Being in a truck accident as either a traveler in a private vehicle or a commercial truck driver can be a harrowing experience. Any motor vehicle accident is a traumatic event. Commercial trucks, however, are subject to stricter regulations than private passenger cars.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces safety regulations and sets the standards for commercial drivers. Though commercial drivers are tightly regulated by the FMCSA, truck accidents are all too common in California and nationwide.
If you are wondering what to do after a truck accident in CA, read on to learn more about important steps you can take to protect yourself and maximize the value of your claim.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
You may be an accident victim who sustained injuries from a commercial vehicle accident. Or you may be a truck driver navigating the aftermath of a truck accident. In either case, knowing what to do after a truck accident in CA is critical.
Your actions following the accident can increase the strength of your case. If you have been involved in a truck accident, take the following steps.
Remain at the Scene and Call the Police
Call 911. The police and emergency medical technicians are invaluable. Police responding to an accident can help divert traffic, clear wreckage, and get injured people help. Medical technicians can help render medical care.
The officers can also conduct a preliminary investigation and issue an accident report. These reports can be important for establishing negligence in your case. California Vehicle Code requires all drivers to report an accident within 24 hours any time it results in death or injury.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Documenting the accident scene as soon as possible after the incident is essential. Photographic and video evidence of the accident scene could be crucial to your case. Try to take photographs of the accident scene from all relevant angles. Take photos of the damage, skid marks, and injuries to you and any passengers. If there are noteworthy road conditions, take photos of those too.
Gather Evidence and Information at the Scene
Compelling evidence and helpful information gathered at the scene can support a strong claim. Be sure to document the following after a truck accident:
- Contact information for witnesses and others involved in the accident,
- Insurance information (but do not provide details about types of coverage or policy limits),
- Driver’s license information,
- U.S. Department of Transportation numbers on the truck’s rear and trailer,
- Information from other drivers or bystanders, and
- Data from surveillance video or dash cameras.
As soon as you can, write down how the crash occurred. These details could help you later in the investigation.
Be Careful What You Say
The information you share about the accident can impact your claim. Never admit to fault or apologize for the accident immediately following the crash. The other driver or their insurer can use this information against you.
Although it may be natural to want to share about the accident on social media, it’s best to refrain from posting about it. For example, a harmless post stating that you are okay can be twisted by the opposing party to argue that you are not as injured as you claim.
How Can an Attorney Help?
After ensuring everyone receives medical assistance, the most important step following a truck accident in CA is getting help from an experienced truck accident attorney. A skilled attorney will be able to help in the following ways:
- Conducting a full investigation,
- Gathering evidence,
- Proving your truck accident case,
- Dealing with insurers, and
- Pursuing a claim for full compensation.
An experienced California truck accident lawyer can help you achieve the best outcome as well as peace of mind. They are well-versed in federal, state, and local trucking laws and how they apply to your situation.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
If you require zealous and compassionate representation for your truck accident case, contact the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi. Ali works with clients in their most challenging times. He will explain your legal options and the steps to protect your rights following a truck accident. The legal team at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi makes it our goal to recover all the compensation you deserve. Call us or contact us online today to get started.