Many truck accident victims are in no condition to take any action after the incident. If you are conscious and relatively able to function, it is crucial to take certain steps both at the site and soon afterward.
The first steps you take after a truck accident may determine whether or not you eventually receive compensation for your injuries. That is why the first steps to take after a truck accident should include contacting a Louisville truck accident attorney.
Call the Police
If the Lousiville police have not been called about the accident, contact them at once. Do not leave the scene until the police arrive unless immediate medical attention is imperative. When the police arrive, get the names – and badge numbers – of all officers.
By law, the Kentucky State Police must receive a truck accident report within 10 days of the collision, as long as any fatalities, injuries or $500 or more in property damage occurred.
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If possible, exchange names, addresses, phone and driver’s license numbers and insurance information with the truck driver. Get the name of the trucking company and write down or photograph the license plate number of the vehicle.
Do not say anything about the cause of the accident, especially taking on any responsibility for it. Do find out if the truck is carrying any hazardous materials. If there is the danger of an explosion or contamination, evacuation is necessary.
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Seek Medical Treatment
For most truck accident victims, seeking medical treatment is not a matter of choice. They are too badly injured to decline emergency treatment. However, anyone involved in a truck accident who does not think they were injured should still seek medical attention. Many head injuries and some internal injuries are not immediately apparent.
If a victim waits a few days to visit a doctor, the trucker’s insurance company may try to claim the injuries were unrelated to the accident. More important than any insurance claim, however, is the fact that not seeking medical attention potentially makes the victim a ticking time bomb for a life-threatening event. Keep copies of all medical records and bills and present them to the Louisville truck accident lawyer at the initial meeting.
If the cellphone is working, take photos and videos of the accident scene. It is imperative to document as much of the accident as possible. If the cellphone is inoperable, ask others on the scene to undertake such documentation. Speak to any witnesses and try to record their description of the crash. Exchange names and phone numbers of witnesses.
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Expect to receive a call from the trucking company’s insurance representative within a few days of the accident. Do not give any information to the insurance company other than verifying name, address and the model of the vehicle.
Any statement may later be used against the victim. Do not sign or agree to anything with the insurance representative and contact a trucking accident lawyer in Louisville as soon as possible.
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A Louisville trucking accident lawyer not only deals with the insurance claims but will conduct an investigation of the accident’s circumstances.
For example, that may involve reviewing driver records to see if they were working more than permitted hours – leading to fatigue – and other issues contributing to the accident. Skilled attorneys will fight aggressively to ensure their clients receive the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved has been involved in a truck accident, the first steps following a truck accident include needing the services of an attorney in Louisville. Experienced attorneys will review your case and let you know your options going forward.
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