truck accident lawyers

What to do After a Trucking Accident?

Being involved in a truck accident is an awful and traumatizing experience. If you or someone you love is the victim of an accident with a large commercial truck, you may be severely hurt due to the sheer size and weight of the trucks, since some weigh up to 80,000 pounds

Knowing what you should do can be very confusing in such a situation. Generally, the steps to take after a truck accident include:

  1. Stay at the scene
  2. Call 911
  3. Seek medical attention
  4. Take pictures and video of the scene
  5. Exchange information with other involved parties
  6. Talk to any witnesses and get their information
  7. Call a truck accident lawyer
  8. Notify your insurance company immediately
  9. Let your insurance company appraise your damaged vehicle
  10.  Follow your doctor’s orders

Experienced lawyers like those at Nix Patterson can help you with what happens next and make a significant difference in your truck accident case. A lawyer who understands complicated truck accidents can protect your rights and make sure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.

What Should I Do After a Trucking Accident?

1. Stay at the Scene

Regardless of whether the trucking accident is a minor fender bender or a catastrophic accident, always stay at the scene as you wait for the police. If you flee the scene of an accident, the police may consider the crash a hit-and-run, even if it wasn’t your fault. You may face civil penalties or criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident. 

Your auto insurance company may also cancel your policy after this offense.

2. Call 911

After any type of accident, it’s important to call the police. After calling 911, law enforcement officers and first responders will be sent to the scene. The police will prepare a report that can strengthen your truck accident case. This police report may contain:

  • Witness statements
  • A sketch of the scene
  • Statements from involved parties
  • Police opinion regarding fault
  • Contact information

3. Seek Medical Attention

Seek emergency medical attention if you or any other party has suffered life-threatening injuries. Let the 911 dispatcher know if you need medical assistance when reporting the wreck.

Even if you feel you are okay, it’s best to let a medical professional make that judgment. Here’s why:

  • Your injuries may be more severe than you realize due to shock.
  • The insurance company may claim you weren’t severely hurt if you delay seeking treatment.
  • Seeking medical care creates documentation that can support your truck injury claim.

4. Take Pictures and Video of the Scene

Make sure you document the scene before crucial evidence disappears. Take pictures and videos of:

  • The accident scene from various angles
  • Vehicle damage
  • The position of all vehicles in the crash
  • Any visible injuries
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Anything else at the scene that can strengthen your case

5. Exchange Information With Other Involved Parties

As you wait for law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene, exchange information with other involved parties. This is critical since the other drivers may leave the scene after a while. Information may include:

  • Names, phone numbers, and addresses
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance provider names and policy numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Truck driver’s employer’s name and address
  • Trucking company name

6. Talk to Any Witnesses and Get Their Information

If anyone witnessed the truck collision, ask them to stay and speak to the police. You should also get their names, phone numbers, and addresses for your truck accident lawyer to follow up on their versions of the events. Witness testimonies can strengthen your case since they provide unbiased accounts of what happened. However, do not apologize to anyone or admit any partial fault. 

7. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer

The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better. Don’t hesitate to call an experienced trucking accident lawyer who understands state and federal trucking regulations. A lawyer can help you determine who is responsible for your accident and help you secure compensation if the wreck was caused by someone else.

Also, hiring a lawyer gives you time to heal while they deal with insurance companies, other parties, and legal issues.

8. Notify Your Insurance Company Immediately

Make sure you contact your insurance company — not the other party’s — after a trucking accident. Insurance policies are contractual agreements that have deadlines for reporting accidents. If you don’t report your accident soon enough, you may harm your case.

Don’t discuss fault with your insurer without your truck wreck attorney present. And never talk to the truck driver’s insurance company without your lawyer. 

9. Let Your Insurance Company Appraise Your Damaged Vehicle

Don’t go to your local body shop to repair your car on your own. Let your insurance company appraise the damage according to their requirements. Even if your vehicle looks okay, it’s best to have it checked by their preferred body shop. This will help you understand the extent of your property damage loss.

An appraisal will determine whether your car needs repairs or a replacement. This is useful in your case.

10. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

After seeking medical care, follow all your doctor’s instructions. Don’t skip any follow-up appointments. This guarantees a better recovery process as well as sufficient documentation for your medical expenses.

If you skip this step, an insurance company could use it as a reason to deny or minimize your compensation benefits. They may even claim you have pre-existing conditions like a history of concussions, degenerative disk disease, or a weakened spine prone to re-injury.

What Shouldn’t I Do After a Trucking Accident?

Knowing what not to do after a truck collision can give you the upper hand when talking to insurance companies and any other third parties. Here are some important “don’ts” after a trucking accident. Don’t:

  • Lose your temper
  • Admit fault or apologize
  • Talk about the incident on social media
  • Give a statement or interview to the other driver’s insurance company
  • Accept the insurer’s first offer
  • Sign anything
  • Speculate about what happened
  • Discuss the incident with other involved parties

Call Nix Patterson Today for Your Free Truck Accident Consultation

Contact Nix Patterson now for advice on what you need to do to build a case against all liable parties. Our lawyers are experienced in personal injury cases, and we offer free consultations to injured victims.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call 512-328-5333 now for legal advice.

CONTACT US

Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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