What To Do After a Truck Accident
A truck accident can result in serious, costly and often life-threatening consequences. While the law entitles you to pursue compensation from the at-fault parties, trucking accidents often involve several working components, and lawsuits arising from them are rarely cut-and-dry. It is in your best interest to seek the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer who can advise you of your rights and take the necessary steps to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Report the Crash
If you are involved in a vehicular accident of any kind, state law requires you to remain at the scene of the crash until the authorities arrive. If you are able, move your vehicle off the roadway and out of the way of passing or oncoming traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and, if you have them, set up flares and cones around your vehicle to prevent a secondary accident. If you or another accident victim sustained injuries or died, contact 911 immediately. Otherwise, call and wait for the local police department or highway patrol to arrive, write up an accident report and advise you on what to do next. In the days shortly following the incident, request a copy of the accident report for your records.
Seek Medical Help if Necessary
One of the worst things you can do following a vehicular accident is to forego medical assessment or care. Whether or not you have obvious injuries, a medical examination is a necessary component of your truck accident claim. If the emergency response team does not immediately transport you to the hospital from the scene of the accident, visit your doctor the next day, or as soon after the accident as possible.
Exchange Insurance and Identification Information With the Other Party
Do not leave the scene of the accident without first exchanging insurance or identification information with the other driver or drivers. If you fail to collect the other driver’s information but then decide to file a truck accident claim in the future, you may struggle to track the driver down. In addition to the driver’s name and the name of the company for which he or she works, collect the following information:
- Driver’s phone number, email address and physical address
- Driver’s license number
- Driver’s insurance company and policy information
- Driver’s employer’s name and contact information
This information can help you track down the at-fault driver should you choose to pursue a claim for compensation. It is crucial that you also get the truck driver’s employer’s information, as the employer could be partially or fully liable for the driver’s actions.
Check for Witnesses
Witnesses play integral roles in complex auto accident cases such as those involving big rigs, as outside observers can provide more objective and oftentimes more accurate accounts of what happened. Immediately following an accident, look around you for potential witnesses. If you see any, either ask them to remain at the scene until the police can take their information or collect their information yourself. Ask all witnesses for their names and contact information and detailed accounts of what they saw. You will want these witnesses to corroborate what occurred.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Truck accidents can have costly and life-changing consequences, which may include, but are not limited to, debilitating injuries, lost wages and loss of companionship. The law entitles victims of trucking accidents and their loved ones to pursue compensation from negligent truck drivers and their employers. However, such litigation may prove difficult, as trucking companies have the resources for strong legal representation. An experienced truck accident attorney can level the playing field and protect your rights. At Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, we can help you seek the fair and adequate compensation you deserve.