Even if a truck accident doesn't result in severe injuries, it can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience.
If you are in a truck accident, taking care of your injuries is the first priority. If you are physically able to do so, there are additional steps you can take to increase the likelihood that you will be able to recover compensation from those who were responsible for your injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
The first priority is to make sure you get the medical care you need for your injuries.
Even if you don't think your injuries are severe, it is very important for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. A medical professional may identify injuries, such as internal bleeding, that you are not aware of due to the shock of the accident.
Also, the fact that you did not seek timely medical attention could subsequently be used as evidence that your injuries were not particularly serious.
Contact the Police
Under Georgia law, if you are physically able to do so, you must contact the police if an accident resulted in injury, death or a certain amount of property damage.
But even if no one was injured, it is important for you to contact the police after a truck accident. The long-term effects of truck accident injuries may take days, weeks, or months to appear. Having an official police accident report can help strengthen your injury case.
Be Careful What You Say
Whether you are speaking to the police, the truck driver, your insurance company, or the truck driver's insurance company, stick to the facts.
Georgia's comparative negligence laws allow for damages (compensation) to be reduced or eliminated if the injured person was partially responsible for the accident that caused their injuries. Insurance companies will use these laws to try and minimize the amount they have to pay after a trucking accident. Even saying something like "I'm sorry" can potentially be construed as admitting partial fault for the accident.
Gather Information at the Accident Scene
If you are able to, gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. If you are involved in an accident in Georgia, you are required to provide any and all other drivers involved the accident the following information:
- The truck's Department of Transportation (DOT) number and license plate number
- The truck driver's name, license information, insurance and contact information
- The truck driver's insurance and insurance carrier information.
Other useful information in a truck accident injury case includes:
- Name of the trucking company
- Make and model of the truck
- Photographs of the condition of the truck and your vehicle (use your cell phone camera, if you have one)
- Photographs of any other relevant information at the scene, such as skid marks
- Names and contact information of any witnesses.
Any information you can gather will be helpful, although it is completely understandable that you may be injured or too overwhelmed to gather this information immediately after a truck accident.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
An experienced truck accident attorney will investigate the accident, determine who was responsible for your injuries, and help you recover the fair and just compensation you are due for your injuries. They will also stand up for you against insurance companies that try to minimize the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, Contact the Hadden Law Firm as soon as possible.