Truck accidents are not as common as you might think. In fact, only about 2.4% of all traffic collisions involve commercial trucks. Unfortunately, when a truck accident does occur, it is more likely to cause injury — and possibly death — because a commercial truck usually outweighs a passenger car significantly. It can be difficult to know what to do in the aftermath of a truck accident. There are several important steps to take, but some take precedence. Here is a guide, in hopes that you will never need it.
1. Call 911
It is likely that a truck accident could result in death, serious injury, and significant property damage. Calling 911 allows you to obtain medical care for yourself or anyone else who needs it, and simultaneously summon police to the scene.
2. Get Medical Attention
Even if you do not believe you are hurt, get medical attention. Emergency personnel may be able to check you out at the scene, or they may offer to drive you to the hospital. Symptoms of injuries may not show up right after an accident, so a check-up after a crash should be a top priority.
3. Stay at the Scene
You can move your car so that it will be out of the way of traffic, but do not leave the scene. It could cause you legal trouble if you do. Stay there until authorities tell you that you are free to go. Try to get the other driver(s) to remain as well, but don’t put yourself in any danger.
4. Take Photographs and Witness Statements
Talk to anyone who may have seen the accident. Get statements if possible or, at the very least, record their contact information. If it is safe to do so, take photos or video of the scene. This should be a relatively simple matter if you have a smartphone.
5. Write Down Everything You Can
As soon as possible after the accident, write down what happened in as much detail as you can. The following are examples of information to include:
- Exact location
- Date and time
- What you were doing (e.g., waiting for a light, changing lanes, making a turn)
- What you observed the truck driver doing
- Road conditions
- Your direction of travel
- Your speed
Your ability to record as much detail as possible may help your case later. After completing these steps, and before talking to the insurance company, truck owner, etc, you may wish to contact a trucking accident lawyer, like a Woodland Hills trucking accident lawyer to go over your case.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation for their insight into what steps need to be taken after a truck accident.