There are several things you should do in the days following a truck accident. While you may feel overwhelmed after an accident, it is critical that you take care of certain details.
Depending on the type of damage caused by the accident, you may be legally required to report the accident. Other steps you can potentially take, or fail to take, can affect your ability to claim damages in the future.
Truck accidents can be frightening and cause serious damage. Even the impact between a car and a pickup truck can cause severe damage and injuries. Therefore, a crash with a commercial truck in Lafayette can cause even more severe damages.
What to Do in the Days After a Truck Accident
If you were involved in a truck accident, here are some steps you should take in the days after the accident:
- Report the accident to local law enforcement. If the accident you were in caused injuries, death, or property damage of more than $500, RS 32:398 requires you to immediately report it. If the accident took place inside city limits, you should report it to the local police. If it took place outside of city limits, report it to the local sheriff or state police.
- Document the accident. Take pictures of the scene with your phone. Include your vehicle, the truck, and any damage to nearby property such as trees, street signs, guard rails, or other traffic barriers. Photos of the accident scene may be useful if you need to make a claim for damages later.
- Exchange information with the truck driver. Collect the name, address, phone number, and insurance information from the other driver. However, do not admit fault. The truck driver could use an admission of fault against you in the future.
- Consider calling a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can begin to investigate the accident, starting at the scene. Some evidence is time-sensitive and easily lost. Calling a lawyer from the scene can prevent the loss of evidence, such as photographs of the accident and interviews with you, the truck driver, and any other witnesses.
- Call your insurance company. Even if the accident was not your fault, you should report it to your insurance provider. Most insurance companies provide round-the-clock service. Your provider may recommend a towing service or repair shop if you need assistance with your vehicle.
- Seek medical attention. Of course, proper medical care is critical to your well-being. It is also important in case you need to file a claim or lawsuit. Document your injuries and the related expenses by taking photographs of your injuries and keeping medical records and receipts. You may need these documents as evidence when filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation from the truck driver.
- File a claim with the truck driver’s insurance provider. If you sustained injuries, property damage, or both, but were not at fault in the accident, your expenses may be covered by the truck driver’s insurance provider.
Data from the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) at Louisiana State University shows that in 2020, large trucks and buses were involved in 12% of all fatal crashes and 6% of all injury-causing crashes.
Truck accidents can cause significant property damage to your vehicle and bodily injury to you. You may be forced to have to repair or even replace your car. Additionally, if you suffer from injuries after the accident, you may face expensive medical bills or be out of work while you recover. You may be able to recover financial compensation known as damages for these expenses.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Claim from a Truck Accident
Recovering compensation for your accident-related expenses should be as straightforward as filing a claim with the truck driver’s insurance company, but it might not be. The truck driver may say that you caused the accident, or the other insurance company may not offer a settlement that adequately meets your expenses.
Here are some ways that a personal injury lawyer can assist you in pursuing a full settlement:
- Your lawyer can dispute any claims that you caused the accident. They can investigate the accident and collect evidence to determine who was at fault.
- Your lawyer can take over all communication with the truck driver and their insurance company, including negotiating a settlement. Insurance companies will often make a lowball offer to quickly end the claims process. Your lawyer can use evidence, such as your medical bills, towing bills, and vehicle repair bills, to validate the amount of your claim.
- If your lawyer cannot negotiate a reasonable settlement, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
If you have sustained injuries or property damage from a truck accident, a lawyer with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you seek financial compensation. Call our office today at (337) 777-7777 for help in the days following a truck accident.
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