After surviving a truck accident, you might find it difficult to know how to start your recovery. Accidents that involve large commercial trucks often leave victims with serious injuries and no vehicle. The medical bills will start piling up soon, and you may not be able to work to bring in income.
Even if you can still perform the duties of your job, you may not have a way to get to your job if the accident destroyed your vehicle. This can turn into an overwhelming set of circumstances, and you may struggle to stay on top of your work responsibilities, your physical recovery and the legal issues that an accident creates.
If the accident was caused by some other party, such as the driver of the truck, then you need to build a strong claim to seek full compensation. This claim should detail all of the losses and expenses that the accident caused and present evidence that demonstrates which party is responsible.
Begin gathering evidence as soon as you can
After any traffic accident, the first priority should always be making sure that you are safe and that you get the medical care you need. Make sure to see a doctor for a full medical assessment, just in case you suffered injuries that you cannot feel. Some of these can turn deadly, so it is never wise to skip a full medical assessment even if you don’t feel any serious pain immediately after the accident.
The sooner you or someone acting on your behalf begins collecting evidence at the scene of the accident, the more evidence there is to gather. Soon, cleanup crews will move away the leftover wreckage of the accident, and rain or regular traffic may ruin the leftover evidence in a matter of days or even hours, depending on the details of the accident.
Pictures and video of the scene are important, so make sure to document the scene from several angles if it is possible. If the vehicles are still on the scene, take as many pictures as you can of the damage, as well as skid marks or other features of the road and surrounding area. This is often very useful when trying to understand how the accident occurred. It is also wise to take statements from witnesses if they are willing to give them, and to look for security cameras nearby that might have footage at the accident as it happened.
Because the accident involves a commercial truck, you should also ask the driver for their logs and request electronic control module data from the owner of the truck. In some cases, the driver is also the owner, but not always. Drivers must record in their logs how long they drive and how often they rest, which is often an important part of the accident’s cause.
Electronic control module data is similar to “black box” data in airplanes, recording the internal functions of the truck and also some of the actions of the driver. Don’t wait to request these pieces of evidence, however, or they may vanish.
Protect your rights now, not later
Your recovery may take a long time, and you may realize as you go that the accident caused much more loss and much higher expenses than you expected. A strong legal strategy is one of the best ways to keep your priorities in line and protect your rights so that you can pay attention to your recovery.