31 May, 2024

What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in Bloomington, IL?

Author Todd A. Strong

Following a truck accident in Bloomington, you should take key steps, such as seeking medical attention and consulting with an attorney to discuss a claim. Taking the right actions after an accident can help you seek total compensation for injuries and other damages, making it important to know what you should do after a truck accident.

For help with a truck accident case, it’s best to have an attorney by your side. Call Strong Law Offices in Bloomington at 309-393-2928. We can determine if another party is liable for an accident and calculate the compensation you’re able to recover.

A truck and car collision on the road. What should you do after a truck accident
A truck and car collision on the road. What should you do after a truck accident

Immediate Steps to Take After a Truck Accident

Right after a truck accident, there are steps to take that can help you begin treatment for injuries and build a strong case against a truck driver or any other liable parties responsible.

So, what should you do after a truck accident? The following are actions to take if you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident:

Remain Calm and Stay at the Accident Scene

Immediately after getting into an accident, stay calm and, if possible, move your vehicle to a safe area at the side of the road or another space. Check to see if anyone in the vehicle has sustained injuries.

Never Admit Fault

Even if you believe you might be at fault for the accident, don't apologize or otherwise admit fault at any point after the accident. Doing so could hurt your chances of getting compensation, as Illinois is a comparative fault state, meaning the amount of compensation you can recover depends on the degree to which you are responsible for the accident.

Call Emergency Services

If an accident results in injuries, the next step is to call emergency services. The police will arrive at the scene and begin drafting a report that can record the details of the accident, which will help support a claim or lawsuit in the future. Additionally, if needed, an ambulance and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will arrive to provide medical services.

When speaking with police, include as many details as possible while they're fresh in your memory, as this could further align the police report with your case.

Get Contact Information from All Parties Involved

To support a claim or lawsuit, collect all relevant details from other drivers, witnesses, and parties involved. Crucial information to collect includes names, phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, license plate numbers, vehicle makes and models, insurance policies, and witness contact details.

Seek Treatment Shortly After the Accident

Following a common carrier accident or another type of truck accident, you seek medical attention from a doctor. Getting medical care from a licensed professional can provide you with a clear diagnosis and a path to treatment, along with medical records that could support a claim or lawsuit. If you suffered hidden injuries in your crash, medical attention may be the only cay to identify and treat them.

Gather Relevant Evidence

Another crucial step is to collect all evidence pertaining to your case, which can go a long way in proving a claim or lawsuit.

There are many pieces of evidence to collect to support your case, such as:

  • Medical bills, receipts, and other records
  • Police and accident reports
  • Witness statements
  • Photos or video footage of the accident, accident scene, and any injuries or property damage
  • Proof of lost income and lost earning capacity
  • Receipts for repairs or replacements

If you struggle to collect any of this evidence, a truck accident lawyer could obtain medical records, police reports, and other documentation when organizing your case.

Reach Out to an Attorney

Before filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, consult a truck accident attorney to discuss your case. The right attorney will meet with you in a free consultation to learn the details of your accident and determine if you're able to recover compensation in a claim or lawsuit.

With the help of an attorney, you can increase your chances of getting a full settlement, more effectively negotiate with insurance companies and attorneys, and take your case to court if necessary.

Conversely, handling a truck accident case on your own could lead you to inadvertently compromise your claim. For example, you might say the wrong thing when negotiating to imply that you were at fault for the accident, or you could settle for an initial offer that's far lower than the actual amount your case is worth. An attorney will have experience in these matters and can work with you to ensure you get the compensation you need.

You should also research the questions to ask when hiring a truck accident lawyer, which can help you find the right fit for your case.

Legal Considerations After a Truck Accident

What should you do after a truck accident to help you succeed with a case? The following are legal considerations to keep in mind.

The Statute of Limitations

One of the main considerations in a truck accident case is the statute of limitations. Like other civil cases in Illinois, there is a statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents that gives you a limited amount of time to file a claim or suit.

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for truck accidents is two years from the time of the accident. This statute means you have two years to file your case before you're unable to recover compensation, with some exceptions.

To ensure you file on time, hire a lawyer to handle your case, collect evidence, and file a claim well before the statute of limitations passes. Not only will this help secure your case, but it could also enable you to recover your compensation sooner to cover medical costs and other expenses.

Types of Recoverable Compensation in Truck Accident Cases

Before getting into the types of compensation you can recover for a truck accident, let's get into some recent truck vs. car accident statistics.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 298,347 motor vehicle accidents occurred in Illinois in 2022. 4% of these accidents involved tractor-trailers, which also accounted for 12% of all fatal accidents and 3.7% of accidents resulting in injuries.

In short, truck accidents are often among the most serious and can result in extensive injuries and other damages.

Damages involved in these cases include:

Economic Damages

The main type of damages in truck accidents is economic. These damages account for the defined monetary costs of the case.

There are many types of economic damages that could influence your claim or lawsuit, including:

  • Medical bills and receipts
  • Lost income and lost earning capacity
  • Wheelchairs and other accessibility equipment
  • Rehabilitation and physical or occupational therapy
  • Property damage, including damage to vehicles or other belongings

Generally, these damages are easy to identify and calculate if you have copies of receipts and other financial documentation.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages are harder to identify and prove than economic damages in truck accident cases. They may include pain and suffering, disfigurement, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other personal losses resulting from the accident.

Your attorney could work with you to calculate these damages and include them in a settlement amount during negotiations. You could also prove these damages with the help of a pain journal detailing your personal experience with recovery, relationships, and other aspects of your daily life that your injuries negatively impacted.

Wrongful Death Damages

In the event of an accident resulting in someone's death, the victim's loved ones could file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. These damages include the economic and non-economic damages in a traditional truck accident case, along with burial expenses, funeral costs, and other expenses stemming from the death.

Punitive Damages

If a defendant in a truck accident case acts with gross negligence or malicious intent to harm, you may also recover punitive damages in a trial case. However, these damages aren't compensatory like economic and non-economic damages, and only a judge or jury can award them as a means of preventing similar incidents in the future.

Get Help from a Truck Accident Attorney

What should you do after a truck accident in Bloomington? In addition to seeking medical attention, gathering evidence, and filing a case on time, speak with the right lawyer to discuss compensation. To maximize your chances of succeeding with a truck accident claim or lawsuit, contact us today at Strong Law Offices. Our experienced Bloomington truck accident attorneys will help determine what steps to take next when seeking compensation.

About The Author

author-bio-image
Personal Injury Lawyer Todd A. Strong Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.
Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State, 1994
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1994
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2022
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2023
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About The Author

author-bio-image
Personal Injury Lawyer Todd A. Strong Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.
Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State, 1994
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1994
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2022
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2023