First Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in West Palm Beach
August 9, 2018
A truck accident is always a stressful and frightening situation. You may be struggling to come to terms with what just happened. In many cases, you may even be fortunate if you do not need immediate medical attention and are able to walk away from the scene.
If you are able to do so, there are a few first steps to take after a truck accident in West Palm Beach that may be key to increasing your chances of filing a successful claim. These steps could serve to ensure that you get all the medical care you require, that the accident is properly reported, and that all evidence at the scene is preserved.
Immediately Call the Police
Even though all drivers are required to call the police after a truck accident, you should not depend on the trucker to do so. Take an important first step and make the call yourself to ensure the appropriate police department with jurisdiction over the accident quickly responds to the scene. The operator could also dispatch an ambulance if anyone is hurt.
Not only is calling the police recommended for a personal injury claim, it is actually required by law. Florida Statute §316.027(2a) states that it is a crime for any person involved in a car accident that results in personal injury to not stop at the scene and contact the police.
In addition to facilitating medical care after a truck accident, the police would produce a report outlining the facts of the accident. This is an unbiased report that carries great weight with both insurance companies and courts. In many cases, the police may even assign blame for the accident on the trucker within this report, which could make for a very strong case on an injured plaintiff’s part.
Take Pictures and Video at the Scene
One of the great benefits of modern society is that nearly everyone has a camera and video recorder in their pocket at all times. Smartphones allow anyone involved in a truck accident to take pictures of the vehicles in the crash, the presence of any traffic control signals, and the weather conditions at the time of the accident. In a civil suit, these images and videos could serve as powerful contemporaneous evidence of what happened to cause the accident.
This sort of evidence preservation is especially important in truck accident cases. Many trucks are operated by large, national corporations who may attempt to muscle plaintiffs out of their cases, so people often need to give themselves every advantage. Even the most helpful claims investigator would not be at the scene immediately after it happens, so in some cases the only source of this information is the plaintiff themselves.
Make Smart Moves after a West Palm Beach Truck Accident by Taking These Steps First
The moments following a truck accident in West Palm Beach are critical. Not only can they affect your health and prospects for recovery, but they may also determine the outcome of any personal injury claim.
The first thing you should do is to call the police, in order to both satisfy the legal requirement to call for help and ensure the police create a neutral report concerning the incident. Do not count on the trucker to do the right thing—take this step on your own to ensure that it is done.
Next, use your smartphone or any other camera on hand to take pictures and videos of the scene. Make sure that this includes the vehicles’ resting positions, any damage to them, and any stop signs or traffic lights. There will likely never be another opportunity to gather this evidence in such a straightforward and undeniable form. It is also vital that you get in touch with a determined truck accident attorney that could help you receive damages for your injuries.
By following these few first steps after a West Palm Beach truck accident, you could increase your chances for a successful claim.