There are several things you can do to protect your rights after a truck accident. One way is to hire a lawyer, but there are ways you can protect yourself before ever setting foot in a lawyer’s office. This article aims to teach you what you can do after a truck accident to protect yourself, including how a lawyer may be able to help you.
Take These Three Major Steps After a Truck Accident
The action you take in the first few moments after a truck accident may affect your rights and your ability to file a lawsuit down the line.
Consider Safety First
If you are blocking the roadway and are able to move your vehicle to a safer location, do so. Next, if you or anyone else involved in the crash was injured beyond minor cuts or scrapes, call an ambulance.
Getting medical treatment is important. Not only can you save someone’s life, but you may also be able to create a medical record that can prove your injuries are related to the accident. This kind of evidence may qualify you for certain types of financial compensation.
If you are not seriously injured, talk to the other driver and exchange phone numbers, insurance information, and driver’s licenses. This may make it easier to receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance company later.
Stay on the Scene
Unless you are severely injured and need immediate treatment, it is vital that you do not leave the scene of the accident without:
- Exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver
- Offering the other driver assistance as necessary
- Reporting the crash to the proper authorities
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, anyone who leaves an accident scene without following these rules may be considered a hit-and-run driver. Hit-and-runs are illegal, so you might face stiff penalties if you are caught leaving the scene of an accident.
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A Lawyer May Offer to Manage Your Case After a Truck Accident
If you want to sue for damages, you may do so on your own or choose to hire a lawyer to manage your case. You might find it easier to navigate the legal process with a lawyer on your side, especially if you have not physically or emotionally recovered from your accident.
What does a lawyer do in a lawsuit? Below is a broad overview of how lawyers tackle personal injury cases like yours.
A Lawyer May Investigate Your Case
You might be wondering who is legally responsible for your accident or who you can sue for monetary compensation. Because truck drivers are often employed by trucking companies and may be associated with other parties in their trade, truck accidents can easily become confusing and complicated when it comes to determining the liable party or parties.
A lawyer may investigate your accident to help protect your rights while also determining who may be held liable for your injuries and losses. Your lawyer may examine your crash from multiple perspectives and gather evidence to back up your claim. This evidence may include:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Maintenance records
- Surveillance videos
- Statements or recordings from witnesses
A Lawyer May Calculate Your Damages
After a truck accident, you may qualify for damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Repair expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of employment
- Diminished earning capacity
Even accident victims who are found to be partially responsible for the crash might still be able to collect some compensation, as codified in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2315.33.
If you are unsure of what value to put on each item listed in your damages, you may consult a lawyer. They can make sure you do not undervalue your own claim and that you do not neglect to ask for the compensation you may be entitled to collect.
A Lawyer Can Pursue Compensation on Your Behalf
Before your case goes to court, you might have the chance to negotiate with the opposing party’s insurance company for a settlement. Your lawyer can represent you at these meetings, present evidence found during the investigation, and do everything possible to convince the insurance company to pay you fair compensation.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always have your best interests at heart. They hire lawyers to find any and all holes in your lawsuit so that they can pay you the least amount of compensation possible.
In the event the insurance company refuses to offer an adequate settlement, you may take your case to court. Your lawyer can take care of all legal aspects of your trial, such as scheduling a court date, locating witnesses, and delivering oral arguments.
It is important for you to do what you can to protect your rights after a truck accident.
The Fitch Law Firm, LLC, can help you do just that. Give us a call at (614) 545-3930 at any time. We would be happy to assess your case free of charge.