There are several steps you can take to protect your rights in the aftermath of a truck crash, including reporting the crash and seeking medical care.
These steps are important if you intend to pursue a legal claim against the negligent truck driver and their insurance carrier. Following a crash, it is important that you not only act to strengthen your case but also take care to avoid jeopardizing your claim in any way as well.
Report the Accident to the Police
The first step toward protecting your legal rights following a truck accident begins with a call to law enforcement following the collision. Drivers are required by law to remain at the scene and contact the police following an accident with bodily injuries or serious property damage.
Reporting your accident immediately protects your rights in a number of ways.
- First, it ensures you avoid the criminal consequences that can come with leaving the scene of a crash.
- Second, you could also strengthen your personal injury case by ensuring that the police arrive at the scene and that the information provided to them about the accident is accurate.
The officers that respond to a truck accident must prepare a written report. When these reports have incorrect information or even falsely implicate you as the at-fault driver, it can have a negative effect on your claim. Not only should you contact the police, but you should also follow up and seek a copy of the report once it is filed. We can help you understand your options if you believe your accident was somehow misrepresented.
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Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The sooner you seek out medical care, the sooner you could get on the road to recovery. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is vital that you go to a doctor. Injuries that at first appear minor could have lasting consequences. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of injuries like concussions don’t always immediately manifest.
Seeking immediate medical care also protects your personal injury claim in a number of ways. Seeking immediate medical care is strong evidence you did all you could to mitigate your damages—in other words, you did not do anything to make your injuries worse.
The medical records that result from these visits could also help protect your rights. Medical records that were created contemporaneously with your accident could establish that your injuries are real and that your medical treatments were necessary. The bills from your medical care could also serve as strong evidence for damages in your personal injury case.
Document the Accident Scene
You will only have one opportunity to document the scene of the accident, and we advise that you make a record of the scene yourself if possible. Of course, investigating the scene of the crash is only an option if your physical condition allows it.
Some of the ways to document the scene of your accident include:
- Taking photos of your vehicle
- Taking photos of the truck
- Obtaining contact information for any witnesses
- Obtaining insurance information from the other driver
- Looking for businesses with cameras that might have caught the accident
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Never Discuss Your Claim
It is important that you avoid discussing the specifics of your injury claim with anyone outside of your legal team. While it is human nature to want to check on the other driver and discuss what happened, the less you say to them, the better.
Remember, anything you say to the other driver could be used against you during your case. It is not uncommon for an indication of sympathy for an injury to be taken as an admission of fault. For that reason, communication with the other driver should be limited to the exchange of insurance information.
The same is true for the truck driver’s insurance company or employer. Insurance companies frequently reach out to drivers—often within hours of the crash occurring. Their intention is to talk to the injured drivers before they have a chance to hire a lawyer. Insurance adjusters are trained to take your words out of context, making it risky to discuss your case with them.
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Keep in Mind the Time Limit on Filing Lawsuits in Georgia
We recommend getting started on the process of your personal injury case as soon as you can, as you do not have unlimited time to file suit. In the event that your case needs to be brought to court, you have up to two years to begin the process, per OCGA §9-3-33.
We can help you keep your case on track as long as you contact us soon enough in the process.
Get a Free Case Review from Kaine Law
When it comes to protecting your rights after a truck accident, we recommend taking advantage of a free case review. Someone from our team could review the details of your situation and advise you about how to move forward. With our team standing by your side, we can help you seek the monetary compensation you deserve.
If you are ready to move forward with your injury claim following a truck accident, Kaine Law is ready to help. To get started, call for your free consultation right away.