Get medical attention right away, even if you don’t think your injuries are very serious.
Cleveland, OH – Ohio is high on the list of the ten states with the most fatal truck accidents in the US. In 2017, for instance, there were 140 fatal truck crashes. Each year, thousands of Ohio residents are injured in accidents involving a semi or an 18-wheeler, and in most cases those are catastrophic injuries that cause significant damages. One of the main challenges these people are faced with is that most of them don’t know there’s a huge difference between a regular collision and an accident involving a commercial vehicle when it comes to filing a personal injury claim.
In a collision between two passenger cars it is much easier to determine who is liable for damages. In a truck accident, you can have more than one party who is liable for damages, but you won’t know that unless you contact a seasoned Cleveland truck accident lawyer and have them review your case.
Steps to take if you are in a truck accident in Ohio
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, you might be in shock and confused, but even under those circumstances you need to keep in mind that you might want to get damages at some point. Here’s what you need to do to maximize your chance of a successful outcome for your claim.
- No matter what type of accident you’re involved in, your number one priority should be your safety. If you are able to get out of your car, do so. Check if anyone is injured and call 911 right away.
- Even if the accident appears to be minor at first, make sure to call the police. You will need their report if you later decide to file a personal injury claim.
- Document the scene of the crash by taking photos of all the vehicles before they are moved to the side of the road. You’ll need pictures that show the exact position of the vehicles involved. Also, take photos of the damages to your car. If you are covered in bruises or blood, have someone take a clear photo of your injuries at the scene.
- Get the name of the driver and the company he works for, as well as the vehicle identification number.
- Get a good look at the driver. The police will probably conduct a breathalyser test to determine if the trucker had any alcohol in his system, but you also need to determine whether the driver seemed excessively tired. If driver fatigue played a part in what happened, you may have a case against the trucking company.
- If there are eyewitnesses to the crash, get their name and contact info. Your lawyers will probably want to talk to them when they do their own investigation into the crash.
- Get medical attention right away, even if you don’t think your injuries are very serious. Some types of injuries, like whiplash, back or spine damage may not cause any symptoms right away. It might be days or weeks before you start experiencing pain in the legs or trouble moving your arms, but if you don’t see a doctor soon after the crash it might be very difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Schedule a free consultation with a seasoned Ohio truck accident lawyer before you talk to the insurance company. The trucking company’s insurer might contact you to offer a quick settlement. Do not accept any settlement until a lawyer has a look at your case and tells you how much your claim is really worth.