Truck accidents are frightening experiences. People involved in crashes involving large commercial vehicles are often seriously injured, scared, and confused. Accident victims should focus on their health and the health and welfare of any passengers in their vehicle immediately following an accident. If you are injured because of the recklessness of another party, you could seek compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. Below, Ken Kieklak, an experienced Arkansas truck accident attorney, looks at steps you could take to begin building a personal injury case following the crash.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately After an Arkansas Truck Accident
The health and welfare of yourself and anyone else in your vehicle should be your priority if you are involved in a truck accident. Unfortunately, many truck accidents result in catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you are unable to safely move, wait for emergency medical attention.
Luckily, many people walk away from the carnage of a truck accident with minor injuries. However, many of these same fortunate individuals make the mistake of not seeking a thorough medical examination after leaving the accident scene. It is not uncommon for people to realize they have sustained more severe injuries days or weeks after the accident. When someone is in an accident, they often experience an adrenaline rush that masks both pain and injuries. Even if it seems like an inconvenience, the best decision may be to leave a crash site in the back of an ambulance. These precautions not only help ensure your health and safety; they also could prove invaluable if you want to file a civil case. Documenting your injuries and linking them to the accident is essential when negotiating with an insurance company or taking a case to trial. An insurance company will be looking for ways to minimize what they are required to pay – you should not give them any reasons to deny your claim.
Medical treatment is usually more than one visit to your doctor. It is crucial to follow through with any treatments your doctor prescribes. Additional tests and examinations could be necessary to understand the full extent of your injuries. Furthermore, if you fail to comply with your doctor’s recommended treatment, it could be used against you during settlement negotiations or in court.
Call Local Law Enforcement After a Truck Accident in Arkansas
Once you have evaluated your injuries, you should call local law enforcement. The police will secure the crash site, contact medical emergency personnel, and conduct a preliminary investigation to determine what occurred. While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you should refrain from discussing what happened with other drivers involved in the accident. Under no circumstances should you apologize or admit to any percentage of fault.
When you speak with the police, just give them a factual and accurate account of what occurred. You should not exaggerate or add details that you do not recall. The police will speak with you, the truck driver, anyone else involved, and any witnesses that might have been present. After gathering information from the various parties, the police will begin to prepare an accident report. Do not leave the scene without requesting a copy or finding out how to obtain one. A police report could be a critical piece of evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. This is especially the case if a citation was issued against the truck driver and no evidence was included of you violating any traffic laws or regulations.
Exchange Information with Other Drivers in an Arkansas Truck Accident
Whenever you are involved in an accident, you need to gather information from the other driver or drivers involved. This includes their name, phone number, email address, and driver’s license number. You should also get the contact information of their insurance provider. Do not forget to get the name of the trucking company they work for and its insurance company. In many commercial truck crashes, it is possible to hold the trucking company liable in addition to the truck driver. Our Fayetteville, AR truck accident attorney will need this information to determine if the trucking company shares part of the blame.
Gather Evidence From the Scene of the Arkansas Truck Accident
Truck accidents happened quickly and sometimes involve multiple vehicles. Sometimes piecing together the chain of events that lead to the accident is challenging. Often, some of the best evidence available is immediately following an accident.
If you are capable, you should take many photographs of the accident site and the vehicles involved. Do not worry about taking too many pictures. Take various angles and include all damage each vehicle suffered. In some cases, an expert could determine what happened by where each vehicle came to rest and the specific type of damage each sustained. Do not forget to take pictures of the debris, road surface, and the surrounding area, including signs and local businesses. Our Bentonville, AR truck accident attorney will use these photographs to start building a personal injury case.
You should also question any witnesses who saw the crash. Get their names and contact information. If there allow you to, you should record their testimony. While witnesses might appear on the police report, there are times when an important witness will leave before the police arrive.
Call Our Experienced Arkansas Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
While your health and welfare should be the first thing your take care of, you should call our experienced Springdale, AR truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Trucking companies will have investigators out at the crash site within hours and they have attorneys working for them. Truck accident cases are complex and you need a knowledgeable lawyer at your side. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has been representing individuals injured in truck accidents for decades. Our office will work with the insurance companies involved, value your claim, and prepare your case for trial if necessary. To schedule a free appointment, call (479) 316-0438.