Steps You Should Take After a Semi-Truck Accident in California
In the aftermath of a semi-truck accident, it can be difficult to figure out what to do next. You may be struggling with serious medical issues, including career-ending disabilities and permanent disfigurements. These injuries may require expensive, time-consuming treatment – and you may never fully recover. At the same time, you may face the possibility of missing weeks, months, or years of work – resulting in serious financial losses. If you have suffered a particularly serious injury, you may never work again.
At the same time, psychological trauma may prevent you from thinking clearly. You may be suffering from paralyzing post-traumatic stress that prevents you from doing even the most basic daily tasks. Head injuries can lead to even worse psychological issues, including depression, social withdrawal, cognitive impairment, and even personality changes. All of these issues can prevent you from taking the necessary steps to heal and pursue justice for everything you’ve been forced to endure. So what do you need to do after a semi-truck accident in California? Let’s find out.
Step One: Get Medical Attention
Your first step after a semi-truck accident should be to seek medical attention. While the legal process of suing a trucking company is important, your health is always the first priority. Call 9-1-1 if possible and accept treatment at the scene from first responders. If witnesses saw the crash, they will probably call 9-1-1 on your behalf. Whatever you do, avoid refusing medical treatment at all costs.
You may be light-headed, and the adrenaline from the shock of the accident may be clouding your judgment. The pain of your injuries may be completely numbed within the first few hours of the accident. Always take the safe option and accept as much medical treatment as you are offered. You may spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital if you have suffered serious injuries. Do not worry about the legal process while you are stuck in the hospital – follow instructions from medical professionals and stay in the hospital until you are discharged. Leaving the hospital too early can make your medical issues worse.
Aside from the fact that you need to prioritize your health, accepting any and all medical treatment is also important for another reason: It helps your lawsuit. If you do not get treatment for your injuries, it becomes very difficult to prove that your injury actually occurred in the first place. Why? Because there is no record of your injuries occurring. Accept treatment, and doctors will write detailed notes about your injuries. They may also run tests and take medical images like X-rays or CT scans. All of this documentation can be used to support your injury claim – proving that your injuries are real and legitimate.
If you do not get medical treatment, the trucking company, their lawyers, and their insurance providers might argue that your injuries are minor. They might even argue that you suffered your injuries from some other accident.
Step Two: Collect Evidence
After your medical condition has stabilized, you can start to collect evidence to support your claim. As previously noted, your medical records represent excellent evidence as you seek compensation. You might also have a chance to collect evidence before being taken to the hospital. For example, you might catch the license plate of the truck that caused your injury. You might also snap a few photos of the truck and the crash scene with your phone. Catching the license plate number may be very important if the semi-truck driver decides to commit a hit-and-run. You might also speak with witnesses at the crash site, getting their contact information so they can testify on your behalf later.
Even if you do not manage to collect any evidence from the crash site, you can still refer to the official police report for plenty of evidence. A police report represents excellent evidence for a typical semi-truck crash because it may include notes about trucker negligence. For example, a trucker might have failed a Breathalyzer test after the accident. Or perhaps police found evidence that he was texting and driving at the time of the accident. Of course, your lawyer can also collect a range of evidence on your behalf, and their investigation methods are usually quite advanced. This is why getting in touch with a lawyer should be one of your first steps after a semi-truck accident.
Step Three: Avoid Hasty Decisions
The last step is simple: Avoid making hasty decisions. Do not say anything without your lawyer present, and do not agree to any settlements until you have spoken with your lawyer. It is all too easy to agree to a settlement of a few thousand dollars – but you might later realize that your injuries will cost far more than the paltry sum you were offered at first. Insurance companies have a habit of offering low-ball settlements to kick off negotiations, as their goal is to settle claims for the lowest amount they can possibly get away with.
You should also avoid posting on social media about your accident. Although it might feel tempting to keep family and friends updated about this major life moment, it is usually best to avoid commenting on lawsuits until they have been fully resolved. Making the wrong comments on social media can cause issues with your lawsuit, as these comments can be used against you in court.
Step Four: Connect With a Qualified Semi-Truck Accident Attorney in California
If you have been searching the California area for a qualified, experienced semi-truck accident attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. We know how life-altering these accidents can be, and we are ready to guide you toward a positive outcome. The truth is that connecting with a lawyer should be one of your very first steps after a semi-truck accident.
Without guidance from an experienced legal professional, you can easily make mistakes or experience needless delays. Once you team up with a lawyer, you can immediately pursue compensation with confidence and efficiency. More importantly, a lawyer can handle most of the legal process while you focus on healing. Book your consultation with us at your earliest convenience to get the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries.