Accidents involving commercial trucks are among the most serious auto accidents on our highways. Being a victim of a truck crash can leave you particularly shaken. Whether it results in property damage, injuries or the worst scenario of losing a loved one; a truck accident is overwhelming.
Figuring out what to do next is hard. Finding good information is the key. We wanted to provide some steps to take during this difficult time and find resolution to put this experience behind you. Your health comes first and foremost. Always place top priority on your health and the health of everyone involved in the accident. Make sure you are in a safe place and move vehicles to the side of the road. Remove yourself from vehicles that may have a risk of fire or explosion.
Steps to Take at the Scene of the Accident
- Call 911. Even if no one appears to be injured or the vehicle damage seems minimal; the accident must be reported to the police. If there are injuries or concerns report them immediately to receive treatment. *remember injuries don’t always reveal themselves initially. Seeking medical treatment immediately or soon after an accident is wise for your health and can help protect your legal rights.
- Don’t leave. Leaving the scene of an accident before law enforcement officers arrive can be prosecuted as a criminal offense.
- Be careful what you say. Asking how everyone is from an injury standpoint is always a good practice. Once all parties are being addressed for injuries; think before you speak. Avoid statements such as, “that was my fault” or “I’m sorry.” Do not sign any waivers or releases. If an insurance company or employer makes you an offer, it may not be a fair one. Remember: the insurance company’s primary goal is to pay you as little as possible; even YOUR insurance company.
How to Document the Situation
- The names and contact information of all drivers and passengers involved. *eyewitnesses may be helpful
- The other drivers’ insurance information
- The year, make, model, and VIN for each vehicle involved
- The reference number for the police report and the responding officer’s name
- Pictures of the accident scene and vehicles involved
- Pictures of specific vehicle damage
It is a good idea to make detailed notes with details from the accident as soon as possible. Include road names, time of day, weather conditions, etc.
Additional steps to take as soon as possible:
- Call your insurer to make a claim.
- Visit a mechanic. Get written estimates for any vehicle damage.
- Contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Auto accidents are complex legal events. We can support you during this difficult time.
- Schedule follow-up doctor visits. Many injuries require ongoing care and/or therapy.