First Actions To Take After a Truck Accident

Published on May 21, 2024, by Forbes Law | Truck Accidents

First Actions To Take After a Truck Accident

According to the latest Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, about 415,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks. Of those numbers, there were 4,444 fatal crashes and 101,000 injury crashes.

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck collision can be overwhelming. The mix of concern about injuries and vehicle damage, coupled with the potential impact on insurance claims or legal proceedings, can leave you uncertain about your next steps.

Here at Forbes Law Offices, we understand the trauma associated with these incidents. If you are unsure of what to do, here are the first actions to take after a truck accident to help you handle the situation.

Check for Injuries

The top priority in the event of a truck accident is the safety and well-being of all involved parties. The first step is to assess yourself and any passengers for injuries, no matter how minor. If medical attention is necessary, immediately call for an ambulance and seek professional help from the on-scene paramedics or visit a hospital for further tests.

Unfortunately, truck crashes can often lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. For that reason, you want to ensure that everyone involved in the collision receives the necessary medical care.

If you receive medical attention after the accident, attend all follow-up appointments. This will help ensure that you are properly healing and that necessary treatments are administered. Along with that, you need to keep records of any medical bills, prescriptions, and other related costs. These expenses may be part of your claim, so always document them.

Call the Police To Report the Accident

Once everyone has been assessed and treated by the emergency responders, the police will start their investigation. When you speak to an officer, always be precise and detailed. You will want to stick to the facts of the incident. Explain what you were doing and what led up to the accident.

All this information will be used for an official police report. You will need to get a copy of it for your records. Most of the time, this information can be used as a basis for your tractor-trailer crash case. Your lawyer will need it to pursue claims against the trucker and trucking company.

Collect Contact Information

If you need to file an insurance claim or decide to start a legal case, this is the time to gather the truck driver’s information. You will want to collect:

  • Their full name
  • Contact information, including phone number and address
  • The name of the trucking company they work for
  • The name and policy number of their insurance company

Additionally, you should collect information about the vehicle they were driving, including the license plate number, truck make, and model.

If there are any witnesses, try to get their statements and contact information if possible.

Document the Scene

Along with exchanging information, you should also document the scene of the accident. Use your phone to jot down a few notes or snap pictures of the scene. All this can be used as evidence later in the case. Often, people forget key details, but with notes, videos, and pictures, you can remember the weather conditions, positions of the vehicle, and extent of injuries after the truck accident.

Watch What You Say

Be cautious with your words and never admit fault when communicating with the police, the truck driver, or witnesses. However, this does not mean lying about the incident. You can also refer to another time to discuss the accident. If you are unclear about certain details, saying, “I don’t know, ” is okay.  If you try to “fill in the blanks,” you could make statements that might be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt.

During this time, make sure you have accurate information and be truthful. Admit that you are unsure about something rather than making an assumption that could have long-term legal and financial consequences.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You might want to inform your insurance company as soon as possible after the incident. Once again, make sure to provide accurate information, including the date, time, location, and a brief description of what happened.

Once you have notified your insurer, they will guide you through the claims process. They may assign an adjuster to assess the damage and determine liability. During this time, you will want to cooperate fully with your insurer and provide any requested documentation.

Keep records of all communication with your insurance company, including the names of representatives you speak to, reference numbers, and the content of conversations. This documentation can be important if any disputes arise with your case.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident that caused you to suffer injuries, seek legal advice, especially if the accident resulted in serious injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage. In these cases, consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney can help you protect your rights throughout these complicated claim processes.

When choosing an attorney, look for someone with expertise in truck accidents. They can assess your case, advise you on potential compensation, and represent your interests, whether dealing with the insurance adjuster or negotiating a settlement.

Additionally, your attorney can gather accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and any other evidence to build a strong case for your side.

If you need a skilled attorney to handle your potential truck crash case, consider reaching out to our firm for a free consultation. We have lawyers ready to help at Forbes Law Offices.