Truck accidents are incredibly traumatic: not only are they frightening, but very dangerous. In fact, in 2013 alone, 3,906 trucks were involved in fatal crashes according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Knowing what to do after you have been involved in a truck accident can be very difficult. With your adrenaline pumping and your emotions high, you may find yourself unable to act, incapacitated, or worse.
Unfortunately, the first few minutes after a truck accident are crucial both to protecting yourself and your family from further harm and to laying the groundwork for any future legal action.
In order to help you understand what to do after a truck accident, we’ve written this guide.
- Get Safe
The very first thing you should do is make sure you and your passengers are safe. That means that you should make sure no one in your car has serious injuries and that your car is not in danger of another being hit again. Don’t assume because you are okay that your passengers are unharmed.
- Contact Authorities
The next step will be to call the authorities. You, a passenger, or a witness at the scene will want to make sure that police, EMTs, and other emergency personnel are present. Additionally, you will want to see medical personnel; even if you feel fine, you should still get examined. Adrenaline might be masking the symptoms or an injury. Finally, you or someone acting on your behalf will want to request copies of all official accident and emergency reports.
- Document the Crash
Make sure that you or someone acting on your behalf take pictures of the damage to your car and to other cars. Additionally, you should record your own account of what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. You will need to relay the events to police, your insurance, and very likely an auto accident attorney and it is important that your story is consistent. Request at the scene that any and all towing companies preserve the vehicles for later inspection. Do not agree to have your car totaled. Specifically demand that the trucking company preserve the offending truck until your attorney and expert can inspect the truck.
- Find Witnesses and Don’t Speak to an Insurance Adjuster without an Accident Lawyer
You should also make sure to speak to anyone who might have been a witness to ensure that you have someone who saw what happened. It might be difficult to do this in the moment, but as soon as they pull away from the accident, you will not likely be able to find them again. This person could become invaluable to you if you need to bring your truck accident lawsuit or personal injury lawsuit.
- Call a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
It is no secret that the law is a complicated beast. That is why you should speak to a semi truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. An experienced lawyer will request that the towing companies preserve the vehicles for later inspection, obtain USDOT log books, and otherwise begin the difficult process of winning justice for you.
The moments after any accident can be difficult, but the violent nature of a trucking accident and the immediate legal complexities involved can be overwhelming. Contact an experienced semi truck lawyer immediately. By ensuring your safety, gathering important evidence, and contacting a semi truck accident lawyer, you can help win your case and get the compensation you deserve.