The steps you should take immediately after a Virginia truck accident mirror those that you would take if you were in a standard car accident. But you should follow the steps carefully, as failure to do so could impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.
Step-by-step Guidance for a Virginia Truck Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a truck in Virginia, you should follow these steps to document the scene and take care of yourself.
1. Call 911
Regardless of how you’re feeling and what the truck driver is saying, you should report the accident by calling 911 immediately, if you’re able to. If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, this means an ambulance will be on its way to assist you. Additionally, having law enforcement on the scene can ensure you have an official record of the incident.
Having a police report on file for the accident offers some protection if the truck driver or their employer tries to challenge your claim or state that the accident did not happen.
2. Document the Scene
Take photos and videos of the scene so you can share them with your attorney and use them in your insurance claim. Only do this if you’re safe and well enough to. Do not sacrifice your well-being to capture photos or videos. Instead, ask that someone else do it.
When photographing the scene, don’t forget to take photos of the street signs, lane markings, skid marks, and traffic lights. Document the weather conditions as well.
Collect witness contact information and gather a brief understanding of what they witnessed. Witnesses might be passengers in other vehicles involved in the accident or other drivers who stop to help.
3. Seek Medical Attention
This might mean allowing the paramedics to give you a once-over on the scene. Or, it might mean scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. This will vary based on the severity of your injuries.
However, no matter how you’re feeling, you should see your primary care doctor for a full health review. Car accident injuries can be sneaky and show up long after the accident.
4. Avoid Discussing the Accident Without an Attorney Present
Until you retain counsel, you should not talk about the accident with anyone, even trusted friends and family. These individuals could be forced to provide testimony about what you said following the accident.
You should speak with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. This will ensure you take the proper next steps to protect yourself and your finances. Know that the insurance company is not your friend, even if you’re discussing the matter with your insurance company.
How Geoff McDonald & Associates Fights for Accident Victims
You might not do everything perfectly after a car accident, which is understandable given the trauma and massive disruption these events can pose.
We worked with a client who suffered a serious back injury from a seemingly minor rear-end accident. He visited the ER five hours after the accident because he had terrible neck pain. However, he was released quickly. He returned three days later because of terrible back pain that radiated to his legs. His physician referred him to a pain management doctor who completed an MRI and found multilevel degenerative disc disease as well as a disc bulge with a protrusion at L5-S1.
The injury victim received an injection that provided good relief. More than two years later, he returned complaining of back pain again and received another injection. That space between visits called into question whether the treatment was related to the accident. But further investigation showed that the victim had suffered recurring pain just six months after the first injection but was worried about how he would care for his disabled wife if he had to have surgery, which is why he waited as long as he did to seek treatment again.
The insurance company offered this victim $40,000 in a pre-trial settlement, which we rejected because the lumbar fusion doctor recommended additional infusions that would cost $105,000-$125,000. The jury returned a verdict of $250,000 in compensatory damages proving that with the right legal team, you can still get the compensation you deserve despite challenging circumstances. Although we represent many people who are in trucking accidents, results vary from case to case and are not a guarantee, all cases and settlements will differ. We do guarantee that we will fight our hardest to get you the best outcome we can.
For a free consultation, contact Geoff McDonald & Associates now to begin your truck accident case.