The damage that results from a collision between a passenger vehicle and a commercial semi-truck can be extremely severe. The better prepared you are and the more knowledge you have about what goes into a truck accident investigation, the more likely you are to protect your claim.
D’Amico & Pettinicchi’s Watertown truck accident lawyers know how to handle these types of complex claims. We have more than 25 years of combined experience representing victims of negligence and will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
By following these steps, you may be able to protect your claim and help secure your right to recover after being injured in a truck accident:
1. Report the Accident
After a truck accident, you should remain at the accident site and report the collision to law enforcement as soon as possible.
A law enforcement officer will report to the scene and complete an accident report, which may be a critical piece of evidence for your claim. The officer may indicate who he or she believes was at fault for the accident. The report will also include the truck driver’s name and other information that you may need to file a claim.
2. Gather Information about the Truck Driver
The law enforcement officer will most likely ask you and the truck driver to exchange information, such as:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license number
- Employer’s name and phone number
You should also look for identifying information about the truck, such as the name of the trucking company that is displayed on the truck’s cab or trailer. If the truck is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety administration, it should have a vehicle registration number.
Furthermore, you should ask the truck driver for information about his or her employer and the name and contact information of the trucking company he or she is driving for.
3. Talk to Witnesses
Make note of whether there were other people who may have seen the accident and can be used as witnesses. Be sure you get their contact information so you or your attorney can contact them in the future.
Often, the responding law enforcement officer will interview other motorists involved in the collision or bystanders who may have seen the drivers before the accident. This can provide a valuable insight into how the accident occurred and which party may be at-fault and held liable for your truck accident injuries.
Furthermore, make note of whether there are any cameras in the area that may have recorded the accident, such as traffic cameras or security cameras near ATM machines or outside of local businesses.
4. Seek Medical Treatment
Often, truck accidents result in victims suffering serious injuries that require medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you do not believe you have been injured, it is still important to seek treatment to determine the full extent of your injuries.
Waiting to seek medical treatment or not following your doctor’s orders about your recovery could hurt your chances of receiving compensation. Insurance companies or attorneys for the at-fault party may try to argue you are not really hurt because you waited to seek treatment or are not following your treatment plan.
5. Document the Accident
Try to document the accident scene if you are physically able and it is safe to do so. Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries and the damage to your vehicle and the semi-truck. Make sure to photograph any skid marks or debris caused by the crash.
These pictures can help establish liability for the accident and give an insurance adjuster or jury a better idea about the factors involved in the accident.
6. Be Careful About What You Say
Trucking companies are well prepared to handle any type of accident claim and have seasoned defense lawyers and insurers on their side who will try to use anything against you that they can.
Be careful about what you say regarding the accident. If you are asked to make an official statement or conduct a recorded conversation with the trucking company’s insurer or attorney, it may be in your best interest to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney.
7. Contact a Lawyer
If you were injured in a truck accident, you should contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi’s personal injury attorneys in Watertown as soon as possible.
We will handle every aspect of your claim, including all communications with the trucking company’s insurance company and attorneys. We have the skills and experience you need to secure your claim and help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.
Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case against the at-fault party. We only charge our clients if we recover compensation for their claim.