It’s extremely important to take the proper steps if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, especially when it involves a truck. By taking the proper steps, you will protect your rights after the accident should legal action be necessary to obtain proper compensation for personal injuries you may have suffered. When involved in an accident with a truck, these are the steps that should be taken.
Ensure your safety and the safety of others – Call the police to report the crash
It’s very important that all parties involved in the crash remain at the scene so all necessary information can be collected and recorded. If you are able to, move your vehicle to the side of the road so it’s not a hazard to other drivers. Ensure your safety, and turn your flashers on to notify passing drivers that your vehicle is damaged. Get out of your vehicle, call the police to let them know where the accident occurred, and then wait for them to show up on the scene. If someone was injured in the accident, promptly call 911 for emergency medical assistance.
Identify the truck or company that was involved
While the driver of the truck may be the one at fault, the company which employs them will likely be the owner of the insurance policy. Note any logos, markings or other identifiers on the truck and trailer. If possible, take pictures of them with your phone.
Exchange information with the truck driver
Ask the driver of the truck for their insurance policy information. It’s also important to get the driver’s contact information, including: Name, address, phone number and driver’s license number. When speaking with the driver, be sure to confirm who their employer is and get the company’s contact information. It might be helpful to write down a quick description of the trailer, the cab and the cargo the truck is carrying.
Seek medical attention even if it doesn’t seem necessary at the time
Injuries from car accidents can occur even if they’re not immediately obvious due to adrenaline preventing the feeling pain. If you deny immediate treatment at the scene of the accident, visit your doctor as soon as possible. This is to determine whether or not you need additional care and medical treatment for any injuries that resulted from the accident. Without a medical professional’s examination and diagnosis, compensation for medical treatment can be more difficult to acquire.
Document the accident
Accidents happen quickly and can be traumatic, which can make it difficult to recall important details as to what happened. Make sure to take multiple photos of the scene of the accident, the damage to your vehicle and the truck involved. These photos can be used later as important evidence when attempting to receive compensation for accident-related injuries. If you were injured in the accident, have photos taken of your injuries, if possible.
Talk to witnesses and document what they saw
You can improve the chances of receiving compensation for injuries by having statements from witnesses who saw the accident occur; especially if those statements are similar to one another. When collecting witness statements, it’s important to get the name and contact information from everyone you speak with, as well as a brief summary of what they saw.
Do not speak directly with the driver’s employer or their insurance agency
Companies found at fault for accidents are notorious for trying to save money by avoiding to pay victims the full amount they are due. No good can result from speaking with the driver’s employer or their insurance agency directly, so it’s best just to avoid speaking with them altogether. Having an experienced lawyer is a vital asset when this conversation happens in the future.
Find and contact a reputable personal injury lawyer
Companies will undoubtedly have a lawyer(s) to handle accidents when they occur. You can bet these lawyers have plenty of experience dealing with personal injury claims due to these accidents, so it’s highly recommended that injured parties also find legal help. If you were injured in a truck accident, working with an experienced and reputable lawyer, like the people here at Bentoff & Duber, will give you the best chance at receiving the full compensation for your injuries.
Being involved in an accident with a large truck can be a traumatic, overwhelming experience. The eight steps above will give you the knowledge needed to properly handle the situation as well as give you the best chance at receiving the full compensation for your personal injury claim.
If you were recently injured in an accident involving a truck, act now and give our firm a call. Our group of experienced attorneys are more than happy to review what happened and give you the legal advice you’ll need to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.