Any type of motor vehicle accident in Los Angeles County can result in serious injuries and property damage. However, trucks, tractor trailers, and big rigs are very large and fast vehicles, and when they collide with cars and other smaller vehicles, they can bring about serious and catastrophic injuries and damages, like fractures, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and death, in the worst cases. Truck accidents usually occur when truck drivers speed, change lanes abruptly, disregard motor vehicle and trucking laws, or otherwise fail to drive in a reasonable and prudent manner under the circumstances. If you were injured in a truck accident, you could bring a legal claim against the other parties involved, even if you are partially at fault. Determining accident liability can often become complicated, so it's in your best interest to contact a skilled Los Angeles truck accident lawyer with experience dealing with these types of personal injury claims. Again, it's important to remember you may be able to recover compensation for injuries even if you were partially responsible for the accident. This will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the accident as every truck accident is unique. The experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyers at Injury Justice Law Firm LLP can represent you throughout your truck accident personal injury case and can help you to maximize its value. Below is a general guideline on what steps to follow immediately after an accident with a tractor trailer, tanker, semi or 18-wheeler anywhere in Los Angeles County. Clearly, you first priority would always be to seek medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. As soon as possible after the truck accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Our experienced attorneys can provide steps you need to take in order to preserve evidence and pursue a claim. Here are the steps you should follow if injured in a truck accident.
Speak with the Police Officer and Paramedics at the Scene
Calling 911 after a truck accident will immediately dispatch the police and paramedics to the accident scene. If you are claiming that you were injured in the accident, the police will most likely fill out a complete police report. You should be complete and concise when describing the accident to a police officer and when detailing your pain levels, symptoms, and injuries. When you are exchanging license and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved, you should never apologize or admit full or partial responsibility for the accident, as this could cause problems for you later on – especially when it comes to dealing with an at-fault truck driver's insurance company.
Seek Immediate Follow-up Medical Care at the Hospital
In many cases, injuries, pain, and symptoms will not manifest themselves until well after a truck accident occurs, and it's better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, you should seek immediate follow-up medical treatment at a hospital or urgent care facility. A significant delay in medical treatment might also have a negative impact on the monetary value of your truck accident case. If you delay in seeking initial medical treatment, the at-fault truck driver's insurance company will claim that you were not all that seriously injured in the accident.
Follow up with Your Primary Care Doctor
If you have a primary care doctor, you should follow up with them as soon as possible after being involved in your accident. You should describe any injuries that you sustained in the accident, as well as the pain and symptoms that you are experiencing. You should also follow through with all of your primary care doctor's treatment recommendations. Following up with your primary care physician is important because it shows that at-fault truck driver's insurance company that you are taking your injuries seriously, leaving the insurance company less wiggle room to contest medical treatment or medical bills. It also shows that you are being proactive about your treatment, rather than just following through with lawyer-referred medicine.
Do Not Self-discharge
If you are seeking medical treatment at a healthcare facility, it is important that you do not stop treating there until a health care provider formally discharges you. You should not simply stop going to your appointments or “discharge yourself.” Doing so will send the wrong message to the at-fault truck driver's insurance company and could potentially affect the settlement value of your case.
Contact a Los Angeles Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, it's very important to contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, you will need to file a legal claim to make sure you receive fair compensation, and it's critical to have a lawyer start investigating the truck accident and preserve evidence early in the process. An experienced personal injury law firm can help you with gathering critical evidence for your claim. This includes:
- The truck driver's history and whether they had prior accidents
- The truck company's policy and procedures involving safety and maintenance
- The truck company's history of prior accidents
- The log book of the truck driver and GPS information
- Information about the age of the truck, condition, and maintenance records
- Information about the speed the truck at the time of the accident
- Any eyewitness or first responder statements
- Information on the connection between the driver and truck company. Were they an employee or an independent contractor?
Our lawyers can also work with expert witnesses who might be needed to testify about potential negligence of the truck driver or trucking company. In some cases, these experts are individuals who have experience in the trucking industry, including former tucking company executives or a department of transportation accident investigator. After a serious accident involving a truck, our law firm knows you will have many questions. The personal injury truck accident lawyers at Injury Justice Law Firm LLP can discuss the facts and circumstances of your case with you and answer all of your legal questions and concerns. For a free consultation and case evaluation with a Los Angeles truck accident lawyer, please call our law firm at 310-734-7974.
Related Page: California Personal Injury Lawsuit Process