Being involved in something as serious as a Chicago truck accident will undoubtedly have an impact on your life, possibly resulting in serious injuries or even the death of a loved one. Your actions after the crash will have an impact on any potential settlement or injury claim to which you may be entitled, so it is important that you take the time to become familiar with the steps to take after a Chicago truck accident.
The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and do your best to ensure both your own safety and that of your passengers. Next, it would be in your best interest to contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer who is experienced in truck accidents.
Directly After the Truck Accident
As with any serious accident, first and foremost, you must call the police. Documentation of your Chicago truck accident, i.e. a police report, will prove invaluable in your injury claim. Also, officers who have dealt with such accidents in the past will be able to handle the situation far more efficiently than other individuals on the scene.
Your safety and that of your passengers is the first priority. Be sure you both receive immediate medical attention at the scene of the accident. If you cannot do this yourself, the police should facilitate care for those in need. Even if you do not think you need medical attention at that time, know that many accident injuries do not emerge until days or weeks after the trauma.
Collect as much
evidence at the scene of the crash as your injuries will allow. This includes:
- Photographs of the damage to all vehicles;
- Witness names and contact information;
- Photos of the roadway, including evidence of skid marks and crash debris; and
- Your own notes of the circumstances that led to the crash.
While you are at the truck accident scene, do not admit any fault, apologize to anyone or engage in conversation with any witnesses or any one else involved in the crash, beyond getting complete contact information. When you speak with the police officer, or even your own auto insurance provider, stick to the facts and do not answer any questions that are not asked.
Be Guarded In Your Speech
Until you have had the chance to speak with a Chicago personal injury lawyer that knows how to investigate and settle truck accident cases, you should limit what you say to anyone. Any seemingly innocent comment could be taken as an admission of fault and/or used against you to lower the value of your claim. Particularly damning statements include:
- Open admissions of fault;
- A statement to the other driver indicating that “your employer will cover it”; and
- Any statements such as, “I didn’t see him” or “it came out of nowhere.”
This does not mean you should lie; when you do speak you should always speak the truth. After an accident, you may be injured, disoriented and scared. This is not the time to speculate about fault, particularly your own. Remember that it is far too early to know who caused what, and as such, it is in your best interest to stick only to the facts when speaking with authorities about your truck accident.
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