What To Do After A Big Truck Wreck?

Home » FAQs » What To Do After A Big Truck Wreck?

Collisions involving large trucks can have life-altering consequences. The immediate shock and long-term impact of injuries can be overwhelming. Each year, thousands of people in Louisiana find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

The moments after a collision with a big truck are critical. While understandably stressful for everyone involved, taking these three crucial steps can significantly impact your future case:

  1. Move your vehicle to safety: If possible, get it out of traffic to avoid further accidents.
  2. Call 911 to the accident scene immediately: Contact the police and request emergency medical services, even if you don’t feel injured right away.
  3. Exchange information with the truck driver(s): Gather details like names, insurance information, and license plate numbers.

Understanding your rights after a truck accident can be complex. This is where seeking legal counsel from a Louisiana truck accident attorney becomes crucial. An experienced lawyer from Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys can guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Here’s a breakdown of what you should do in the days and weeks following the accident to give yourself the best chance at receiving the compensation you deserve.

1. Move Your Vehicle (If You Can)

After a truck accident, your first priority should be safety – both yours and everyone else’s on the road. If you’re able to move your vehicle, getting it out of traffic flow is crucial in Louisiana. Leaving a wrecked car in the middle of the road creates a hazard for you and other drivers, potentially causing further accidents.

If your vehicle is operational, attempt to maneuver it to the roadside or emergency lane. This clears the way for traffic and allows emergency responders to access the scene safely. 

While moving your vehicle is important, remember you can’t leave the scene entirely. Louisiana law takes a dim view of drivers who flee accidents before exchanging information or waiting for authorities. Leaving before these steps are taken could lead to serious charges, like hit-and-run. So, once you’ve moved your car to a safe spot, stay put until you’ve fulfilled all legal and safety requirements.

2. Call the Police

Calling the police after a truck accident is essential. It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the law for accidents that are not fenders benders or have injuries, which in accidents with big trucks is most of the time. Here’s why that call is so important:

  • Official Documentation: A police report creates a neutral record of the accident. In the stress of the moment, you might miss crucial details. The report captures everything – who was involved, what witnesses saw, the condition of the vehicles, and even the officer’s initial assessment of fault.

  • Insurance and Legal Help: This report is necessary when filing an insurance claim or taking legal action. Insurance companies use police reports to determine who’s responsible and how much to pay. In court, the report can back up your story and help you recover compensation for damages or injuries.

  • Managing the Scene: Police officers bring order to the chaos. They make sure everyone exchanges information safely, get traffic flowing again, and call for medical assistance if needed.

3. Get Medical Attention 

The adrenaline surge right after a truck wreck in Louisiana can mask pain, making injuries seem less serious than they are. It’s essential to consult a doctor after an accident, even if you don’t notice any injuries.

Many accident truck injuries, especially from big truck crashes are severe due to the truck’s size and weight. But other injuries take time to show symptoms. Internal bleeding, concussions, and whiplash are all common examples. A doctor’s exam can catch these early so you get the treatment you need right away.

How Medical Records Will Improve Your Big Truck Accident Claim

Receiving medical care can also help with any insurance claims or lawsuits against major trucking companies down the road. Doctors’ records showing your injuries and the treatment you received can be strong evidence that a Louisiana personal injury attorney can use to build your case.

4. Document the Crash

After a truck accident, the scene can be confusing, and your health is always the top priority. Once everyone’s safe and you’ve called the police, take a moment to document the accident. This information is crucial for insurance claims, determining liable parties, and your records.

Here’s how to document the scene safely and effectively:

  • Don’t talk to the truck driver’s insurance company yet: They are known to reach out quickly, but wait to speak with your own insurance company and Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer first.

  • Withhold from admitting fault: let the professionals figure out who’s responsible after a full investigation.

  • Gather as much information as possible, if you can: This may include:
    • The sequence of events leading up to the accident, from your memory.
    • Contact information for all drivers involved, including license plate numbers and insurance details (if possible).

  • Document the scene thoroughly: Photos of the scene, damage to vehicles, and any relevant road signs or conditions can be helpful evidence.

The more details and evidence you have, the better. This will help protect your rights and ensure you have a strong case for any insurance claims or legal proceedings.

5. File a Truck Insurance Claim

Filing a truck insurance claim after a truck accident is an important step toward getting back on your feet. Here’s how to approach it for the best outcome:

  • Don’t talk to the other party’s insurance company: It might seem helpful, but their goal is to minimize payouts.

  • File your claim quickly: Insurance companies often have deadlines for filing claims, so don’t delay.

  • Gather your evidence: When you contact your insurance company, have your information ready:
    • Photos of the damage to your vehicle and the scene.
    • A copy of the police report.
    • Details about the other driver and their vehicle.
    • Contact information for any witnesses.

  • Know your coverage:  Before you file, look at your insurance policy. This will help you understand what’s covered (injuries, repairs) and any out-of-pocket costs (deductibles).

  • Be honest and cooperative: If you have any concerns about the information being requested, consult with an attorney.

After a big truck accident in Louisiana, there’s a time limit to file a claim for damages which is one year from the accident date. You may lose your right to seek compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you miss it.

Why is this deadline important? The fresher the evidence and clearer the memories, the stronger your case. Delays can hurt your chances of success so don’t wait to talk to a Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer. Filing a lawsuit involves gathering evidence and building a case, which takes time, and the sooner you start the better.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Louisiana

If you’ve been involved in a big truck accident that resulted in an injury or injuries, it is important that you seek legal representation. Dealing with injuries and the aftermath is tough. That’s why having a lawyer on your side who understands these types of cases is crucial.

Big truck wrecks are complex and involve state laws and specific details about commercial trucking regulations. Luckily, our experienced truck accident attorneys at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys know the ins and outs of truck accident laws in Louisiana

With over 679+ years of combined legal experience, we have seen a fair share of big truck accident cases in Louisiana. We know the impact they can have on your life, and we’re committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.

Our firm is proud to service clients in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Ascension, Livingston, Zachary, Hammond, and Monroe. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation!