Things to Do Immediately After a Truck Accident

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Authored by Tyler Hall, Esq.

7 Important Steps to Take Immediately After a Truck Accident

Approximately 475,000 trucks get into an accident each year, and the number continues to increase. Because of the size of these trucks, the accident can be complex and involve various parties. Be prepared, know your rights and follow the steps below if you ever find yourself in such a situation.

1. Contact the Police

Once you get into a truck accident, first pull over if you can safely do it, turn on your emergency lights, and call the police. When officers arrive at the scene, they will assess the situation and fill out an accident report. You should request a copy of the report. This is the best way to have immediate documentation about the truck crash and an accurate record of all vehicles involved in case you need to go to court. The report might help substantiate your claims and add clarity to your case.

Give the officer a truthful explanation of how the accident happened. The police will then guide you on the next steps. They may even contact a towing company on your behalf.

If possible, ensure that you also gather some details about the officer, including their name, badge number, and police station or jurisdiction. Based on the extent of the damage, several authority bodies may get involved in the investigation.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Your health and safety should always come first after a truck accident. You might end up severely injured, and your main concern while in such a state should be to get immediate medical assistance; you might even be able to ask the dispatcher to send emergency medical assistance when you contact the police.

Even if you are fortunate enough to escape the accident with only minor injuries, you need to see a doctor. Keep in mind that injuries may worsen if you fail to seek immediate medical attention. Once you get into an accident, the adrenaline rush can inhibit your judgment regarding your well-being. So whether injured or not, it’s good that you go for a medical examination with your passengers to see if you have suffered any injuries that don’t show immediate symptoms.

Ask for an official medical report. It might help you if you need to defend your case in case of late-onset injuries associated with the accident. If you fail to seek medical attention or neglect treatment recommendations, it might interfere with your ability to seek compensation. Watch out for:

  • Excessive pain
  • Bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Broken bones
  • Changes in breathing or pulse rate

3. Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene

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If you aren’t severely injured and you can safely walk around, gather information about all other people involved in the accident. Record the other driver’s names, phone numbers, addresses, and license numbers. Get the details of all passengers involved in the crash. Note that once other parties leave the accident scene, it might be challenging to track them down.

Take pictures of the crash for your records if possible. You can even record a video of the entire scene covering the extent of the damage to the truck, other vehicles, and the injuries you sustained. Remember also to cover the conditions of the road that might have led to the accident. These include objects on the streets, skid marks, cracks on the pavements, and the weather conditions.

When truck accidents happen, people tend to gather around. If there are otherss who witnessed the crash, you can approach them and ask for their contact information. Although it is the police’s job to collect statements, you can try getting more evidence from the bystanders if they are willing to share what they saw concerning the crash. Some people are more open with other civilians than they are with law enforcement officials. Their testimonies could be a valuable tool in any legal case.

4. Seek Professional Help

Probably one of the most important things that you can do after a truck accident is to notify a trucking accident lawyer. You can ask them for advice and directions on how to handle the next steps effectively. Truck accidents are complex since they involve the trucking company, the shippers, and the driver’s employer. A professional should take you through the laws governing the truck industry and the major causes of accidents. They may thus help you understand how the crash occurred and the best way to avoid such issues.

5. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company and file a report. This might help protect your right to file a claim should you need additional support. Like the human body, the car might have retained internal damage that isn’t visible to the untrained eye. So before you have the vehicle repaired, submit your claims to the insurer. The insurer will ask detailed questions about the incident, so ensure that you answer them honestly. Others might request a photo to assess the damage, and you might even need to take the car to an approved shop for evaluation. If you don’t feel satisfied with the insurer’s damage valuation after assessing your vehicle, you can get independent estimates and replacement quotes from repair shops. It’s a good idea to call immediately after the crash since you will have a fresher memory of the incident to answer the questions adequately.

6. Stay Off Social Media

Avoid posting anything on social media that indicates how you feel about the accident or how it happened until you discuss your case with your attorney. You will be responsible for any statement that you make regarding the issue, even if you’ve changed how you felt about the accident and deleted the post. Note that truck accidents attract more attention since they might lead to road closures, extensive damage, and newsworthy fatalities. If you see articles and photos from news stations concerning your accident, refrain from commenting on such posts.

7. Be Very Cautious When Discussing the Incident

Always remember that people can use anything you say or share against you in court. So keep cool after the accident. Avoid getting into conflicts with the parties involved. If you must, say as little as possible, and mainly focus on the facts of the accident but don’t elaborate on the details. During interrogations, don’t lie since this can damage your credibility. Rather than giving false statements, you should remain silent.

The Bottom Line

Once you get into a truck accident, your main concern should be your health and safety. It’s also crucial that you document the scene and what happened so that you can answer all questions to the best of your ability. Truck accidents are complicated, and a trucking accident lawyer could help you make sense of the process. Whenever you need a trusted attorney, reach out to Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, L.L.P. – RAM in Somerville, New Jersey, at (732) 394-1549. You can also contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

Contact Our Office

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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