You should call the police after your truck accident or any other accident involving injuries, fatalities, or property damages. The law mandates accident reporting, and failing to report could hurt your chances of seeking financial recovery from the at-fault party.
Why Should You Notify the Police?
Failure to notify the police could have significant legal and financial consequences. After your truck accident, you should immediately call local law enforcement because:
It is the Law
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the law requires that drivers stop at the scene of an accident and call law enforcement. In most states, accident report statutes apply to all accidents involving injuries, fatalities, or property damages exceeding a set amount.
For example, according to Texas law, you must report collisions with damages of more than $1,000.
Furthermore, leaving the scene of an accident without making a report could result in hit-and-run charges. If you did not call the police at the time of your accident, go to your local law enforcement office and file an accident report as soon as possible.
It Creates an Official Record
Once a police officer arrives, they will begin collecting information about you, the other involved parties, and the scene of the accident. This includes:
- Names and contact information
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance information
- The time, date, and place of the accident
- Vehicle make and model
- The names and contact information of witnesses
This information creates an official record of your accident, and the insurance companies and attorneys involved in any future claims or legal action will use this document as evidence. Usually, you can request a copy of this report for a nominal fee.
It Initiates an Investigation
Your truck accident may warrant further investigation by the police. Officers may take photographs, track down video and cell phone footage, and interview witnesses. All of this information could become relevant in your pursuit of financial recovery.
In addition, the investigation could uncover that the truck driver was acting recklessly or engaging in illegal behaviors like drinking and driving.
What Else Should You do After a Truck Accident?
In the days and weeks following your accident, there are things you should do to increase your chances of a successful truck accident settlement or verdict. First and foremost:
Seek Medical Treatment
If you did not receive medical treatment at the time of your accident, you need to do so immediately. Some injuries, like fractures or internal bleeding, may not be apparent right away. It is important to get yourself checked out to prevent an undetected condition from worsening.
Getting medical attention also creates a record of your injuries. This can help you prove to the insurance company that you suffered harm during the accident. Waiting too long after your collision to get treatment could cause the insurance company to allege your injuries did not result from your accident.
Finally, understanding the severity of your injuries and the full scope of your treatment ensures that you ask for an adequate settlement amount for your past and future medical needs.
Write Down as Many Details as You Can Remember About Your Accident
The scene of an accident can be a chaotic place. You may not be aware of your surroundings because you are injured or in shock. Once you are safe and things calm down, you should take photos of your vehicle damage and injuries. You should also write down everything you can remember about your accident, including:
- The road and weather conditions
- Any witnesses who may have seen your accident or taken video footage
- The make, model, and color of the truck and other involved vehicles
- Any details you can recall about the truck driver, their demeanor, or statements they made
- The exact time and place of your collision
- Any other relevant details about the scene, such as lighting, signage, or traffic lights
Save all Your Accident-Related Bills and Receipts
If your accident was not your fault, you can recover the cost of your medical treatment and other expenses. You should save receipts and records related to your out-of-pocket expenses, such as:
- Medical bills and records
- Vehicle repair receipts
- Vehicle replacement receipts (if the damages resulted in a total loss)
- The cost of medications and medical equipment
- Medical travel expenses
- Rental car fees or other transportation expenses
- Help with household services like cooking, cleaning, and childcare
You may also seek awards for your physical pain and mental and emotional suffering. This may include damages for:
- Chronic pain
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of cognitive functioning
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Anxiety, depression, and mental anguish
Consider Working with a Truck Accident Attorney From D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™
Our personal injury attorneys can help you figure out what to do in the aftermath of a truck accident. We are here to help you obtain evidence, file your insurance claim or lawsuit, and represent you throughout seeking a settlement or verdict. Call us today at 1 (855) PRO-LAWYERS for a free case evaluation.