According to recently released data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), most deaths and injuries in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. This is because of the discrepancy between the vehicles in weight and size. Injuries can be life-changing and severe. If you’ve been injured in a large truck or commercial vehicle accident where you were not at fault, you need to know what to do following your accident to recover your losses and receive justice.
Commercial vehicle’s of course include big rigs trucks, UPS, FedEx and Amazon box trucks, but they also include any car or truck driven by someone on the clock and driving for any company or business.
The Las Vegas car & truck accident attorneys at Henness & Haight are here to help you. We’ve put together this short guide to let you know what to do immediately after you’ve been injured in a commercial vehicle accident in Las Vegas.
Step One: Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
In the aftermath of an accident with any commercial vehicle, you should seek medical help for any injuries. Even if you feel your injuries are insignificant, it’s best to be seen by a medical provider to document any damage. Seemingly minor injuries can often develop into full-blown, painful chronic conditions without proper medical intervention.
It’s likely, too, that the shock and adrenalin of the accident are masking any pain you are experiencing. Don’t refuse medical treatment and request documentation of any that you receive.
Don’t leave the scene of the accident, no matter how minor. Under Nevada law, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident. You are required to notify the nearest office of the Nevada Highway Patrol or other law enforcement agency. If you fail to report the accident or to call 9-1-1 from the scene of the accident, you may have your driver’s license suspended for up to one year and face other legal sanctions.
Step Two: Gather Information
While you are waiting for first responders to arrive, check on the condition of any other victims if you can. Do not move anybody who has been injured. If possible, get the names and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident or who may have witnessed the accident.
When you have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s important to note the following information at the scene or ask a witness to help you gather this information:
- The names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses of all drivers, occupants, and witnesses
- Details of both the owner of the truck and the driver’s employer since they may not be the same entity
- The police report number, phone number, and the responding police officer’s name and badge number
- The United States Department of Transportation serial number
- Information of the owners of both the cab and the trailer since they may be owned by separate people if you were hit by an 18-wheeler
Get photographs of the scene. Take photos of anything that might be pertinent; weather conditions, signs, lack of signs, items that might be obstructing views, your injuries, other people’s injuries, property damage to cars and surroundings, and the location of each vehicle in situ. Do not move your vehicle until the police have documented its location.
Next, you must document every medical visit, results, lab information, and rehabilitation appointment. Your medical records following the accident are often the most important piece of evidence that you’ll need to show proof of injuries.
When you visit your medical care provider, be sure to disclose all previous injuries and illnesses and describe if those injuries or illnesses have been made worse by the accident. Make sure that your doctor documents those changes.
Step Three: Don’t Speak To The Other Driver’s Insurance Company Without Legal Representation
The unfortunate reality of insurance companies is that they will do everything in their power to limit the amount of damages they payout. Insurance providers for large commercial vehicles and corporations are aggressive when limiting their risk profile. Towards that end, they will try to collect incriminating evidence against you or try to get you to admit fault.
Hire a team of experienced Las Vegas commercial truck accident lawyers to assist you when filing your claim. Let any insurance adjusters know that you have an attorney and refer them to your commercial accident attorney if they have any questions.
It’s important that when you do speak with an adjuster or to responding police officers, you don’t lie about the circumstances of the accident. Any mistruths could harm your case or claim. It’s also important to be fully honest with your attorney and your doctor for the same reasons.
Step Four: Retain Representation From A Las Vegas Commercial Accident Attorney Right Away
One vital element to any commercial accident case is time. Companies with commercial fleets are allowed to destroy driver records after six months. Since many accidents involving commercial vehicles are due to driver error or to a driver being on the road longer than the 11 hours allowed by federal law, it’s important that your attorney immediately investigates the circumstances of the accident and procures these essential records.
In addition, having a Las Vegas commercial accident attorney in your corner early on helps prevent you from making mistakes or saying too much when filing your claim. Plus, our legal team can help document your injuries and ensure that you get the medical treatment you need to recover fully.
Our team of experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys has gone up against large commercial corporations and their insurance companies for over twenty-five years. We’ve seen it all, and we’re prepared to fight for your rights. With our experience and reputation, you have a formidable ally in your quest for justice.
Have Your Case Evaluated By Henness & Haight
To get a free case evaluation, contact us. All initial consultations are free, and we’ll let you know if we can take on your commercial truck accident case.