California has more registered semi-trucks than any state in the nation. While the vast majority of truck drivers are responsible, well-trained professionals, they can—and often do—make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes cause serious injury to other people.

If you were hurt in a truck accident, this is what you need to do to get the justice you deserve.

What to Do After an Accident

Your first priority after any accident should be your own physical health and safety. If you were seriously injured, seek immediate medical attention—your attorney will help recover evidence from the scene. If you do not need to immediately leave the scene, you should always:

  • Assist anyone else who is injured. In fact, California law obliges motorists to render “reasonable assistance” to anyone who needs it.
  • Take down the truck driver’s information. Along with their license and insurance, you should also note their company name and motor carrier number, or “MC” Federal law requires that this information be printed in a visible location on their tractor-trailer.​
  • Call the police. Even if you do not believe that the crash was serious enough to warrant law enforcement intervention, a police report can be used to bolster your insurance claim.
  • Collect and preserve evidence. Take pictures of the accident site: the damage to your vehicle and the semi-truck, any injuries you sustained, and nearby road signs, traffic control mechanisms, and/or highway mile markers. You may wish to create a video documenting the same.
  • Write down or record your account of what happened. Memories can fade, especially when it is time to settle a claim or take the trucking company to court. If you take immediate note of what happened when it happened, you can keep your account consistent.

semi-truck speeding on a California roadAfter you have left the scene of the accident, you should seek medical attention—even if you believe that you were not seriously injured. The adrenaline rush triggered by a crash can mask real injuries, which a physician can identify and treat.

Furthermore, seeking medical attention will show the trucking company’s insurer that you had concerns about your health. This may pre-empt any attempt to suggest that you are simply trying to fabricate your complaint for financial gain.

Why You Need to Take Action After a Truck Accident

Truck accidents are not like car accidents—not only do they tend to cause more serious injuries, but they present additional obstacles to recovery.

Truck crash claims can be complex because they often involve several different defendants: the truck driver, the trucking company, a shipper or receiver, or even a mechanical parts manufacturer.

Even if you have what seems to be an open-and-shut case, trucking companies and their insurers have a lot of experience fighting claims in court. They will do everything they can to minimize your injuries and may be unwilling to offer a fair settlement.

A truck accident attorney can help you collect and compile evidence—from after-crash photographs to hospital records and surveillance footage—to build a robust case for compensation. We will work to ensure that you are compensated for your damages, which may include car repairs, hospital bills, lost income, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

California does not have a cap on damages in truck accident claims, which means a good lawyer can help you get as much care as you require, even if you suffered a disabling injury and need life-long treatment.

Why You Need to Act Fast

Lawyers who specialize in automobile accidents know what insurance companies need to see, and if the insurance company is unwilling to cooperate, we can and will take them to court.

However, it is important that you act fast: California has a statute of limitations for truck and car accident claims, which means that if you wait too long, you may never be able to file a claim for recompense. If you or a loved one was hurt by a negligent truck driver, contact us to schedule your initial consultation.

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