Like any job, truckers sometimes experience monotony in their job, which can lead to a lack of attention while driving. Unfortunately, this is part of why there are over 500,000 truck-involved accidents every year. If you’re involved in one of these accidents, it’s important to know what to do so that you don’t get in your own way for getting the compensation you deserve. Use these seven tips for how to best deal with the accident and legally protect yourself.

1. Get Proper Medical Care Immediately

A truck’s weight is what makes accidents so much more dangerous than your standard auto accident. The energy that comes with the excessive weight transfers into smaller vehicles, which also impacts the contents of the vehicle, such as the people.

Beyond the number of accidents involving trucks, these include over 4,000 accidents with fatalities and 114,000 accidents with injuries. If you’re injured in one of these accidents, it’s important to get proper medical treatment right away. Even if you’re not transported to the emergency room, you may still experience soreness that can interfere with your life. Consider making an appointment to see your primary care or your chiropractor to evaluate for possible whiplash treatment.

2. Start Gathering Information Relevant to the Accident

Only once you’ve received the immediate medical attention you need, start gathering as much information as you can. This obviously includes standard information such as the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information.

However, you want as much detailed information as you can gather. When it’s safe to do so, write down everything you can remember about what happened. What road were you on? How fast were you going? Was there a stoplight, and what color was it? What side of the truck were you on? Did you use your horn? What was the weather like? Was there anything unusual about the truck, such as rubber coming off a tire or lights out?

Don’t stop with what you can remember, but talk to people who were in the car with you. Ask them to detail what they remember as well. If you know anyone who witnessed the accident from outside your vehicle, ask them what they saw or any details they provide. Don’t call witnesses that you don’t know, the police report will document their testimony and information. Make sure to get a copy of that report to help keep your memory fresh about what happened.

3. Take as Many Photos as Possible

If you aren’t injured in the accident, get out and take pictures or video if it’s safe to do so. Your insurance company will want pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the truck. However, you’ll also want to take pictures of the street, if there’s a traffic control device of any kind, or if there are cameras that might have recorded the accident. Be sure to take pictures of the entire truck if it’s safe to do so, capturing all marking lights on the cab and trailer. Try to also get pictures of the entire scene, including skid marks if there are any.

In addition to the trailer, be sure to take pictures of any injuries you or your passengers have sustained once everyone’s received treatment. This includes what you may think are minor cuts and scrapes.

4. Try Not to Speak More Than Necessary

Most people want to cooperate with law enforcement following an accident, and they also truly care about others involved. However, this is a good time to exercise your right to speak with an attorney. The reason for this is that you may not remember things correctly after the adrenaline that kicks in after an accident. You may second guess yourself and say something that draws into question what actually happened. Let the police know that you’ll be happy to answer their questions once you’ve had a chance to speak with your attorney.

5. Contact an Attorney Who Specializes in Truck Accidents

Next, contact an attorney that specializes in truck accidents, such as the experts at Matlin Injury Law. You may not be at risk of a law suite against yourself, but what you say may cost you in filing a personal injury claim against the driver or the company who employed them. Police may try to get a statement from you because they want to get their portion of the work done as quickly as possible. However, you have the right to refuse to answer questions without an attorney present, and you should politely inform the officer of that decision.

6. Keep Track of How Much You’re Due

When it comes to compensation, if you’re injured during the accident, there are three types of damages you may receive: economic, non-economic, and punitive. The economic damages are compensation for the actual money you’ve had to spend because of the accident. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and legal expenses. Keep receipts from all related expenses so that you can claim appropriate compensation.

7. Avoid Posting About the Accident on Social Media

It’s challenging in the day and age of social media to hold significant things back, but it’s in your best interest to do so. Don’t post anything about your accident until you’ve consulted with an attorney to explore whether it’s appropriate to file a claim for compensation. If you do, anything you post to social media is available to the defendant’s legal team and they could use it to try to establish your fault for the accident. Even private groups or chats are subject to legal subpoenas, so if you want to talk about it with someone, do so in person or on a call until you’ve resolved your legal claim.

Don’t try to deal with the ramifications of a Parker area truck accident on your own. Call the truck accident experts at Matlin Injury Law to protect your interests and ensure that you are fairly compensated.