Being in a truck accident is a shocking, even terrifying experience. That shock and terror can give way to anxiety and frustration in the days and weeks to come, as the medical bills grow and the time away from work adds up. If someone else caused the accident, they could owe you compensation for your injuries and related losses. But getting this compensation could prove challenging if you don’t know how to lay the groundwork for a strong truck accident case.
That’s why the New York personal injury attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. have provided this helpful resource. In it, we will describe the steps you can take in the immediate, middle-term, and long-term aftermath of a truck accident to protect your rights and improve your medical prognosis. Keep reading to learn more, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like a free consultation with a New York truck accident lawyer with our firm.
What to Do Immediately After a Truck Accident
The immediate aftermath of a sudden collision can be overwhelming, especially if the vehicle that hit you was a massive commercial vehicle. Remembering to take as many of the following steps as possible can get your eventual case off on the right foot:
- Call 911 – Alerting authorities will summon emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers to the scene. The former can treat any serious injuries and transport you to an emergency facility if necessary, while the latter will secure the scene and create a report of the accident. This report could come in valuable as you pursue compensation.
- Get the driver’s info – Ask the truck driver for their name, the name of their employer, their driver’s license number, and their insurance information. If you are unable to, don’t worry: the police accident report should have most of the info you need.
- Gather evidence at the scene – Use your cell phone to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Note the damage to the vehicles, any visible injuries you suffered, the debris on the roadway, the relative position of the vehicles, and any other details that seem relevant. Note the placement of any nearby traffic or security cameras that may have captured the collision. Write down what you remember about the crash while your memory is still fresh.
- Seek medical assistance – Visit your doctor or go to an emergency care facility as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel hurt. The adrenaline released by a traumatic event can mask serious injuries, which can worsen rapidly without treatment. Furthermore, going to the doctor demonstrates that you are concerned about your health and ties your treatment to the accident.
What to Do in the Days and Weeks After a Truck Accident
Once your condition has stabilized and the immediate trauma of the accident is beginning to subside, it’s time to start thinking about the future and what you can do to recover compensation. Taking these next steps can protect your rights, establish your compensable losses, and provide you with the help you need as you pursue your claim:
- Alert your insurer – Your insurance policy likely contains language requiring that you alert the company to a covered event within a certain timeframe, usually a few days. When you speak to the agent, stick to the facts and refrain from embellishing or hypothesizing about the cause of the crash.
- Attend your doctor’s appointments – Continuing your medical treatment speeds up your physical recovery and shows that you are taking the necessary steps to prevent your injuries from worsening. It also creates an evidence chain that speaks to the severity of your injuries.
- Save documentary evidence – Keep your medical bills, pay stubs or tax documents establishing your loss of income, vehicle repair estimates, and anything else that establishes the expenses the accident caused you.
- Don’t give recorded statements to insurers – The trucking company or its insurer might contact you after the accident, ostensibly to check in on you or investigate the crash. They might even offer you a quick settlement in exchange for dropping your claim. Don’t accept, and don’t agree to give any recorded statements. Whatever they offer is almost certainly less than you deserve, and they intend to use any statement against you to minimize your payout. Instead, tell them you plan to secure legal counsel and that your attorney will be in touch soon.
- Get in touch with an attorney – An experienced truck accident lawyer can review your case, calculate how much you could be owed, and determine who could be liable for those losses. They can help you file an insurance claim, negotiate with insurers and liable parties on your behalf, and prepare a case for court if negotiations prove unsuccessful. And the sooner you talk to a lawyer, the sooner they can get to work on your case. Critical evidence is likely in the hands of the trucking company, and it needs to be secured as quickly as possible – something that can prove challenging without the help of an attorney.
What Compensation Could I Claim?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident and your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for the following losses:
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Moreover, several different parties could be liable for your losses, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking carrier they work for
- The crew that loaded the truck
- The owner of the truck or its cargo
Commercial vehicles must carry substantial insurance policies because of the damage they can cause in an accident. And the more parties that have liability for the accident, the more options you have for pursuing compensation.
Contact the New York Truck Accident Lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C. for Help with Your Case
Were you hurt in a truck accident in New York? Is someone else to blame? If so, you could be owed money, and there’s no time to waste. The New York truck accident attorneys of Finz & Finz, P.C. can help you demand the justice and accountability you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.