The First Four Things You Need To Do If You Are Involved In A Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, you need to do the following things immediately:
Contact Law Enforcement. Call 911 immediately if someone was injured as a result of the truck accident. Police will dispatch ambulances and fire trucks as needed. Your primary goal, regardless of the role you played in the accident is to get help for anyone who sustained injuries. Do not under any circumstances leave the scene of the accident.
Truck accidents generally produce a fair amount of damage, purely due to the size of the vehicle. Many states require a police report if the amount of damages exceeds $1000, and some have mandatory reporting requirements for all accidents resulting in personal injury or any property damage. AAA lists the accident reporting requirements by state. Rarely, are the damages minor in a trucking accident. If in doubt, contact the police. They will help you exchange information and begin documenting the scene.
Document Information. You need to exchange information with the other driver. It is crucial during this exchange that you do not offer statements outside of the necessary information. Be sure to collect all the essential information such as the driver's name, license plate number, contact information, driver's license, insurance information, etc. When making statements to the police, be factual and honest. Do not offer opinions about who was at fault.
You will want to take pictures of the damages or any other physical information surrounding the scene of the accident and witness information. Law enforcement can help you gather this information as well. Depending on the accident you may need to report the information to your local department of motor vehicles. Check your state's regulations on accidents or contact your insurance agent for more details.
Make Notes. Memories fade fast. You will want to immediately document important things that occurred before, during and after the accident. For instance: what were the road conditions, what was the other driving doing, how was traffic, was there a potential traffic violation that occurred, what was the speed limit and how fast were you and the cars around you traveling?
Contact an Attorney. Perhaps the most important tip outside of seeking medical attention is to contact a licensed truck accident attorney. An experienced attorney will help you determine who should be held accountable for the accident and how to get compensation. They will work with you to protect your rights and fight hard to get you the recovery you deserve.