Truck accidents are among the most devastating and life-changing events that can happen on the road. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause significant damage and injuries to those involved.

Being involved in a truck accident can be overwhelming, and you may not know what to do next. The Boston truck accident attorneys of CarAccident.Law are here to guide you through the aftermath of a crash involving a commercial vehicle. Our team is dedicated to helping injured individuals and their families get the justice and compensation they deserve after a truck accident. So, if you’ve been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert legal guidance.

Let’s take a closer look at what steps you should take after a truck accident to protect yourself and your rights.

What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?

The moments following a truck accident can be chaotic and confusing. However, it is essential to take several steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights.

a close up photo of a headlight on a semi-truck

1. Get out of Harm’s Way

First and foremost, make your way off the road if you can. If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safe location. However, always prioritize your personal safety. If moving your vehicle is not safe, stay inside until help arrives.

2. Call 911 and Stay Where You Are

Calling 911 ensures that both the police and emergency medical services will be dispatched to your location. Remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives. Leaving the scene prematurely can lead to legal penalties.

3. Get Medical Attention

Even if you feel okay, it is important to get checked out by paramedics. You could have injuries that are not immediately apparent. Inform them about any discomfort or odd sensations you might be feeling.

4. Exchange Contact Information

It’s crucial to gather the contact information of the truck driver and any witnesses to the accident. Be careful with your words, and avoid admitting fault or liability. Even a simple “I’m sorry” can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.

5. Gather Witness Statements

If there are witnesses, kindly ask them for statements. Witnesses can offer a neutral perspective on the events leading up to the accident, which may be beneficial to your case if you later attempt to recover compensation.

6. Take Pictures and Videos of the Accident Scene

Documenting the scene of the truck accident can provide valuable evidence in a claim for damages. Capture photos or videos of your vehicle, the truck, and the overall accident scene. Include any road conditions or traffic signs that might have played a role in the trucking accident.

7. File a Police Report

Filing a police report immediately after a truck accident is a crucial step. This report serves as an official record of the incident and can provide important details for your case later on. When the police arrive on scene, cooperate fully and give a factual account of the incident. Once it is filed, we can help you obtain a free copy of your police report.

8. Go to the Hospital

Even if you feel fine, it is advisable to let the paramedics who arrive on scene take you to the hospital after a truck accident. Injuries may not become apparent until later, so you’ll want to rule out any lasting, invisible injuries that could lead to complications down the line. Not to mention, having medical records documenting any injuries can be pivotal for a damage claim.

a hospital entrance

9. Take Photos and Videos of Your Injuries

Evidence is key in a truck accident case. Use your phone to take clear photos and videos of your injuries. This will provide tangible proof of the harm you’ve suffered and will be a valuable addition to your legal arsenal.

10. Notify Your Insurance Company about the Truck Accident

Notify your insurance company about the truck accident as soon as possible. However, be careful about what you say to the insurance company and avoid accepting blame or making statements that could harm your claim.

11. Contact a Truck Accident Attorney

Finally, get in touch with a local truck accident attorney. They can guide you through the legal proceedings, represent your interests, and ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights and strengthen your case.

Importance of Taking Action Immediately after a Truck Accident

Time is of the essence after a truck accident. Acting promptly not only ensures the preservation of crucial evidence, but can also significantly bolster any legal claims you make thereafter. Accident scenes can change rapidly: skid marks fade, the weather changes, damaged vehicle parts are removed, and witnesses go on about their business. Gathering evidence immediately can help strengthen your case by providing clear, accurate records of the incident.

Additionally, immediate medical attention is not just vital for your health, but also serves as official documentation of your injuries. From a legal perspective, delays in seeking medical attention can be taken as an indication that your injuries are not severe, thereby undermining your claim for compensation.

Furthermore, you have a limited time to file a truck accident injury claim. By acting swiftly, you ensure you’re within the legal filing deadline, known as the statute of limitations. Lastly, consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible enables them to start building a strong case on your behalf while the truck accident is still fresh.

What to Do after Being Taken to the Hospital for Truck Accident Injuries

After a truck accident, your priority should be your health. However, as you receive necessary treatment, there are also legal precautions you need to take to protect your right to compensation. If you want to recover your losses after a truck accident, follow these steps:

a person wrapping a bandage around their hand

1. Do Not Talk to the Trucking Company or its Insurance Company

After a truck accident, representatives from the trucking company or their insurance might contact you. They might sound compassionate and caring, but remember, their priority is to minimize their own liability. For this reason, it is inadvisable to discuss the accident or your injuries with them. Any statement you give could be used against you in future legal proceedings.

2. Follow Up with Doctor’s Appointments

It is critical to attend all follow-up medical appointments. Missed appointments can be used against you, suggesting that your injuries are not severe enough to warrant medical intervention. Consistent medical care also documents the progression and impact of your injuries, which can support your claim.

3. Protect Your Medical Records

Keep every record, bill, and document given to you by medical professionals after a truck accident. These can make a substantial difference in your ability to recover compensation for your accident losses, so it is best to store them somewhere in your home where they won’t get damaged or lost. Try to keep them organized and separate from any other legal or medical documents you keep in your home.

4. Keep a Detailed Record of Your Damages

Document all of your expenses related to the truck accident. This includes medical bills, medication receipts, and costs for vehicle repairs. You should also include any lost wages due to time off work. Additionally, keep a diary of your physical and emotional struggles and changes in lifestyle. This can provide a holistic picture of your damages, making it easier to quantify your claim.

Can You File a Lawsuit after a Truck Accident?

Depending on where you live and the extent of your damages, you may have the right to file a lawsuit after a truck accident. If you were severely injured or suffered significant damages due to a truck accident that was not your fault, you can file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. This may include the truck driver, the trucking company, or the manufacturer of the truck or its parts. A lawsuit can provide you with compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

However, determining liability and navigating the legal complexities of a truck accident case can be challenging. That’s why it is advantageous to enlist the help of a knowledgeable truck crash attorney with CarAccident.Law who can represent your interests and help you secure the compensation you need.

Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Determining liability for a truck accident can be a complex process, as there may be multiple parties who share fault.

the side of a semi-truck

Truck Driver Liability

If the truck driver was negligent or reckless in their driving behavior, they might be considered liable for the accident.

Examples of negligent truck driver behavior include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to adequately check blind spots
  • Tailgating and other aggressive driving maneuvers
  • Noncompliance with federal hours of service regulations
  • Ignoring safety standards

A trucker’s driving records, along with evidence from the accident scene, can play a pivotal role in determining their liability.

Employer Liability

The trucking company can be held responsible if they failed to uphold safety standards or hired a driver with a history of poor driving. They could also be liable if they pressured their drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines, leading to reckless or fatigued driving. Documentation of hiring practices, maintenance records, and internal communications can shed light on the trucking company’s role in the accident.

Manufacturer Liability

If a defect in the truck or its components contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be held liable for your damages. This could be due to faulty brakes, tire blowouts, or malfunctioning safety equipment. In these cases, it is necessary to establish that the defect was present at the time of the accident and that it directly contributed to the ensuing losses.

How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit after a Truck Accident?

The deadline for filing a lawsuit after a truck accident varies by state. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations to file a truck accident injury lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the collision. However, certain circumstances can shorten or extend this filing deadline, so consult with a local lawyer about when to file your truck accident claim. If you miss the filing deadline, you may be barred from recovering any compensation for your injuries and damages.

What Can Be Used as Evidence in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

In a truck accident lawsuit, various forms of evidence can help build a strong case. Police reports are fundamental, providing an official record of the accident scene, involved parties, and any citations issued. Medical records and bills help document your injuries and their associated costs. Photographs and videos taken at the scene can visually substantiate your claim, demonstrating vehicle damage, road conditions, and visible injuries. Witness testimonies can provide an impartial account of the trucking accident. The truck’s “black box” can also be a valuable piece of evidence, recording data like speed, braking, and other actions the truck driver took before the accident.

Additionally, employment records could prove useful in cases where the trucking company’s negligence may be a factor. Lastly, experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and vocational experts can provide testimony that bolsters your claim. Remember, each case is unique, and an experienced attorney can help determine what evidence will be most beneficial in your truck accident claim.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?

Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming, and that’s where a truck accident attorney steps in. They bring expert knowledge of the law and trucking regulations, and experience with similar cases, to help you secure the best possible outcome. They will handle all aspects of your claim, starting from gathering evidence and speaking with witnesses, to negotiating with insurance companies and compiling a comprehensive demand package.

The lawyers of CarAccident.Law understand the strategies that insurance companies use to try to minimize truck accident claim payouts. They can counter these tactics to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, they are well-equipped to take your case to court. They can also help you understand the potential value of your claim, considering all damages – both economic and non-economic.

Importantly, having a legal expert on your side gives you the space to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal complexities. Working with an accident attorney can make the process less stressful and more successful.

Contact a Lawyer to Recover Your Losses after a Truck Accident

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, the Boston lawyers of CarAccident.Law are ready to help you recover your losses. We’re committed to helping you navigate through this difficult time and securing the compensation you deserve. Don’t navigate this process alone – contact us today for a free consultation.