commercial truck accident injury attorneys kansas cityCrashes between commercial semi-trucks and passenger cars can be catastrophic for the occupants of the smaller vehicles. Often, these collisions prove to be fatal for the driver and passengers in the car, but when the victims survive, it’s vital that they take certain steps as soon as they can after the crash to protect their opportunity to hold the negligent truck driver or trucking company liable for the damage they have caused.

As Kansas City personal injury lawyers, we fight for victims of truck crashes to get the full compensation they need to recover from their injuries or to live with a permanent disability. When the accident victim or their family members have been proactive about getting help and preserving evidence, they help us by giving us a head start on their claim. However, even if you were unable to do any of the things on this list, we can often still secure a successful outcome.

Steps to Take After a Collision With a Kansas City Commercial Vehicle

Often, victims of crashes with semi-trucks are unconscious or too badly injured to do anything other than receive medical care. That is completely understandable. However, if you or someone else in your vehicle is able, we recommend taking the following steps as soon as possible:

Seek immediate medical attention

Your health and well-being are the top priority. If you're injured, call emergency services or ask someone else to do so. Even if you feel fine initially, it's still advisable to get a thorough medical evaluation, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Document the accident scene

If you're physically able, try to gather evidence at the accident scene. Take photos or videos of the damage to your vehicle, the truck involved, and any visible injuries you sustained. Note the weather conditions, road conditions, and any other relevant details.

Contact law enforcement

Report the accident to the police. They will come to the scene, gather information, and create an official accident report. Obtain a copy of this report, as it may be important for insurance claims or legal proceedings.

Obtain contact information

Exchange contact, insurance, and license plate information with the truck driver and any other parties involved in the accident. Also, gather contact details from any witnesses present at the scene.

Preserve evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the accident, such as medical records, medical bills, repair estimates or invoices, and any other relevant documents. This will help establish the damages and costs associated with the accident.

Notify your insurance company

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with the necessary details, and cooperate fully with their investigation. However, be cautious about giving a recorded statement without consulting an attorney, as it may be used against you later.

Follow your medical treatment plan

Adhere to your health care provider's recommended treatment plan and attend all follow-up appointments. Document your medical treatments, medications, and any additional expenses incurred due to the accident.

Maintain a record of damages

Keep a record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, prescription costs, rehabilitation fees, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Also, document any lost wages or income resulting from your injuries.

Consult with a personal injury attorney

Seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney experienced in handling truck accidents. They can evaluate your case, explain your rights, and guide you through the legal process. A skilled attorney will advocate for your best interests and help you pursue any potential claims for compensation.

Our Kansas City truck accident team will get to work as soon as you call us. You can focus on your health and recovery while we start fighting for the compensation you deserve.

What a Kansas City Attorney Can Do That You Probably Can’t Do

While it will help your case to do as many of the things listed above as possible, there is only so much you can do to build a strong case for compensation. Trucking companies have teams of lawyers fighting off accident claims, and they will eat you alive if you don’t have legal representation. As your lawyers, we will help you by:

  • Sending a spoliation letter. This is a legal document that compels the trucking company to preserve all evidence related to the crash, including driver logs, the truck’s black box data recorder, personnel records, and more.
  • Investigating the driver and trucking company. In order to hold the trucker and their employer liable, we will have to prove that their actions caused the crash. We can do this by investigating the accident, examining driving and maintenance records, pulling hiring information, and much more.
  • Interviewing witnesses. If we have a list of potential witnesses, we will contact them to find out what they saw. We will also locate any video footage from dashcams, doorbells, surveillance equipment, and personal cell phones.
  • Filing a lawsuit. If our claim for damages is rejected by the trucking company’s insurer, we will file a lawsuit so that a judge can determine fault and order the company to pay full compensation.

Because injuries sustained in a truck crash can be catastrophic, the value of a claim can be several million dollars. That makes these cases complicated and difficult to win. You need a proven professional in your corner.

Potential Expenses Following a Catastrophic Truck Accident

Depending on the extent of your injuries, you could be facing any or all of the following expenses over the course of your recovery:

  • Emergency medical care. Immediate medical attention following a catastrophic truck crash is often necessary. This can include ambulance services, emergency room treatment, diagnostic tests, and stabilization procedures.
  • Hospitalization. In cases of severe injuries, hospitalization may be required for an extended period. This includes the costs of room charges, nursing care, medications, and medical supplies during the hospital stay.
  • Surgeries. Catastrophic injuries may require multiple surgeries, such as orthopedic procedures to repair fractures, spinal surgeries for spinal cord injuries, or reconstructive surgeries for severe burns or disfigurement. Each surgery incurs its own expenses, including surgeon fees, anesthesia, operating room charges, and post-operative care.
  • Specialist consultations. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may need to consult with various specialists such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, plastic surgeons, or pain management specialists. Each consultation can involve fees for the specialist's time and expertise.
  • Rehabilitation services. Extensive rehabilitation is often required for catastrophic injuries. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychological counseling. Rehabilitation services aim to help you regain functionality, relearn skills, manage pain, and adapt to any permanent impairments.
  • Assistive devices and medical equipment. Catastrophic injuries may necessitate the use of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, prosthetics, orthotics, or mobility aids. Additionally, you may require specialized medical equipment, like ventilators, feeding tubes, or home medical monitoring devices.
  • Prescription medications. Costly prescription medications may be required to manage pain, prevent infections, promote healing, or address other medical needs resulting from the catastrophic injury.
  • Home modifications. If your injury leads to long-term disability, you may need to modify your home to make it more accessible and accommodate your needs. This can involve installing ramps, widening doorways, adding handrails, or renovating bathrooms to make them wheelchair accessible.
  • Long-term care. In cases where the injury causes permanent disability, ongoing long-term care may be necessary. This can include hiring personal care attendants, home health care services, or admission to a long-term care facility.
  • Lost income and future earning capacity. Catastrophic injuries often result in significant time away from work or even permanent inability to work. The loss of income during recovery and the potential long-term impact on future earning capacity should be considered when assessing the financial impact of the injury.
  • Psychological support. Dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic truck crash injury can have a significant psychological impact. Costs associated with therapy, counseling, or mental health support services may arise to address the emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the accident.

A skilled truck crash lawyer will have the experience to determine the life-long costs of a catastrophic injury and will fight to get you what you need to return to as normal a life as possible.