Truck accidents are a common occurrence on U.S. roads. These accidents cause millions of dollars’ worth of damages, injuries, and fatalities. The law allows victims to claim compensation from the liable parties to help them deal with the effects of the accidents.
If you or a loved one is a truck accident victim, it may be best to contact a truck accident lawyer to learn your legal options and how to claim compensation. Your attorney will also advise you on what you should do after the accident to protect your claim.
Am I Required to Notify Police After My Truck Accident?
Yes. If you want to claim compensation after a truck accident, you must call the police immediately after the accident and report what happened. Regardless of how minor or severe the accident is, it would be best to call 911 and report the accident.
Every state has different laws and rules regarding when you must call the police from the crash scene. In Ohio, there is no limit as to when you should contact the police after an accident. However, if the accident is fatal, there are injuries, or if the damages to the property exceed $1,000, you must report the accident to the police.
Failing to do so is a minor misdemeanor, and you may also lose crucial evidence to support your claim. This means that calling the police and filing a report is in your best interest.
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What Do the Police Do at the Scene?
The police play a significant role at an accident scene. Not only is it essential for the police to have a record of all accidents in the state, but they will also help your claim. While at the scene, the police will maintain peace and order and call EMTs if there are any injuries. Additionally, they will make a record of:
- A clear description of the vehicles at the scene and the damages to the vehicles
- Details about the accident, including how the vehicles approached, collided, and stopped
- A diagram of the accident scene
- The location, date, and time of the crash
- The weather and road conditions at the scene
- Driver’s names, insurance information, and addresses
- Victim’s names, addresses, and a description of their injuries
- Truck owner’s names or trucking company information
- Witnesses’ names and addresses
- Witness and drivers’ statements
The police also help determine the cause of the accident and can issue a traffic ticket or make an arrest if necessary. All this information is included in the police report, making it a crucial piece of evidence. Your lawyer will use the police report and other evidence to determine fault and support your claim.
Note that, without an official report from the police, it may be challenging to prove that the accident happened, and you can lose your chance to claim benefits from the at-fault party. The police report will be available to you or your lawyer as per state laws.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
In 2020 alone, there were 4,842 large truck fatal accidents in the U.S. Truck accidents also cause hundreds of injuries and severe damage to property. If you were in a truck accident, you may have a right to a compensation claim. But, to secure your claim and increase your chance of fair compensation, you need to know what to do immediately after the crash.
Depending on your condition after the accident, here are some measures to take:
- Move to safety if necessary
- Dial 911 and report the accident
- Collect driver contact and insurance information
- Take pictures of the scene and damages to your property
- Collect witness statements and contact information
- Seek medical attention
- Call a truck accident lawyer
- Inform your insurer
If you have severe injuries, you will not be able to collect any information or evidence at the scene. This is yet another reason why you need the police.
What Role Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Play?
Although the police play a critical role in gathering evidence to help your claim, the police report alone is not enough to defend your case, prove damages, and help value your claim. For example, truck accidents cost victims or family members millions in medical care bills, property damages, or funeral expenses.
If you want to claim compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages, you may need to obtain legal help as soon as possible after the crash. Your lawyer will file a claim and work with other experts to gather more evidence to defend your claim.
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Let Us Get Started on Your Truck Accident Claim Today
If you or a loved one were recently in a truck accident, it would be best to contact a lawyer and get legal advice to pursue maximum compensation for your damages. At Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers, we are ready to discuss your case and help you understand your legal options. Contact us for a free consultation and help with filing your claim.