In case you’re wondering what to do after a truck accident, you are not alone. Truck accidents are relatively common on highways, which leaves room for anyone to become a victim. When your adrenaline is rushing, and your heart is beating fast, it can be difficult to know what to do next in the moment, especially if it is your first car crash.
Our team has vital information for your steps on what you should do after a truck accident so you can know how to respond quickly. We want to ensure you and your loved ones understand how to take care of any critical injuries and prepare for any future court involvement.
Report the Accident Immediately
Whether you suffered any property damage or not, you should report the crash, as you would in any other car accident. Pull your vehicle to the roadside, turn on your hazard lights, and report the accident while lighting road flares if you have them with you.
Call 911 immediately if anyone was injured or killed in the truck accident so the police or a state highway trooper can assist. Upon arrival, the officer will take your statement for the accident report, which you have the right to request a copy of to aid your case if it ends up in court.
Receive Medical Treatment
Next, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible and go to the hospital, regardless of having severe injuries. This is because your insurance claim credibility after the truck accident depends on whether you seek medical treatment. In addition, you may judge yourself to have no broken bones or a concussion due to adrenaline, only to discover later conditions that unknowingly develop.
Document the Accident
Be sure to document as much evidence as possible while at the accident scene by taking photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Remember not to post on social media or anywhere else. Your insurance adjuster may use that against you, especially if the post does not fully represent the detailed account of the accident.
You can use your photos as evidence to argue your case in court if your truck accident requires it. With the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer, you have the opportunity to prove who was at fault, the amount of the damage to your vehicle, your injury severity, etc. Having a clearer picture of all these critical factors in your truck accident case will help you secure compensation to pay for expensive bills you did not plan for.
Obtain the Truck Driver’s Information
While you’re still at the truck crash scene, it is important to get the contact information of the truck driver and the trucking company. The trucking company could be liable for the damages caused by the driver, so your failure to do this may cost you the chance of getting your compensation later.
Remember that it is extremely difficult to track down the driver or trucking company after all parties disperse from your accident scene, even if you know their name. Here are some essential pieces of information you need to collect from the driver:
- The driver’s name, home address, phone number, and email address
- The vehicle DOT license number for the truck and trailer
- The driver’s insurance company and policy information
- The trucking company or truck driver’s employer’s name and contact information
- The truck license plate number
Obtain Witness Contact Information
It is always a wise decision to ask anyone who saw or observed the crash to give you their contact. If other motorists were affected in the crash, you could exchange contact with them, and they can be your witness if the need ever arises in a courtroom. Bystanders or other people nearby the vehicle who were not involved in the truck accident are other viable witnesses.
There is no need for you to record or grab their individual statements, but exchanging contact information is vital. Again, you may not be able to track them down anymore once they leave the accident scene. If they were willing to stop and help, they most likely could stand as your witness.
Get Your Vehicle Appraised
Another important thing that you must do after a truck accident is to get your vehicle appraised. Even though your car only seems to have minor damages, you should still get it evaluated by an auto mechanic. However, when they assess the damages and offer to repair your car, deny their request since that repair estimate would be added to your insurance claim.
Insurance companies will always look out for their best interest, which means they will utilize any means necessary to reduce their liabilities and pay you the smallest amount possible. Ensure that you follow your carrier’s guidelines for vehicle appraisements, such as by bringing your car to a body shop on their approved list.
Watch What You Say to the Insurance Company
Often, your insurance carrier will call you to empathize with you and inquire about your state of health or the extent of damage you suffered. However, you need to be mindful not to say things that might harm your chances of getting just compensation.
Insurance adjusters will likely disguise their information probing for kindness so they can hurt your future truck accident settlement rather than help it. It is wise to withhold case details you believe they can use against you later on.
The same applies to the truck driver’s or trucking company insurance company. You are required to cooperate with them, but you do not have to give them a statement. A default answer to any outside party requesting information about your crash is to send them through your truck accident lawyer if you have one.
We’ve Met Hundreds of Clients after Their Truck Accidents
Like many other people, you may not know precisely how to respond after you experience a truck accident. The whole situation becomes overwhelming while you are trying to process the trauma that just occurred and assess yourself for any injuries.
Our team of experienced truck accident lawyers has worked with hundreds of clients who have gone through a similar vehicle crash as you. We have expertise on the steps you should take so you and your loved ones can recover from the emotional, financial, and physical ramifications that you all did not plan for.
Contact us today by scheduling a free consultation with our team by calling (334).269.3230 or filling out our online contact form.