San Diego, CA – The trucking industry is vital for California’s economy, but the presence of thousands of trucks on the roads at all times poses a deadly risk to the general population. Statistics show that most victims in a truck accident are occupants of passenger cars, motorcyclists, or pedestrians. The trucker is well protected in his cabin, but the driver in the sedan that gets crushed under the truck not so much.
Trucking companies have armies of lawyers to protect their interests, but the regular Joe driving to work on a Monday morning won’t know what hit him, so to say.
Here’s a brief list of things you should do and mistakes to avoid if you’re ever involved in an accident in the San Diego area, or anywhere else in California for that matter.
Document the scene
Well, first you need to get out of the road and out of danger. If you’re in any condition to do so, take as many pictures of the crash scene as possible. You need to capture the position of each vehicle and the damage done to them. These photos may be of great help later on if your San Diego truck accident lawyers decide they need to call a crash reconstruction expert. This usually happens when the causes of the accident are unclear. For instance, your lawyers may feel they need to establish whether the trucker’s apparent error was in fact caused by a mechanical failure. For the victim lying in a hospital bed, this may seem irrelevant, but it’s a vital piece of information as establishing the true cause of the accident determines who’s going to pay your damages.
Call the police at the truck accident scene
The law requires you to call the police if an accident results in injury or death. Also, you will need the police report when you file a personal injury claim with the insurer representing the trucker or his employers.
Make sure you tell the investigating officer your side of the story and it gets mentioned in the report. Also, point out if you notice signs that the trucker may be exhausted or intoxicated. In both cases, your lawyers may be able to build a case against the trucking company.
Talk to eyewitnesses
The trucker may or may not face criminal charges. That’s for the prosecutor to decide and it doesn’t influence your personal injury claim or lawsuit. You will, however, need witnesses supporting your version of the facts. Talk to those present at the crash scene and ask whether they noticed anything unusual – like the truck veering in and out of traffic lanes, speeding, or ignoring traffic signs. Maybe someone saw the whole thing and noticed that the trucker wasn’t even looking at the road and he seemed to be looking at his phone.
When you file a personal injury claim your San Diego accident lawyers will have to prove that the crash was caused by negligence.
Seek medical attention
You cannot seek damages unless you can prove that you were injured in that truck accident. If you’re worried about how you’re going to pay for a trip to the ER and some tests, talk to your attorneys right away. If they feel you have a case, they’ll put you in touch with a doctor who’s willing to treat you on condition you pay your bills when you get the damages you deserve.