Did you know there are roughly 500,000 trucking accidents in the United States each year, and approximately 10 percent of them involve fatalities? Furthermore, one of every eight traffic accidents involves a truck. The question is – what do you do if you happen to be involved in a truck accident? Well, the best thing to do is follow these four steps to prepare for your first consultation with your truck accident attorney.
Step One: Research the Truck Driver and/or Truck Company Involved
If there was a trucking company involved, do your research. You should know the name of the company, basic company information, and if they have a history of trucking accidents. When doing research, find the answers to the following questions:
- What was the name of the driver?
- What was the license plate number of the truck?
- Did the driver have the proper license for driving a commercial truck?
Step Two: Note Specific Accident Details
The more you can recall about the accident, the better. Ideally, you should have answers to the following questions that are as detailed as possible:
- What happened before the accident that caused it to occur?
- Did a police report get fired?
- Were there any traffic violations?
- Were there any videos or photographs taken?
- Were there any witnesses and did you collect their contact information?
- Where and when did the accident occur?
- What was the road like (dry, wet, pot holes, etc.)?
Step Three: Note Your Medical Records After The Accident
For your lawyer to determine and defend how the accident affected you medically, your lawyer needs to know all of the details regarding your medical records after the accident. Ideally, you need to answer these questions:
- Were there activities you couldn't do after the accident?
- What was the immediate diagnosis you were given following the accident?
- Did you spend any time at the hospital?
- What kind of treatments were you given?
- Did you have any testing done?
Step Four: Note The Condition of Your Vehicle After The Accident
Naturally, the truck driver and/or company may be financially responsible for the damages to your vehicle pending what caused the crash and who was at fault. For this reason, your lawyer will also need the answer to these questions:
- What is the make, model, and year of your vehicle?
- How long have you owned the vehicle?
- What kind of condition did the accident leave the vehicle in?
- What kind of condition was the vehicle in before the accident?
- Do you have any pictures of the vehicle before and after the accident?
The reason why you want to take these four steps before the consultation with your trucking accident lawyer is that it will save you time during the actual meeting. It is not uncommon for consultations to be free. However, a significant portion of the discussion is spent answer questions. If you already have all of these questions answered on paper, you will find the first meeting with your lawyer will go smoothly.