What to Do After a Collision with a Commercial Truck or Tractor-Trailer in Savannah

What to Do After a Collision with a Commercial Truck or Tractor-Trailer in Savannah

Being involved in a collision with a commercial truck or tractor-trailer can be a life-altering experience, leaving victims with serious injuries, mounting medical bills, and a long road to recovery. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can result in catastrophic damage, and the legal complexities surrounding such accidents can make the process of seeking compensation incredibly challenging. In the chaotic aftermath of a truck accident, it’s essential to know what steps to take to protect your health, legal rights, and financial future.

The actions you take in the minutes, hours, and days following a truck accident can have a significant impact on your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. From seeking medical attention to gathering evidence and consulting with a skilled Savannah truck accident lawyer, each step plays a crucial role in building a strong case. By understanding what to do after a collision with a commercial truck or tractor-trailer in Savannah, you can navigate this difficult time with greater confidence and work towards securing the best possible outcome for yourself and your loved ones.

Seek Medical Attention

After a truck accident, your top priority should be your health and well-being. Even if you don’t believe you’ve been seriously injured, it’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The adrenaline rush that often accompanies a traumatic event like a truck accident can mask the symptoms of underlying injuries, making it difficult to assess the true extent of the damage.

Some common injuries associated with truck accidents, such as whiplash, concussions, and internal bleeding, may not present obvious symptoms right away. However, delaying treatment for these conditions can lead to more severe complications down the line. 

Call the Police

Contacting law enforcement is a critical step in the aftermath of any truck accident. When the police arrive at the scene, they will take control of the situation, ensuring the safety of those involved and beginning the process of investigating the crash. The officers will interview the parties involved, speak with witnesses, and examine the physical evidence at the scene to determine the cause of the accident and identify any contributing factors.

The police will create an official accident report, which documents their findings and may include information such as the date, time, and location of the crash, the parties involved, any citations issued, and the officer’s initial assessment of fault. This report can serve as a valuable piece of evidence in your truck accident case, as it provides an unbiased account of the incident and can help support your claim for compensation.

Document the Scene

If you are able to do so safely and without putting yourself at risk, take the time to document the accident scene thoroughly. This step can be crucial in building a strong truck accident case, as the evidence you collect can help establish liability and support your claim for damages.

Use your smartphone or another camera to take extensive photos and videos of the damaged vehicles, capturing details such as the point of impact, the extent of the damage, and any skid marks or debris on the road. If you have visible injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or abrasions, take photos of those as well. Don’t forget to document the surrounding area, including any traffic signs, road conditions, or weather factors that may have contributed to the accident.

In addition to visual evidence, collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident occur. These individuals can provide valuable testimony to support your account of the events and help establish the trucking company’s liability. If there are any nearby businesses or properties with security cameras that may have captured the incident, make note of their locations so your attorney can attempt to obtain the footage before it is overwritten or deleted.

Notify Your Insurance Company

After a truck accident, it’s important to notify your insurance company about the incident in a timely manner. Most auto insurance policies require policyholders to report any accidents promptly, and failing to do so could jeopardize your coverage or ability to file a claim.

When contacting your insurer, provide them with the basic facts of the accident, including the date, time, location, and parties involved. However, it’s crucial to be cautious when speaking with insurance representatives, even those from your own company. Keep in mind that insurers are businesses, and their primary goal is to minimize their financial exposure and protect their bottom line.

As such, it’s best to avoid admitting fault, speculating about the cause of the accident, or discussing the extent of your injuries until you have consulted with an experienced truck accident attorney. Insurance adjusters may try to use your statements against you to minimize or deny your claim, so it’s essential to be mindful of what you say and to stick to the facts.

Your Savannah truck accident lawyer can communicate with your insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you don’t inadvertently say anything that could harm your case. They can also help you navigate the claims process, review any settlement offers, and negotiate for a fair resolution that takes into account the full extent of your damages.

Be Cautious When Dealing with the Trucking Company

Following a truck accident, you may be contacted by representatives from the trucking company or their insurance provider. These individuals may seem friendly and concerned about your well-being, but it’s essential to remember that their primary allegiance is to their employer, not to you.

Trucking companies and their insurers often have teams of lawyers and adjusters whose job is to minimize the company’s liability and financial exposure in the event of an accident. They may offer you a quick settlement in the hopes that you’ll accept a lowball offer before you fully understand the extent of your injuries and damages. Alternatively, they may ask you to sign documents that waive your right to take legal action or release them from liability.

Keep Detailed Records

One of the most important things you can do to support your truck accident claim is to maintain detailed records of all aspects of your case. This includes keeping track of your medical treatment, expenses, lost wages, and any other costs or losses you incur as a result of the accident.

Start by creating a file or folder to store all documents related to your case, such as medical bills, insurance correspondence, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. Keep a detailed log of all medical appointments, including the date, provider, and purpose of each visit. If you miss work due to your injuries, document the dates and hours missed, as well as any income lost as a result.

Consult with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

An experienced attorney can thoroughly investigate your accident, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with expert witnesses to build a compelling case on your behalf. They can also handle all communications with the trucking company, their insurers, and any other parties involved in your case, protecting your rights and shielding you from potentially harmful interactions.

Your lawyer can assess the full extent of your damages, including economic losses like medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. They can then use this information to negotiate with insurance companies and fight for a fair settlement that takes into account the true impact of the accident on your life.

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