Being involved in a truck accident can be a very stressful situation — especially if you don’t know what steps to take immediately following the accident. Commercial trucks in particular can cause significant damage, making it all the more important to know how to react if you are involved in such an incident.
Not only do you need to take the proper steps to document the accident and file your insurance claim, but it’s also important to accurately evaluate your injuries to potentially receive compensation for medical care.
By following the steps listed below and hiring a professional truck accident lawyer, you can increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve following a truck accident.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
It can be difficult to maintain a clear head following an accident, so it’s important to learn exactly what you should do after a truck accident to prepare yourself for the future.
Assess Injuries & Seek Medical Care
First, take a minute to evaluate the scene of the accident and the extent of the damage. Start by evaluating yourself, checking for any injuries that you may have sustained as a result of the accident. If it is safe, also check your passengers and anyone else on the scene to ensure there are no serious or life-threatening injuries. If there are substantial injuries, call 911 immediately and wait for medical assistance.
If you don’t need to be transported for medical care, you should still call 911 and tell them about the accident and where it occurred. Be sure to remain at the scene of the accident as it is illegal to leave the area after a truck accident. A police report is often a very important piece of evidence in helping determine who is liable for the accident. Sometimes, a police officer will add evidentiary information about the accident that you might not be aware of.
Keep in mind that even if you don’t need immediate medical care, you should still consider if you are in need of any medical assistance the day of the accident or the day after. Sometimes an individuals adrenaline will be heightened after an accident and the realization of a potential injury can occur shortly after the accident when you are in safe and possibly in a more relaxed environment.
Communicating with all parties involved in the accident is very important. Assuming no one needs immediate medical care, you should exchange information with the other driver while waiting for law enforcement to arrive.
Be sure to obtain the other driver’s:
- Name of the driver
- Does the truck have a name on it and/or a logo? Try to identify the truck company that the driver is working for.
- Contact information (e.g. address and phone number)
- License number
- Insurance information (provider and policy number)
- Vehicle make of the truck, model, and license plate
- PICTURES!! If it is safe for you to be walking around the accident scene, make sure to take pictures of your car and the truck. You should also take pictures and videos of the accident scene. These pictures and videos can often be very important to your claim.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their names, phone numbers and addresses in case someone needs to contact them down the road.
The above information will be necessary when filing your insurance claim, so be sure to obtain as many relevant details as possible.
Talk to Law Enforcement
Once law enforcement arrives, the responding officer will begin to create an accident report, which will include asking you and the other driver what occurred.
Be honest with the officer and describe in detail what happened. However, while it is incredibly important to be completely honest, you should also be careful not to admit fault. Let the officer who is professionally trained to evaluate the evidence and then render their opinion of what happened and who was at fault.
Make sure to take the officer’s name, badge number, and contact information so you can obtain a copy of the police report for your insurance claim.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Any evidence you can obtain to help your case should be recorded. Once again, take pictures and videos of the scene, making sure to document all vehicle damage and injuries. Take pictures of skid marks, road signs, and anything else that may be relevant.
Documenting the scene will also help your truck accident lawyer review the details of your case.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
After following the above steps and receiving necessary medical care, you should contact your insurance provider and tell them all the details of the truck accident.
If you are going to hire a law firm to represent you for the accident, you should not talk to the other side’s insurance company. Allow the law firm you retain to do all communication with the other side.
Recovering from a truck accident can be very challenging if you don’t have anyone on your side to help. An experienced truck accident lawyer will help you navigate this complicated process to help increase your chances of getting a reasonable payout so that you can recover as quickly as possible. Vititoe Law Group is here to help!! Feel free to contact Vititoe Law Group for a consultation. There is never a charge from Vititoe Law Group for an initial consultation.