What to Do After You’ve Been in A Truck Accident
Having a truck accident can be a traumatic experience. Trucks are multiple times the size of regular motor vehicles, which increases the potential for serious bodily injury. However, there are important steps to keep in mind regarding the steps you should take after experiencing a truck accident:
- Call an ambulance and get immediate medical treatment. It is critical that you take care of yourself immediately. This is true even if you believe that your injuries are not that bad. Sometimes, individuals may not feel pain after the accident or do not want to go to the hospital. This attitude could make some of your injuries worse down the line. Seek medical care or visit your doctor after the accident to make sure that you are ok. This is important not only for your health but also if you are considering filing a claim or initiating a lawsuit later on. Your insurance company or the court may determine that your compensation should be reduced if you had the opportunity to seek medical care but refused.
- Make sure the scene of the accident is safe. If you do not require immediate medical attention, quickly assess the scene of the accident. Move your truck if it poses a safety risk to other vehicles or pedestrians. Leaving parts or debris in the middle of the road when you are able to move them creates an unreasonable risk of another accident. Ensure that the scene of the accident is safe until the police arrive. Try to light up the road with hazard lights or other indicators to alert others to the accident.
- Report the crash. After the accident has occurred, report the crash the crash to the police. Let them know how many people are involved in the crash. Be cooperative with the police, but do not admit fault. The police will likely file an accident report and let the parties involved in the accident know what the next steps will be. Make sure to also request a copy of this report.
- Gather the contact details of the other parties involved in the truck accident. This will be important when it comes time to prove the details of the accident. If you do not get the contact details of the other parties involved in the accident, it will be extremely difficult to track them down later. You will be forced to ask the police if they have such contact details. However, sometimes the police do not have the contact details for all parties, especially for witnesses. This is your responsibility and will become important when trying to establish fault and prove the extent of property damage and injuries from the accident. Information that should be gathered at this stage includes the other parties’ and witnesses’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
- Take pictures and recordings of the accident. Use your phone to take pictures of the accident and create voice recordings of everything you can identify, everything that you are feeling, and the surrounding circumstances of the accident (e.g., weather conditions, injuries of other parties involved, and road conditions). When taking photos, make sure you clearly capture the extent of damage to the vehicles. This will be used as evidence that demonstrates the extent of your injuries and property damage and will be used to determine the amount of compensation that you could receive.
- Retain the legal services of an attorney. If you are unsure how to proceed with insurance negotiations or are considering a lawsuit, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in handling truck accident cases. An attorney can also help you deal with the complicated issues of broker, carrier, or employer liability with respect to the truck accident and will work to get you the compensation you deserve.