The immediate aftermath of a California truck accident can be chaotic and traumatic for victims. The first thing you need to do is determine if you or others around you have sustained any injuries. If someone requires medical attention, quickly dial 911.
Take stock of your immediate environment — is anyone in danger of further harm by a secondary accident? Everyone who is able should move away from the impact zone to a safe area. It is not advisable to move someone who is seriously injured unless you have emergency response training or believe the person is in danger if they are not moved. A vehicle that is in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic should also be moved to a safe area, if possible.
Once you have properly assessed the situation and everyone is in a safe area, call law enforcement so that the parties involved in the accident and any witnesses can give statements on what happened.
You should also document the accident by taking photographs of the scene. This includes photos of the vehicles involved, plus any other property that may have been hit or damaged.
Next, exchange information with each driver involved in the accident, including insurance and driver’s license information. You should also ask for information on the truck (also known as the tractor), the trailer and the cargo.
I also recommend that all truck accident victims see a doctor. Truck accidents involve a lot of force, even when they occur at low speeds. While it is true that most injuries stemming from these accidents are obvious, there are other injuries that do not immediately reveal themselves but are no less painful in the long run. For example, head and neck injuries are not uncommon diagnoses in the days, weeks or even months following an accident.
Lastly, trucking companies and their insurers may offer you a settlement immediately following the accident. While this may seem like a solution to paying those medical bills or making up for lost wages, these settlement offers rarely reflect the true amount you may be entitled to. It is in your best interest to discuss the incident with an experienced California truck accident attorney who can help you decide the best course of action for you and your family.
Our firm has years of experience litigating cases against some of the largest transportation companies in the world. If you have any more questions about filing a California truck accident lawsuit, feel free to give me a call at 800-827-0087.