If you’re ever in an accident with a truck or any other commercial vehicle, it can be devastating.
Because of their sheer size alone, commercial trucks can cause catastrophic damage and injuries, so it’s important to know what to do if you’ve been involved in one.
Most people will experience shock or a rush of adrenaline after a truck accident.
Once these feelings have dissipated, though, many people ask themselves what they should do next.
Fortunately, while car accidents happen every single day, truck accidents happen much less often.
But when they do happen, truck accidents leave their victims severely injured trying to process the event and figure out what comes next.
After an accident with a commercial truck driver, you will probably be flustered and not thinking clearly.
But it’s still important to remember a few things you should do afterward that will help you make a complete recovery and handle a personal injury claim.
Related post: What causes truck accidents?
In the article below, we will discuss a few things you should do afterward to ensure your physical and financial recovery.
You need to do your best to stay calm after the accident.
It may seem obvious, but staying calm at the scene of the accident is one of the most important things you can do after a truck crash.
When emotions get involved, you’re likely to say or do something you regret that can hurt your chances of receiving compensation for your damages.
You will also be less likely to process what is going on around you.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you likely will, step aside and take a minute to breathe, and don’t react to the truck driver.
Don’t yell and assign any blame.
Doing anything to escalate the situation can potentially put you in danger.
If you’re ever involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you have to stay at the scene of the crash.
Make sure you are in a safe place, though, and get your car out of the road if you can.
Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers can see you, and if you have them, put cones around your vehicle and light road flares.
Doing this will help prevent another accident.
The next thing you should do is call 911 so a police officer and emergency medical technicians can report to the scene.
Once an officer arrives, they will assess the situation and file a police report.
After that, they will tell you what you should do next.
If you’ve been injured, let the EMTs provide you with the necessary medical care.
Ask the office for a copy of the accident report you can keep for your records that you can give to your truck accident lawyer.
It can also be used as evidence if you need to go to court over the accident.
Even if you’re lucky enough to feel fine after the accident and you don’t think you need medical attention, you should still get a medical evaluation for yourself and your passengers.
You may have suffered injuries that don’t show immediate symptoms.
If you do end up requiring medical attention later for an injury, it’ll be hard to demonstrate it was related to the accident.
You may also have a serious injury like internal bleeding or a traumatic brain injury that needs immediate treatment that could be hard for you to detect, but a doctor will be able to diagnose.
Even if an emergency medical technician has examined you at the scene, you should still visit a doctor for a full medical evaluation at a hospital or your doctor’s office.
We can’t stress this enough.
If there’s a delay between your truck crash and when you visit a health care provider, your injuries can get worse, and the insurance adjuster will contest the severity of your injuries.
The insurance company representing the trucking company and the truck driver will assume that you would have sought immediate medical treatment if you really were injured.
An insurer will take advantage of the delay and use the information as grounds to offer a lower settlement amount, leaving you on the hook for some or all of your medical expenses.
Try to seek care the same day of the truck collision or within 72 hours after the accident.
If you can, take photos of the accident scene.
Take pictures from multiple angles and include shots of your vehicle, the truck, your injuries, and of other things that could be useful, like skidmarks or traffic lights.
The police that respond to the scene should also take photos.
You should also see if there are any eyewitnesses to the crash and get their information as well.
This includes their names, addresses, and any other identifying information about them.
Once you’ve left the scene, it can become nearly impossible to track down eyewitnesses and anyone else involved, and you must have their information if you need to contact them.
You’ll also need information from the truck driver, so when you can, gather these items from them:
Once you’ve exchanged information, you don’t need to say anything else at all.
Some things you say could be an admission of fault, so it’s best not to say anything.
Even if you think it was your fault, maybe a witness saw the other driver texting, or a stoplight wasn’t working correctly.
Even if you share some of the blame for what occurred, it’s smart to take some time, ask all the appropriate questions, make sure you are in a calm state of mind, and contact an experienced attorney before making statements or discussing the accident.
It’s important to report the crash to your insurance company so you can be sure your medical bills and property damages are taken care of, but again, be careful about what you say.
Your insurance adjuster may seem friendly and well-intentioned, but when it comes down to it, they’re working in the interest of their company.
That means that their job is to make sure they pay out as little as possible.
If the insurance company of the truck driver or trucking company contacts you, you’re not required to speak to them, and you shouldn’t.
Instead, let your personal injury attorney handle communications with them.
If you think you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries or property damages sustained in a truck accident, you should speak to an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as you can.
The attorneys at The Mabra Law Firm are dedicated to providing legal advice and helping the victims of truck accidents get the compensation they deserve.
If you’re an accident victim suffering from an injury and trying to handle an insurance claim, you don’t have to do it alone.
Schedule a Free Consultation with the truck accident attorneys at The Mabra Law Firm, who will discuss your legal options with you and help you recover physically and financially from your truck accident.