If you are involved in a traffic accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, it could change your life.
Commercial trucks can cause catastrophic damage, so you need to know how to react if you have been involved in a truck accident.
Being involved in an accident with a commercial truck can leave you nervous and not thinking clearly.
Despite this, it is essential to remember a few things that you should always do. after an accident with a tractor-trailer.
Stay at the scene of the accident
Leaving the scene of an accident in some states could constitute a hit-and-run.
You should always remain in place until authorities and medical help arrive.
If you are in traffic, move your car to a safe location if possible.
If you are already in a safe space, leave the vehicle in the position in which it stopped after the crash.
This gives you the best chance of preserving evidence of what caused the accident and the truck accident damages and injuries resulting from it.
Seek medical attention
Always seek medical attention after an accident, no matter how you feel. Although truck accidents typically cause catastrophic injuries, your adrenaline rush could keep you from feeling pain or noticing an injury.
If you do not receive medical attention at the scene of the accident or are not immediately taken to the hospital, you should see your doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
You should be reviewed by a medical professional to determine what, if any, injuries you have sustained.
Failure to seek medical treatment or follow treatment recommendations could interfere with your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries later.
Identify other parties involved
If you can do so after the accident, try to identify markings or markings on the truck and other vehicles involved in the accident.
The truck driver may be at fault, but the company you drive for may also be liable for your injuries or damage to your vehicle.
This is vital information to ensure that all potentially responsible parties are held accountable for their role in causing the accident.
Exchange information with the other parties
Communication with all parties is essential after an accident.
To start fighting for your right to compensation, you need to know a few basic things about the driver at fault.
At the scene of the accident, you must exchange the following information:
Name, address, telephone number, and address
Your insurance provider and policy number.
Driver’s license number.
Relevant information about the trucker’s employer.
All of this information will be critical when it comes to the outcome of your claim.
Ask everything that you think is relevant, you will never be worse off having too much information after your truck accident.
Take photos, videos, and audio as evidence
The crash scene immediately after the accident will provide the best opportunity to capture as much evidence as possible to prove that you were harmed due to the truck driver’s negligence.
It is also the best time to start building your personal injury case.
Take as many pictures of the damage to all vehicles as you can, take pictures of any major intersections or landmarks, and pay attention to skid marks and other details that will help tell the story of what caused the accident.
Videos are usually the best form of evidence available since you can extract still images from your videos.
Audio recordings or video narration of your videos can also offer a more comprehensive and beneficial solution than just a picture.
As soon as you can, and the sooner the better, record an audio account of everything you remember from the accident.
Having all of this evidence at your disposal can be critical, as details tend to change or be forgotten over time.
Truck accident lawsuits can sometimes take months or longer to reach conclusion.
Keep your evidence safe, share it with your lawyer, and always make backup copies.
You will need to refer to them as you proceed with the legal action.
Check for witnesses
Always look for witnesses at or near the scene of a commercial truck accident.
You can collect witness statements yourself, or you can ask for their contact information so you can get more details about the accident in the future.
These witnesses can help your case by testifying on your behalf. In many cases, having eyewitnesses can make or break a personal injury case.
The accident report provided by the responding officer may also include eyewitness interviews.
If possible, gather these items from each witness:
- Driver’s license number
- License number
- Insurance company and agent name
- Insurance policy number
Do not make statements about the accident
Whatever you do, after the accident, never say the words “it was my fault.”
Don’t even say sorry, no matter how innocent it may seem.
A witness may have noticed that the other driver was texting. Perhaps a traffic light was malfunctioning and marked for repair.
Even if you think you may have been partially responsible, take some time to ask all the appropriate questions and give yourself a chance to be in a calm state of mind.
You will also be contacted by an insurance adjuster after the accident.
Be very careful what you say to the adjuster after your truck accident because anything you say can be used against you.
You should always speak with an attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster.
Your lawyer will advise you on what you should and should not say. They will often handle all communications with the adjusters.
If the adjuster asks for a recorded or written statement, refuse it until you have spoken to your attorney.
You must cooperate with the insurance company, but you are not required to provide an official statement.
The most important thing you can do
Perhaps the most important thing you can do after a truck accident is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney.
It is highly recommended to have a truck accident attorney on your side offering legal advice, especially if you are unsure whether the other person caused the accident.
The laws related to truck accidents are very complex, especially those involving commercial trucks. You need the help of a lawyer.
The trucking company will undoubtedly hire specialized lawyers to minimize its liability.
You should also have an advocate fighting on your behalf.