Injured in a Car or Truck Accident?

Tips on what to do after an MVA

In the unfortunate event you are involved in a car or truck accident, there are a number of things you can do to protect your rights and avoid making common mistakes.

The first priority should be to assess your condition and that of other drivers or passengers involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance and move your vehicle to the shoulder to ensure the safety of other motorists. If there is property damage or anyone is injured, you ought to call the police to report the accident; a police officer will be dispatched to investigate and prepare an accident report. Even if you feel like you are not injured, you may nevertheless have injuries you can’t notice at the moment; and for this reason, after a police officer arrives and prepares his/her accident report, you should seek out a full medical evaluation.

Truck accidents, in particular, tend to involve more serious injuries. The significant mass of a truck, multiplied by high speed, equates to a high degree of force.

Now is an opportune time to collect evidence. If possible, use your phone to take photos of damage or debris, detail weather conditions and road irregularities, and record the conduct of other drivers. If there are any witnesses or people who observed the accident, it is prudent to approach them and ask for their name and contact information, such as phone number or email; in this way, you have the option to have them contacted to provide evidence if the accident becomes the subject of a lawsuit. On an ongoing basis, it is also a good idea to retain copies of receipts for any medication or therapy and to keep a log of your symptoms and medical appointments. In a truck accident, evidence in the driver and company’s possession may turn out relevant such as the truck’s event data recorder and maintenance and repair records.

It is generally inadvisable to discuss fault with the other drivers involved or engage in casual conversation, as anything said may be misinterpreted or used as an admission of liability. However, you should gather the following information from the other driver: their name, address, phone number, license plate number, car make and model, insurance company and policy information. In a truck accident situation, you should also ask the truck driver for the name of the driver, truck company, owner, loader, employer and manufacturer.

This type of information is important for the purpose of identifying parties who may be at fault and should be added to a potential lawsuit. For a car accident, defendants could include the other driver, roadway authorities or a bartender. For a truck accident, defendants could include the truck driver, truck company, truck owner, loader, manufacturer of any defective parts in the truck or insurers of any one or more of these parties. As well, the fault for the accident may ultimately lie, not necessarily with one individual, but be shared among multiple parties.

Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is highly recommended.

After retaining a personal injury lawyer, your lawyer can take your case from there; but if you have followed the above tips, you will have helped to safeguard your rights and increased your prospect of getting compensated.

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