Getting into an accident with a commercial truck is a nightmare. These collisions are often catastrophic for the people in the smaller passenger vehicles. In the immediate aftermath of a truck accident, the last thing on your mind might be taking legal action against the at-fault party.
It is important, however, to protect your legal rights from the very beginning if you wish to have a successful injury claim later. Follow these steps for what to do if you are hit by a commercial truck to protect yourself legally, physically and financially.
Make Sure Someone Calls 911
Call the police or make sure someone else does for you. Dialing 911 from the scene of the commercial truck accident is important, as the police can gather evidence while you are too incapacitated to do it yourself. The police can write down the truck driver’s information, take official photographs and obtain the names of eyewitnesses for you.
If you can, give the responding police officer your side of how the truck accident happened. Do not admit any fault for the collision, however. At the scene of the accident, it is too soon to determine how the crash occurred. Admitting fault this early could ruin your chances of holding the truck driver responsible. Write down your police report number before leaving the scene.
Don’t Move – Wait for Paramedics to Arrive
The severe nature of most commercial truck accidents in Texas means a high likelihood of life-changing injuries. Some of the most common injuries are bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Do your best to remain still after a serious auto accident, especially if you notice pain in your back or numbness in any of your limbs. You could have a spinal cord injury.
Moving the wrong way as someone with a spine injury can make things worse, potentially causing permanent paralysis. Stay where you are if it is safe to do so and wait for paramedics to arrive. Paramedics will have special equipment to immobilize your head, neck and back while moving you into an ambulance.
Request Copies of Your Medical Records
Go to a hospital right away after a commercial truck crashes into you. Obtain the treatment you need, then request copies of all relevant medical records for your insurance claim. These records might include x-rays, diagnostic reports and treatment plans. Collect copies of your medical bills as well, including ambulance fees, hospital stays, prescription medications, surgeries and intensive care bills.
Return to the Scene of the Crash
Once you are well enough, return to the scene of the truck accident. You can also have a trusted friend or family member return to the scene for you. This is important for gathering evidence such as photographs of where the crash occurred. Photographs can help an insurance company determine who caused the collision.
Contact a Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer
Contact a San Antonio truck accident attorney in San Antonio as soon as you can after a harmful crash. An attorney will be your advocate during the claims process. An attorney can take care of evidence preservation and collection on your behalf, such as calling a truck company and demanding the preservation of the truck’s black box. Your attorney can also visit the scene of the crash for further evidence and information, as well as hire investigators and experts to help build your case – all while you focus on your physical recovery.
File a Claim Against the At-Fault Party
Your lawyer can help you bring a claim against the at-fault party. Texas is a fault-based insurance state. This means the party responsible for paying for your medical costs and property repairs is the person or company that caused the wreck. This could be the truck driver, trucking company, cargo company or another party.
Your lawyer can investigate the crash, identify the correct defendant(s) and file a personal injury claim before Texas’s two-year deadline. Your lawyer can help you fight for maximum compensation for your past and future damages as well. Speak to a San Antonio truck accident attorney at (210) 361-7351 today for legal advice about a recent truck accident in Texas.