Hit by a Truck, What Should I Do?
If You Get Hit By a Truck You Might Need an Attorney
A collision with a commercial truck can be deadly for a driver and their passengers in a smaller vehicle. Even when a collision does not result in death, it can cause severe bodily injury to one or more of the victims in the smaller vehicle. Of course, this is because of the sheer size and power of the truck. If you do get hit by a truck, you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
If a truck driver hits you and causes injuries, you should make your health and safety a priority. This includes seeking compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. The compensation you receive will cover your medical expenses now and those you face in the future because of a long-term condition or permanent disability associated with the accident. It can also help to offset the financial burden you bear from being unable to work after the accident.
If it is an Emergency, Call 911
No matter who the crash injures, call 911 if anybody seems to need medical attention. You can get the information you need about the accident later. In an emergency situation, immediate help can be the difference between life and death.
Get All the Information you can About the Driver and the Accident
If nobody needs emergency medical care, call the non-emergency police line to have a local officer sent to the scene. Do this no matter who appears to have been at fault for the accident. Also, if another party asks you not to call the police you still need to. If an officer does not come to the scene, you cannot file an official police report. That police report will be a very important piece of evidence to support your claim if you choose to file one later.
Before leaving the scene of the accident, make sure you have all of the following:
- A copy of the official police report;
- The officer’s badge number and contact information;
- The truck driver’s contact information and insurance policy number;
- Any other involved drivers’ contact and insurance information;
- Contact information for any witnesses to the scene. This includes local businesses that could have captured the accident on their surveillance systems; and
- As many photographs of the scene, the vehicles involved, and your injury to sufficiently illustrate what happened and show your injuries.
Seek Medical Attention for Yourself
After you leave the scene of the accident, seek medical attention for yourself. Do this regardless of whether you “feel” injured. There are two important reasons why you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident:
Some injuries feel minor or even nonexistent when they are first sustained. But if you don’t treat them, they can become much worse. After getting hit by a truck, a doctor should diagnose your injury at an early stage. This can enable less invasive treatment and increase your chance of making a quick, full recovery; and
Having a record that shows medical attention in a timely manner helps support your claim. Think about it. Would you be more inclined to compensate the victim whose pain was bad enough for him or her to get to the doctor right away or the victim who did not bother to visit a doctor until a year after his or her accident occurred? Of course, there can be valid reasons why an individual does not seek medical attention until long after his or her accident. Generally, though, showing that you sought medical attention right away makes a stronger case.
Discuss your Case with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the details of your case. He or she can look at the evidence you have to support a claim and determine whether it is sufficient for your case or if you will need more. Your lawyer can also discuss pertinent considerations, like the statute of limitations for personal injury claims and whether you can be found partially at fault for the accident, with you during your consultation.
After discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer, you should have a realistic picture of how your case could proceed and an estimate of your damages’ value. With this information in mind, you can choose to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages.
File your Personal Injury Claim
Your lawyer can file and pursue the claim on your behalf. He or she can explain what you can expect from the process. They will coach you through interactions with the insurance provider so you do not accidentally invalidate your claim or reduce the amount of compensation you are able to recover. Ideally, the process will end with a settlement from the truck driver’s insurance provider that sufficiently covers your expenses. If not, your lawyer could advise you to file a lawsuit to have the case handled in court.
Your personal injury claim can take a few months or longer to resolve. It is not uncommon for it to take a year or longer to reach a settlement. How long your claim takes to resolve depends on a variety of factors. A full investigation of the claim is likely necessary. Back and forth negotiation between your lawyer and the insurance provider can take time. If lots of negotiation occurs before they reach an appropriate settlement amount, it may take some time. No matter what, do not accept the first settlement they offer. This is a lowball offer that nearly always is less than the amount of compensation the claimant actually needs.
Work with an Experienced Denver Truck Accident Attorney
When you are facing steep damages after a collision with a truck, you have the right to pursue compensation for those damages. You must file a personal injury claim. To learn more about the process and start working on your case with an experienced truck accident lawyer, contact The Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC today to set up your free case evaluation with our firm.