What Are The Five Steps To Take After A Truck Wreck In North Carolina?

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What Are The Five Steps To Take After A Truck Wreck In North Carolina?

Encountering a truck collision can be an unsettling and distressing experience, leaving people feeling bewildered and uncertain about what actions to take next. In North Carolina, where truck accidents happen frequently, it’s essential to be adequately equipped for what comes after. Being aware of the essential procedures to follow in the aftermath of a truck wreck can safeguard your legal entitlements and guarantee that you obtain the assistance and recompense you are entitled to.

Step 1: Prioritize Safety And Medical Attention

In the immediate aftermath of a truck collision, chaos and heightened adrenaline levels are common. Despite the shock and disorientation, your top priority should be safety and obtaining medical assistance. If you or anyone else involved sustains injuries, promptly dial 911. Even if injuries appear minor, it’s important to undergo a thorough medical assessment as some injuries might not be immediately evident but could worsen over time.

While awaiting emergency services, if possible, relocate to a secure area. If your vehicle is obstructing traffic, activate hazard lights and utilize warning triangles to alert other drivers. Refrain from discussing fault or liability with other parties involved, as these conversations can be postponed. Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved should be your primary concern.

Step 2: Document The Scene

Once ensuring everyone’s safety, it’s crucial to gather as much information and evidence from the scene as possible. Use your smartphone or a camera to photograph the accident scene comprehensively, documenting vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and any visible injuries. Make sure you record the license plate numbers of all involved vehicles and pertinent traffic signs or signals.

Exchange contact and insurance details with the truck driver and any other parties involved in the collision. In addition, obtain contact information from any witnesses who witnessed the incident. Their testimony could be essential in supporting your version of the events before the accident.

Step 3: Notify Authorities And Report The Accident

In North Carolina, it is obligatory to report any accident involving injury, fatality or property damage exceeding $1,000 to law enforcement. Even if damages seem minor, it’s advisable to notify the police and file an accident report. When authorities arrive, provide them with a factual and precise account of the incident. Refrain from admitting fault or speculating on the causes of the collision, as these assessments are best left to trained investigators.

Request a copy of the accident report for your records, as it will serve as crucial documentation during the claims process. Take note of the responding officer’s name and badge number, as well as the report number, as this information may be necessary when liaising with your insurance provider or legal counsel.

Step 4: Seek Legal Representation

Truck accidents frequently entail intricate legal and insurance matters, making it imperative to seek the counsel of a proficient attorney. Without delay following the incident, consider seeking guidance from a reputable personal injury lawyer who are experts in truck accident litigation. A skilled lawyer can assess the details of your case, clarify your rights, and guide you through the process of making a claim.

When selecting legal representation, seek out an individual with a history of success in managing truck accident cases. Arrange a consultation to discuss your situation and ensure that you are comfortable collaborating with them. Keep in mind that most personal injury attorneys provide complimentary consultations, so do not hesitate to seek legal aid.

Step 5: Notify Your Insurance Company And Preserve Evidence

Promptly inform your insurance provider about the accident and provide them with the required details and documentation. Give an honest and transparent account of the accident, while avoiding any statements that could be interpreted as accepting fault. Your insurance company will begin their investigation into the incident and might require further information or documentation from your end.

Apart from informing your insurance company, take measures to preserve all evidence associated with the accident. This includes retaining copies of medical records, repair estimates, and communications with insurance adjusters. Keep all documents systematically organized and easily accessible, as they will play a vital role in substantiating your claim and ensuring you obtain equitable compensation for your losses.

What Evidence Do You Need After A Truck Accident?

Following a truck accident, collecting evidence is essential to strengthen your claim and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages. The evidence required typically falls into various categories, each offering significant insight into the accident’s circumstances. Here’s a breakdown of the essential evidence you should collect.

  • Accident Scene Documentation. Capture thorough photographs and videos of the accident scene from various perspectives, documenting the vehicles involved, their positions, any observable damage, as well as road conditions, skid marks, and traffic signs and signals. Additionally, make a note of the prevailing weather conditions at the time of the accident, as they could influence liability determination. Don’t forget to gather contact details from any witnesses present during the accident, as their statements can support your narrative of the events preceding the collision.
  • Driver Information. Obtain the truck driver’s name, driver’s license number, insurance company, and policy number. If the truck driver operates a commercial vehicle, also secure their CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) details. If the driver is employed by a company, gather their employer’s name and contact information.
  • Police Report. Acquire a duplicate of the accident report filed by law enforcement officers who attended the scene. This report holds valuable information, including the officer’s observations, statements from involved parties and witnesses, as well as preliminary fault determinations.
  • Medical Records. Maintain records of all medical care you undergo due to the accident, such as visits to the emergency room, hospital stays, surgical procedures, medical consultations, and prescribed medications. Capture images of your injuries as documentation, as they can serve as visual proof of the extent of your injuries.
  • Vehicle Documentation. Get quotations for the repair costs of your vehicle’s damages. Additionally, photographic evidence of the damage can strengthen your claim. If the accident resulted from a mechanical failure or maintenance issue with the truck, seek maintenance records from the trucking company.
  • Electronic Data. Certain commercial trucks are fitted with event data recorders, akin to black boxes in airplanes, which record data like speed, braking, and acceleration just before the accident. This data can offer valuable insights into the accident’s cause. If distracted driving is suspected as a contributing factor in the accident, cell phone records may be legally requested to know whether the truck driver was using their phone during the accident.
  • Expert Analysis. In intricate cases, an accident reconstruction specialist might be engaged to scrutinize the evidence and reconstruct the sequence of events culminating in the accident. Medical professionals might be consulted to offer assessments regarding the severity of your injuries, your prospects for recovery, and the implications of the accident on your future health and overall well-being.

Contact Us After A Truck Accident

If you or a loved one has been severely injured, don’t delay – call (800) 529-0804 right now for a free consultation with an expert car accident lawyer. When dealing with a stressful situation, you need a knowledgeable personal injury team to guide you through the recovery process. Contact Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC right away! There is no obligation, and it will not cost you anything to learn about your legal possibilities for pursuing compensation.


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