One of the most crucial steps to protect yourself after a crash with a big truck is to remain at the scene, as per Ohio Revised Code Section 4549.02. Leaving immediately can get you convicted of a hit and run even if you suffered more severe injuries than the other parties involved in the accident. In addition, the other party can use such a law violation to put more blame on you.
If you can, perform the following critical tasks at the crash site:
- Get medical assistance for injured parties.
- Get the truck driver’s name, employer, license number, and contact and insurance details.
- Gather what evidence you can on-site, such as photographs and videos.
- Call law enforcement to have a police report written up.
- If there are witnesses, you could get their contact information to get testimonies later. You can also start collecting statements right away if they are willing.
Other Precautions to Take After an Accident with a Big Truck
Gathering evidence right after the accident helps protect you from possible tampering. It is also important to watch what you say around other people at the scene. The truck driver or other liable party could use your statements against you to increase your liability, especially if you admit to any fault for the accident.
For example, saying something as simple as “I’m sorry” could prove you acknowledge fault.
However, it may be difficult to maintain a level head and calm emotion in the aftermath, especially if the accident caused catastrophic damage. If you are unsure what to do to protect yourself while at the crash scene, do not hesitate to call a truck accident lawyer for advice.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
What Can You Do After Leaving the Crash Scene?
If you have not already called a truck accident lawyer, now is the time to do so. We know the laws and processes to protect you further. Our attorneys can assist with tasks such as:
- Investigating further into the accident to determine liability
- Gathering evidence you might not have collected
- Exploring your available options for compensation (for instance, insurance)
- Providing the right information to insurance companies
It would also be best to compile all the relevant costs of the truck accident, as you and your lawyer can use them to calculate your damages and file for the right amount of compensation. These can include medical and auto repair bills.
Besides your expenses, you will also need other types of proof to show you suffered from the truck accident. That means compiling medical records or expert witness testimonies as well.
Do You Need the Crash Report to Protect Yourself After a Truck Accident?
Yes, you should request the crash report from the Department of Public Safety. Crash reports can be used as evidence in a truck accident claim or lawsuit as they contain valuable information about the accident, such as:
- The truck accident’s date and location: This is vital to determining where to file the case and how much time you have left to work on it. Accident lawsuits are generally handled by the county where the collision happened. Meanwhile, the statute of limitations timer starts on the accident date.
- Photographs of the crash scene: Police officers will take pictures of the accident and include them in the reports. You could request the photos from the police if you could not document the scene yourself after the incident.
- Eyewitness testimonies: If you cannot get contact details or statements from witnesses at the scene, the crash report typically has them. The police will interview witnesses as part of the investigation.
Keep in mind, however, that Ohio police typically do not make crash reports if an accident does not have any injuries, deaths, or property damages worth over $1,000. That said, truck accidents tend to be more destructive due to the vehicle’s sheer size and weight, so they are much more likely to have a crash report.
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Knowing how to protect yourself after an accident with a big truck can significantly mitigate your losses and improve your chances of compensation if you file a claim or lawsuit against the truck driver. However, many people make mistakes when faced with this situation. Bressman Law has a team of legal professionals who will help protect you from liability and further losses.
David Bressman and his team have over six decades of combined experience handling injury and accident cases throughout Ohio, including trucking accidents. We can have a truck accident lawyer review your accident and guide you on what you can do next. For inquiries or consultation bookings, call or send a message through this website. We are always eager to assess a case and answer questions.
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