Truck accidents can be devestating to everyone involved, and the aftermath may be quite traumatic to handle. It can be challenging to know what move to make next, but an experienced truck accident lawyer can help navigate you through the process of filing a lawsuit and recovering damages. However, the steps you take immediately following a truck accident can impact the outcome of your lawsuit, so it is important to follow the correct procedures and contact a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible following the accident.
- Try to Stay Calm It may be easier said than done, but if you are involved in a truck accident, the first step is to try and avoid panicking. Sometimes when we struggle to stay calm, we make poor judgment calls, which can impact our safety in an already precarious position. Stop. Take a deep breath and steady yourself for a moment before moving on to other steps.
- Alert the Emergency Services It is important to call 911 as quickly as possible to alert both the police and ambulance service. Even if it does not appear at first glance that anyone is badly injured, it is still important to call an ambulance. Common truck accident injuries, including whiplash, brain injuries, internal injury, and spinal trauma, may not be immediately apparent, so it is important to seek medical attention to document any injuries, including those that are not visible. It is also going to be helpful to your truck accident lawyer if all of your injuries are properly documented. Refusing medical treatment at the scene can be detrimental to your case.
- Take Note of Witnesses If you are not too heavily injured, and if it is safe to do so, it is a good idea to ask witnesses to note their names and contact details. This is going to be a valuable resource for your truck accident lawyer when it comes to proving the details of the accident and determining fault. You should also point out these witnesses to the attending police officer when they arrive. If you are unable to collect these details yourself, you can ask someone else to take care of it for you.
- Document the Scene of the Accident If you have contacted your truck accident lawyer immediately, they may be able to travel to the scene and collect the evidence themselves, but if not, it can be useful for you to do so. Again, this will depend on your injuries and on the safety of the scene. If you are able to, you can take photographs of the vehicles and any debris. You can also ask if witnesses are able to share any images or video footage that they have of the incident. All of this will help your truck accident lawyer prove fault.
- Know What to Say at the Scene Many people do not realize that anything they say at the scene of an accident could be used against them. Try to stay calm and avoid any hostility or anger towards others involved in the accident. Even if the other party is 100% to blame, getting aggressive towards them is going to do you no favors. It is also important that you do not apologize or admit fault when speaking at the scene. Even if you think you may have had some portion of the blame, it is better to let the evidence do the talking and allow your truck accident lawyer to present your case. Of course, if asked direct questions by law enforcement, you should be truthful but stick to the facts as much as possible and leave your personal perspective out of the equation.
- Avoid Posting on Social Media We live in a society where every moment of our lives is shared on social media. However, this can be a nightmare for your truck accident lawyer in many situations! Anything you post publically can be accessed and used in the lawsuit, which could hurt your case. The opposing legal team is sure to use comments you have posted against you if they can, so try to refrain from posting about your accident. Do not post photos or make comments or assumptions about who is to blame.
This is by no means a rigid process to follow. Every truck accident is different, but in general, loosely following these steps will give you a good starting point if you need to pursue legal action with the help of a truck accident lawyer. The key points that should not be ignored are ensuring everyone is safe and seeking medical and police assistance immediately.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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