According to RS § 32:398, after a truck accident in Lafayette, you should take these important steps:
- Move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic, if possible.
- Call the police and emergency medical help to the scene.
- Give your name, driver’s license, contact information, and vehicle registration information to the police and to the other involved driver(s).
- Complete and file a crash report.
These steps are required by law if anyone involved in the accident was injured, fatally injured, or sustained more than $500 in property damage.
You may also want to contact a law firm. An attorney can help you determine what you should do after a truck accident to preserve your ability to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can provide you with more information about your case.
Where to Move Your Vehicle After an Accident
It’s important to get your vehicle out of the flow of traffic after a collision in Lafayette. Leaving your vehicle in the road may lead to additional accidents if other drivers cannot slow down in time to avoid striking you.
If you can operate your vehicle, you may want to pull it off onto the shoulder or onto the side of the road. If your truck accident occurred in an area with nearby businesses, you also have the option to pull into a parking lot.
Consider your surroundings when deciding where to move your vehicle. However, you should not completely leave the accident scene or drive home. Leaving could lead to hit-and-run charges in Louisiana.
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Your Crash Report Is Important Evidence
When you call the police to the scene of your truck accident, they will gather important information that your lawyer could use when putting together a compensation claim or lawsuit for you. The case-building information your legal team might pull from your crash report includes:
- Contact information for the truck driver
- Contact information for the driver’s employer
- The truck’s make, model, and manufacturer
- Witness observations and contact information
- Date, time, location, and road information
- Any citations issued to the truck driver
- Any distractions or involvement with alcohol or drugs
Your crash report might be particularly important if your injuries prevent you from recalling the details of your accident or fully participating in your legal team’s investigation of the collision.
Speaking to the Other Driver After a Truck Accident
In the aftermath of a truck accident in Louisiana, you should speak with the other driver involved in the collision. Legally, you should exchange contact information and the details about your insurance coverage.
However, legal professionals recommend that you limit the conversation you have with the other driver. Do not accept fault for the accident. Even apologizing can be seen as an admission that you caused the collision, impacting your ability to secure compensation.
Keep your conversation with the truck driver polite and brief for the best results. In addition to speaking to the other driver, make sure you get contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.
Gather Evidence and Write Down What Happened After Your Accident
Before you leave the accident scene, you can take direct steps to strengthen your eventual truck accident claim. It’s recommended that you take out your phone (or a camera) and get pictures of:
- Your injuries
- The scene of the accident
- The damage to your vehicle
Memories become unreliable over time, so having physical proof to support your story can help you with your legal claim.
It’s also a good idea to write down exactly what you remember about the accident, for the same reason. Injuries and trauma often cause our memories to fade quickly, so making a written record of what happened can help you keep the facts straight.
Your personal injury lawyer may refer to the account you recorded while building a claim for you after a truck accident. Lawyers may also use your photographs when seeking compensation for your losses.
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Involve a Truck Accident Legal Team Immediately
Injuries in a collision with a large truck might take significant recovery time. A truck accident may also create significant financial damage due to medical bills, loss of income, and additional expenses. The sooner you contact a Lafayette law firm after the accident, the better.
Early intervention is important because CC Art. 3492 typically gives you just one year to file a lawsuit for financial compensation. When a legal team gets involved in your truck accident lawsuit early, they can help to ensure compliance with the statute of limitations.
In addition to meeting the required timeline, early intervention can also allow your legal team to take additional steps on your behalf. For example, early witness interviews could reveal important information.
A longer investigation might also help your legal team uncover time-sensitive evidence, including dashcam, smartphone, and residential and commercial surveillance footage.
Your lawyer may also work with accident reconstruction teams to determine what happened in your collision. These teams focus on showing how the accident occurred, working to demonstrate that you are not liable for the wreck.
Identify the At-Fault Party in Your Truck Accident
A collision between a smaller vehicle and a large truck might have various causes, from internal or external pressure to meet unrealistic delivery deadlines to driver inattention due to distractions.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research, other commonly reported factors that lead to truck accidents include unstable cargo loads, undesirable road and weather conditions, and driver inexperience or inadequate training.
Determining whether faulty tires, driver error, a vehicle’s design, or something else caused the accident can help your legal team accurately assign fault. Once negligence and fault are assigned, your lawyer will help you calculate your financial damages.
Assess Your Recoverable Damages
You may be entitled to specific types and amounts of monetary compensation after a truck accident in Lafayette. According to CC Art. 2315, you may be able to recover the following financial damages:
- Emergency, current, and future medical bills
- Wage, salary, and other accident-related income loss
- Repair or replacement value of your damaged vehicle
- Physical pain and suffering and lasting disfigurement
- Mental distress and emotional trauma
This list is only a guideline. You may have recoverable expenses and losses not included here.
When a lawyer works with you to create a list of your financial damages, they may ask you for documents, receipts, and other forms of proof that establish the extent of your financial damages. Your lawyer can use the value of your lawsuit to negotiate a financial settlement with the at-fault party or their insurer.
Getting legal help quickly allows your lawyer to collect necessary documents throughout your recovery. This step often makes it easier for a law firm to build a claim following a truck accident.
You can start taking steps to build a claim now.
Get Legal Help After a Truck Accident
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers could help you seek financial compensation to pay your medical expenses and other damages. You can concentrate on your physical recovery while we focus on building an effective lawsuit on your behalf.
When you are ready to find out what you should do after a truck accident to ensure you can seek compensation, our team is here to advocate for you. Contact the client support team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.