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5 Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Kansas

Being in a truck accident in Kansas can feel devastating. Trucks are much larger than cars and the effects can be much more severe. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh 40 tons, while the average passenger car weighs 1.5 tons. In a collision between the two, the occupants of the passenger car are more likely to face head injuries, spinal cord trauma, fractures, and other potentially life-changing injuries.

The problem is that a truck accident in Kansas can be so overwhelming that victims may not know what to do first. That’s why we’ve created a guide — to help you understand what you should do after a truck accident in Kansas to protect your health, finances, and future.

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Seeking medical attention is important for two reasons:

  • It ensures you get a diagnosis and treatment right away, which can improve your medical outcome.
  • It starts documenting your injuries, helping you prove they were caused by the accident.

Call emergency services if you or anyone else at the scene has sustained a serious injury. Do not attempt to move anyone unless instructed by a 911 dispatcher. Moving a person can worsen some injuries.

If you’ve been lucky enough to escape injury, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, you may have been injured. Life-threatening head injuries, for example, may not present symptoms for hours. Whiplash and some back injuries may have you feeling fine for hours or even days, but you may still be injured.

The risks are especially high when you don’t have symptoms right away. As a result, you might not seek medical treatment in time and may unintentionally aggravate your injury. In addition, if you delay seeking medical attention, it becomes easier for insurance companies to argue your injuries were not caused by the truck accident.

As you consider your medical situation, don’t overlook your emotional and mental health. Truck accidents can cause trauma and emotional distress. If you notice changes to your mood, eating or sleeping patterns, concentration levels, focus, or any other symptoms, talk to your doctor. There is treatment available.

2. Document the Scene of the Accident

Thankfully, many of us now carry cell phones, and if you’re ever in a truck accident, you can use your phone to take photos of your car, the truck involved, and the surrounding area. For example, if you notice poor truck maintenance or an uneven street, take pictures — even if you’re unsure whether they contributed to your accident. You should also document any injuries, as well.

As soon as you can, write down everything you remember, including anything that you noticed right before the accident, where the accident took place, and any additional details. Even something small you remember could help your attorney in their investigation.

If there any witnesses that may have seen your truck accident, ask them for their contact information. They may be able to offer additional evidence.

3. File a Police Report and Exchange Information

In a truck accident, injuries are likely to be serious because of how big commercial trucks are. Truck drivers are also subject to stringent rules about how much cargo they can carry, how often they need to rest, and what training they need. The police will want to know if truck drivers are breaking regulations.

Filing a police report is also important to help document what caused the accident.

If you were in a multi-vehicle crash, you would also want to exchange information with the truck driver and any other driver involved in the accident. Avoid talking about the accident or what may have caused it. It’s best to leave that to the professionals. Stay calm and stick to the exchange of insurance and contact information.

One person you should not talk to is any insurance adjuster. The truck insurance company may contact you soon after your truck crash. They may even be sympathetic. Make no mistake: they’re looking out for their client and their own bottom line, not you. Politely decline such conversations. Before speaking with any insurance company, even your own, contact Bretz Injury Law for a free consultation.

4. Be Extra Cautious on Highways and Interstates

In Kansas, you will  find trucks on most roads, but truck accidents are more likely to happen on highways and interstates. These roadways are where most larger tractor-trailers, big rigs, cement mixers, tankers, and other farm trucks travel between communities and states. The variety of vehicles on highways and interstates, as well as the higher traffic and speeds, can all increase the risk of an accident.

Some highways and interstates in Kansas are primarily known for being the site of truck and traffic accidents. These include I-135 and I-235 in Wichita, Interstate 35, The Kansas Turnpike, and I-70 in the rest of the state.

Always be alert when driving, but use extra caution on high-risk roads. Put away distractions and make sure you can focus on driving. Drive defensively and always leave extra space for yourself around large trucks. Large tractor-trailers and other trucks take longer to stop and have large blind spots, so leaving the extra room is important to let drivers maneuver and ensure truckers can see your car.

5. Seek Legal Representation from an Experienced Attorney

Being in a truck accident isn’t like a typical car accident in Kansas. Trucking companies are often large corporations, and many liable parties are usually involved in this type of accident. Two companies may own the cargo and truck, and a logistics company may also be involved. The truck driver may also be an independent contractor, further complicating matters.

While the truck is covered by insurance, it is commercial insurance, which can make the claims process unfamiliar, even if you’ve been in a car accident before. In these cases, it’s common for different parties to blame each other and try to pay you as little as possible, if at all, for your injuries.

This is precisely why you need an experienced Kansas truck accident lawyer.

Not only are truck accident cases more complicated for all the reasons we explain above, but your injuries are also more likely to be serious and costly because of the size and force of the truck. It can be even more important to get fair compensation so you can protect your future.

If you do contact a Kansas truck accident attorney, do so as soon as possible after your accident, before you speak with any insurance company. You can contact Bretz Injury Law 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Under Kansas law, you have two years to file a legal or insurance claim, but contacting an attorney quickly can help prevent you from signing away any rights or saying anything to an insurance adjuster that could be used against you.

An attorney can also inform you of your rights. Kansas has a no-fault insurance system, which means you will use your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in most traffic accidents to cover medical expenses and losses. However, if your injuries are serious, you may be able to seek additional compensation through a legal claim. A personal injury attorney can walk you through the process and take care of the steps of filing a claim for you.  

How Bretz Injury Law Can Help

When other Kansas law firms have challenging cases, they often refer them to us. Insurance companies know we don’t back down and don’t accept lowball settlement offers. When needed, we’re always willing to go to court and present a strong case to get you every dollar you deserve.

Bretz Injury Law has recovered over $300 million for injured drivers, passengers, and their families. We have in-depth knowledge of Kansas personal injury and accident law to guide you through the legal process. With offices in Hutchinson, Wichita, Topeka, and other Kansas communities, Bretz Injury Law is poised to represent you after your collision. We also work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing until we win compensation for you.

If you’re in a truck accident, you can be sure the truck driver is contacting the insurance company and their teams of attorneys. You’re the one who’s injured, so you’re the one who deserves legal representation to get the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, car repair costs, and to protect your family’s future.

Don’t hesitate. After a truck accident and injury, contact Bretz Injury Law for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your account of what happened, answer your questions, and start working strategically to get you financial recovery for your injuries and losses, so that your future is protected.