The first steps a person takes after getting into a trucking accident in Reno can make all the difference in whether the victim’s medical bills get paid, he or she is reimbursed for lost wages, and compensation is received for other losses, like pain and suffering. To protect the rights of crash victims and to help ensure they receive appropriate compensation, truck accident lawyers recommend that people take the following steps in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks after the wreck.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Reno
Truck accidents are particularly traumatic for anyone involved. With an average of 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, semi-truck collisions often leave a path of severe injuries, death, and destruction in their wake. While it is common for injury victims to be confused, disoriented, and even panicked after a large truck accident, it is important to remain calm and take the following steps. According to truck accident lawyers in Reno, victims should:
1. Remain at the Scene
The first step to take after getting into a trucking accident is to remain at the scene of the crash. Leaving the crash site may hinder the ability of police to accurately investigate the accident, including evaluating vehicle positions, skid marks, and debris. Additionally, remaining at the scene of the accident helps ensure that a police report is filed, pictures of the scene are taken, and witness information is recorded. Staying at the scene also ensures that emergency medical personnel can treat serious injuries right away.
2. Call 9-1-1 and Seek Medical Treatment
Even if injuries initially seem minor, it is critical for accident victims to call 9-1-1 and get police and first responders on the way immediately after a truck accident. In many cases, truck accident injuries are so severe that patients are whisked away from the scene right away for emergency medical care. Sometimes, however, injuries may not be as obvious. The shock of the crash and the adrenaline that accompanies such a traumatic event can mask severe injuries. In fact, some traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and soft tissue injuries may not be apparent for hours, or even days after the accident. Victims who forego immediate medical treatment should be evaluated by a doctor in the days following a truck accident to identify latent injuries and ensure medical care is documented.
3. Gather Evidence
Documenting evidence from the crash site helps ensure that the victim’s truck accident lawyer has the evidence he or she needs to demonstrate fault for the accident. If possible, victims should take photos or videos of all vehicles involved in the accident, their positions, road debris, skid marks, and anything else that might play a role in determining fault. They should also get contact information for the trucker, the trucking company, and other motorists, passengers, and passersby who may have witnessed the crash.
4. Avoid Making Self-Incriminating Statements to Police or the Insurance Company
Victims should be careful about the information they provide to the police and the insurance company after a crash. Immediately following a truck accident, it is common for people to make apologetic remarks, even when they were not at-fault. Making a simple statement like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you”, however, can be used against the accident victim when the truck accident lawyer is negotiating with the insurance company or if the case goes to trial. Victims must, however, provide their name, contact information, and the contact information for their insurance company.
5. Contact a Reno Truck Accident Lawyer
Hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer can help ensure victims’ rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they need to obtain medical treatment and financially recover after a crash. Truck accident lawyers can help gather evidence, uncover potential paths to recovery, negotiate with large trucking companies and insurance representatives, and provide legal representation in court if the case goes to trial.