One of the common questions that we receive from clients when they call our law firm after a serious truck accident is: “What should I do? or “What are the next steps?” First and foremost, if you have been injured by a commercial truck, 18-wheeler or tractor trailer, it is important that you receive medical care or treatment for your injuries.
The next step is to report the accident to the local police. Most states require that you report a serious accident immediately and wait for the police and/or first responders. Reporting the accident is critical, particularly if someone has been injured. The police will generally draft a report of the accident shortly after the incident. Never leave the scene of an accident without talking to the police first.
When talking to the police or highway patrol, you must be truthful but it is also important not to make comments admitting to fault, apologizing or promising that the insurance companies or employer will cover the costs. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to determine fault after an accident and making comments, which might not even be factually correct, can detrimentally affect your case.
After talking to the police, it is important to see a doctor. Even if you feel that you don’t need to go to the hospital, you should still see the doctor. Oftentimes, injuries can be latent and the pain will not set in until later but a doctor can perform testing to see if a serious injury has occurred. Also, an accident can often lead to confusion, head trauma and dizziness. It is best to see a healthcare professional as quickly as possible to assess the injuries.
It is also important to contact an attorney immediately after the accident so that the attorney can commence investigating the accident. An attorney can preserve the evidence and ensure that experts are given an opportunity to inspect and examine any evidence before it is destroyed. Some of this critical evidence concerns the physical state of the truck, the driver’s logs, maintenance logs and company procedures.
An attorney can also obtain the truck driver’s history, a list of prior accidents, any citations or violations that the truck driver received, a history of the maintenance performed on the truck, GPS data and the company’s accident history.
For more information regarding truck accidents and advice on what to do after you have been in an accident, please contact an experienced attorney at Pierce Chapman, PLLC at 832-690-7000. You can also fill out a consultation request here.
We have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle your truck accident and answer your questions. Our reputation for success has garnered several awards including induction into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and SuperLawyers by Texas Monthly Magazine.