After a trucking accident, you will most likely be left in a state of shock and confusion. The event will make everything in your life chaotic, including how you think and react to this situation. It is only normal. However, the steps you take right after a trucking accident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your compensation claim.
1. File Police Report
The first thing that you must do is file a police report about the accident. Insurance companies will not accept a claim for compensation if there is not an official documentation of the accident happening. The police report will also provide important information such as weather conditions, witness information, and details about the scene of the accident.
2. Go Straight To The Hospital
You must get a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you feel that your injuries are minor, you should have a medical evaluation. Insurance policies allow you up to seven days after an accident to be medically evaluated for your injuries. However, after about 6 hours, the insurance company starts to deny claims saying that your injuries could be from an event other than the trucking accident.
3. Take Pictures of the Scene
If your injuries allow you to take pictures of the scene when the accident happened, take as many photos as possible. If not, have someone return to the area and take pictures, even if the vehicles are gone. These pictures will help you attorney investigate the truck accident and provide valuable evidence for the cause of your case.
4. Report the Accident to your Insurance Company
Your insurance company must be made aware of the accident so that they can open a case. However, you are encouraged to restrict the amount of information that you provide to your insurer until you have spoken with an attorney. Provide all of the basic information such as name, contact information, time and place of the accident, and that you were injured. After that, kindly decline to provide additional information until you speak with an attorney.
It is very important to restrict what you say, especially about your injuries. Everything that you say will be used as part of the claim process or to deny your claim. Since you must report the accident immediately, it is impossible for you to know the extent of your injuries and losses, so it is in your best interest not to provide information about them at this time.
5. Document Everything You Remember
The confusion that takes place after an accident is normal, especially if you were injured. As soon as your injuries have been stabilized, you are encouraged to write down everything that you remember about the accident. No detail is too small. This information will be useful when you are consulting with your attorney.
6. Document All Your Injury Related Expenses
You will want to keep track of all your expenses related to your injury. This can include the cost of transportation to your medical appointments and over the counter supplies. You may also want to document the days that you miss work because of your injury.
7. Talk To An Attorney
The best thing that you can do is schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer. Having an attorney will protect your rights as an injury victim and protect you from the games often played by the insurance companies.
Insurance companies are only interested in paying out the lowest amount possible for any claim. They will make low-ball offers as soon as the day after the accident. It is always in your best interest to allow your truck accident lawyer to manage your case and work on a compensation package so that you receive a full compensation package.
8. Limit Social Media
It is important to remember to limit social media posts or avoid them altogether while you have an open claim for compensation. Insurance companies now have departments dedicated to monitoring social media accounts of people that have made a claim for compensation.
Everything that you post on social media and the Internet, in general, is public information. This information, however innocent it may seem, will be used by the insurance company to prove that your injuries are not as severe as you are claiming.
For instance, a simple post stating “feeling great today” may actually mean to you that your pain seems manageable today. However, to the insurance company, this means that you are pain-free. The best thing you can do is talk to your friends and family by phone until your case is settled.
You’ll find more information on our NJ car accident page.