Truck Accidents Are Common In Northeastern Pennsylvania
Every day in NEPA, there are thousands of trucks and tractor-trailers crowding our highways and interstates. Unfortunately, some of the men and women driving these vehicles don’t practice as much caution as possible. Road conditions and weather may also come into play when a big rig is involved in accident. Whatever the case, you have to be smart and safe in taking action once the accident has occurred.
1. CONTACT THE POLICE
The first phone call you should make after being hit by a tractor-trailer is to the police. Don’t speak to anyone else before the police arrive. And don’t apologize to the other driver after a crash.
Once the police arrive, be honest. Give them an accurate description of what occurred during the accident. Don’t exaggerate – just provide exact details to the best of your ability.
It’s the authorities’ job to issue the appropriate citation to the party at fault and to write a police report indicating who caused the accident.
The report is crucial to have when filing a truck accident injury claim. Without it, you may have a hard time receiving compensation from the other party’s insurance company. Your attorney will need the report as proof that you were following all traffic safety laws when you were hit.
2. TAKE PICTURES
After the accident, it’s important to take photos of the scene. This includes pictures of the damaged vehicles, where the accident took place, and any visible injuries that you suffered. We all have smart phones now – these are capable of taking great pictures and video that will be useful later.
Pictures can help if you file a personal injury lawsuit, especially if you have before and after pictures of your car and how it looked after the crash. This will provide a distinct contrast to depict the extent of the damages that occurred.
Keeping a detailed record of the accident is important. Depending on how long it takes to receive a settlement, you may be asked details months or even years after the fact. By then, the details of the crash will not be fresh in your mind. Having pictures will help you remember just how bad the accident really was.
3. EXCHANGE INFORMATION
If you are involved in an accident, you should obtain the information of the other party or parties that were involved. At the very least, you will want to obtain the following information before leaving the accident scene:
- Phone Number
- Insurance Information
- License Plate Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Trucking Company Name and Contact Information
It could be possible that the trucking company is also at-fault for the accident, which means it’s important to also obtain their information in case your attorney needs it.
If there are any witnesses or others involved in the accident, their information can also prove helpful.
4. GET MEDICAL ATTENTION
Once you leave the accident scene, you need to seek immediate medical treatment for your personal injuries.
Many people make the mistake of waiting a few days. They may not realize they have an injury until hours or days later. When you are involved in an accident, often times you ignore injuries up-front because of the shock that the accident has caused. Many people turn down an ambulance because they have too much adrenaline to realize they are actually hurt.
Having your injuries documented the same day as the accident will only help you when filing an accident claim and asking for compensation for your medical expenses. The insurance company will already try to deny responsibility when it comes to an accident claim, so it’s important not to give them another reason to delay and give you a hard time.
Seeking medical attention immediately following an accident and heeding your doctor’s orders will play a crucial role when it comes to injury compensation.
*NOTE: If you need immediate or emergency medical attention after an accident, this is the very FIRST step you should take. Don’t wait to gather information – trust that the police will handle these things if the accident is that traumatic.
5. CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
When you are hit by a tractor-trailer, it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case right away. Even if you’ve been in an accident months ago and you haven’t followed the prior steps, you should still reach out as soon as possible. Time is always of the essence.
Truck accidents are often more complex than a regular motor vehicle crash, and trying to handle a lawsuit on your own can be next to impossible. An experienced attorney will handle all negotiations with the other parties’ insurance company – so it’s important not to speak with an insurance adjuster without first speaking with your attorney.
It will also be up to your lawyer to obtain all the necessary documentation needed for filing an injury claim. Your attorney will work closely with your medical provider to receive all the documentation from your injuries.
The lawyers at OHDP are experts when it comes to truck accidents. They’ll walk you through the process, speak to the necessary insurance companies and secure the best possible settlement for your pain & suffering, time lost at work, etc.
6. FOLLOW MEDICAL ADVICE
When you are injured in a semi-truck crash and need to receive medical treatment for your injuries, it’s important for your health and your accident claim to follow the treatment advice that you are given.
If the doctor tells you to receive rehab or treatment three days a week for a month, that is what you need to do. If you skip and only go when you feel like it, not only are you potentially extending the time you will need to receive treatment, but you will also be giving the insurance company a perfect reason to deny your claim.
If the insurance company sees any gap in your medical treatment, or that you did not do as the doctor ordered, they will deny your claim for medical reimbursement.
Do you have a case you’d like us to take a look at? Click here for a free case evaluation or call (570) 348-3711 to reach out to us.