Following an accident with a big rig, you may find yourself shocked about what just happened. If you are injured, you should immediately seek medical treatment. However, if you do not feel any immediate pain, you may be wondering what you should do. The steps you take following a big rig accident can impact your insurance claim and any future personal injury lawsuit you may bring, should you later discover you are injured. Here are a few of the questions you may find yourself wondering about following a big rig accident.
Should I Call the Police to Take an Accident Report?
Following an accident with a big rig, you should always call the police and make an accident report. A police officer can come and take an on-scene accident report which can be very valuable should you file a personal injury case.
One of the biggest benefits of getting the police to take an accident report is that they have access to and can view the truck driver's driving log. Truck drivers must keep a log of how long they have been driving, how long they have slept and when they have taken breaks. Truck drivers are only allowed to be on shift for 14 hours per day. They can drive for no more than 11 hours per day. And they must take a 30 minute break after eight hours of driving. If they have not done so, they could have some, or the entire fault, for the accident. Unfortunately, you can't demand to see their driving log, and by the time the insurance company demands to see, it could be gone. This is why having an officer respond to an accident is important.
Is There Anything I Should Do At the Scene of the Accident?
While you are waiting for a police officer to arrive at the scene of a big rig accident, there are a few things you can do at the scene of the accident. The first thing you will want to do is take a picture of all of the vehicles involved in the accident before any of the vehicles are moved. Having a picture of the vehicles in their original position can help to show who was at fault.
Another important thing to do while waiting for a police officer to arrive is to obtain information from witnesses, such as their name, phone number and address. Following an accident, many witnesses will stop to make sure everyone involved in the wreck is fine. Once they have made sure everyone is free from injury, and see the police have arrived, they figure it is fine for them to leave. However, when they leave, so does their account of the accident. Getting personal information from witnesses before they leave can be invaluable if there is a dispute as to who is at fault.
Do I Have to Seek Medical Treatment?
If you do not feel any pain following an accident with a big rig, you may wonder if you have to seek medical treatment. You never have to seek medical treatment following an accident. However, if you begin to experience any pain following the accident, you should seek treatment right away.
One of the biggest mistakes people make following an accident is putting off treatment because they think they are just sore or their pain will go away. Unfortunately, there are many downsides to delaying treatment.
If you delay treatment, it can make it hard for a doctor to correlate your injuries to the accident. This doesn't bode well for a personal injury claim. If you delay treatment, your injuries could worsen. And lastly, if you delay treatment, you may give up the right to file a personal injury case. In some states, such as Florida, you have as little as 14 days to seek medical treatment. If you don't seek treatment within that time, you can lose the right to claim an injury and receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages.
If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, the actions you take after the accident can impact your insurance claim and any personal injury case you may attempt to file. However, since you likely haven't been in one before, you may have many questions about what you should do. Getting answers to these questions will help you best deal with the situation. If you have any further questions after the accident, consider consulting with a truck accident attorney from a site like http://www.jaklitschlawgroup.com. They can give you answers to any other questions you may have stemming from the accident.