the accident scene from multiple angles. Be sure to capture any damage to the vehicles involved, skid marks on the road, traffic signs or signals, and any visible injuries you or your passengers have sustained.
  • Witness contact information: If there are any eyewitnesses to the accident, ask for their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Their testimony can be crucial for corroborating your version of events and establishing liability.
  • Truck information: Write down the license plate number, make, model, and any identifying details of the truck involved in the accident. If possible, take photos of the truck from multiple angles, including any company logos or identifying marks.
  • Road and weather conditions: Make note of the weather conditions at the time of the accident, as well as any road hazards, construction zones, or other relevant factors that may have contributed to the collision.

Step #5: Be Careful What You Say and Do

After a truck accident, it’s crucial to be mindful of your words and actions, as they could potentially be used against you by the insurance company or defense attorneys. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Avoid admitting fault: Even if you believe you may have contributed to the accident, avoid apologizing or admitting fault at the scene. Stick to the facts and let the police and your attorney determine liability.
  • Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters: If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster representing the trucking company, be polite but cautious in your communications. Avoid giving a recorded statement or agreeing to any settlement offers without first consulting with an attorney.
  • Limit your social media activity: Insurance companies and defense attorneys may scour your social media profiles for any information that could be used to undermine your legal claim. Avoid posting about the accident or your injuries on social media, and consider making your profiles private to limit access to your personal information.

contact a seattle truck accident lawyer

Step #6: Consult with a Washington Truck Accident Attorney

Perhaps the most important step to take after a truck accident is to consult with the best Seattle truck accident attorney. Truck accident cases can be complex and involve multiple liable parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, and insurance providers. An attorney who specializes in these types of cases can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Colburn Law has extensive experience in handling truck accident cases and can fight for your right to justice every step of the way. From investigating the accident to advocating for you in court, we will not rest until you secure a fair settlement. Contact us today at (206) 919-3215 to discuss your case and learn how we can help.