Large truck accidents are a lot more common than you might think. There are about 500,000 of them that take place each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That includes about 5,000 that are fatal.
If you’re ever involved in one, you should know what to do after truck accidents occur. These accidents can be so scary that a lot of people aren’t sure what they should do in the immediate aftermath of one.
The exact steps that you should take following an accident involving a truck are obviously going to vary from one accident to the next. You’re going to react differently after truck accidents that include fatalities than you would after truck accidents that are more or less minor fender-benders.
But generally speaking, there are steps almost everyone should take following truck accidents. Learn all about them below.
Start by Calling the Police to Notify Them of the Truck Accident
As soon as you’re involved in a truck accident, the very first thing you should do is pull your car over and turn it off. You should then pick up your smartphone and call the police to let them know the accident has occurred.
There is a pretty good chance that other drivers are also going to get in touch with the police to let them know about the accident. But you shouldn’t ever assume that someone else is going to pick up the phone and do it. The more people call the police, the quicker the police are going to be to report to the scene of the accident in most cases.
You should let the police know exactly where the crash occurred if you can and make a note of any nearby landmarks. It’ll ensure that the police don’t have any problems making their way down to the scene right away.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately If You Think You Need It
Do you suspect that you may have been injured during the truck accident that you were involved in? If so, you shouldn’t hesitate to let the proper authorities know that you need medical attention right away.
In fact, it’s never a bad idea to get yourself checked out after truck accidents, even if you don’t think you were injured. It’s not out of the ordinary for some truck accident injuries to go undetected in the hours following a crash.
You might find yourself dealing with something like whiplash later on. And you’ll have a hard time proving it stemmed from the accident if you didn’t seek medical attention initially.
It won’t hurt to have paramedics take a look at you at the scene of a truck accident. They’ll be able to determine if you should go to the hospital for additional medical care.
Identify the Other Drivers Involved in the Accident and Exchange Information With Them
If you’re able to get out of your car safely and speak with other drivers who were involved in a truck accident, you should attempt to do it. It’s going to be important for you to identify these drivers and exchange insurance information with them at the scene of the crash.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself or can’t do it because of an injury, the police should be able to provide you with all of the information that you’ll need later on. But it’s always best to try and secure this info as soon as you can so that you’re able to pass it along to your own insurance company.
You don’t want to get stuck with a mountain of medical bills after a truck accident that someone else caused. But that might be exactly what happens if you don’t make an effort to obtain insurance information from other drivers.
See If You Can Track Down Any Witnesses to the Accident
In addition to trying to identify the other drivers who were involved in a truck accident along with you, you should also keep your eyes peeled for anyone who may have witnessed the crash. If you can find them, the police will take statements from witnesses to try and shed some more light on exactly what happened during the accident.
Oftentimes, witnesses are able to provide police with a few of the missing puzzle pieces that they need to put together the full story of what took place during truck accidents. It’s why you should make every effort to find anyone who may have seen what happened after truck accidents.
Take as Many Photos of the Accident Scene as You Can
Shortly after police arrive on the scene of your truck accident, they’re going to take statements from you and your fellow drivers. They’ll also take them from any witnesses before starting to clean things up. This is going to leave you with a very small window of time to take photos and videos of the scene.
You should pull your smartphone out almost right away after truck accidents and start snapping photos and videos so that you can use them later as evidence if you have to go to court as a result of the accident. These photos and videos could prove to be invaluable to you, especially if they paint a different picture than the one police tried to paint with their report on the accident.
Many years ago, it wasn’t all that easy for people to take photos and videos of an accident scene. But in this day and age, it’s so simple for people to do it thanks to their smartphones. Within just a few minutes, they can fill their phones up with all the photos and videos they’ll need to prove their case in court.
Get in Touch With a Truck Accident Attorney Sooner Rather Than Later
Many times, a person’s first instinct is to call their car insurance company after they’re involved in a truck accident. You might even find that your insurance company will call you after the crash to talk to you about it.
You might be tempted to tell your car insurance company everything that you can right away. But before you speak with them, you might want to seriously consider getting in touch with a truck accident attorney first. This convenient resource can help you find a good one.
If you don’t do this, you could very well say something to your car insurance company or the car insurance company of another driver that’s going to hurt you in the future. You might have a tough time getting a medical bill and/or a car repair bill covered if you tell an insurance company something that you shouldn’t.
A truck accident lawyer can step in and make sure that you don’t say or do the wrong thing when communicating with insurance companies. They’ll also let you know whether or not you might have a strong enough case to take other drivers and/or insurance companies to court to get paid for any bills that you may have racked up as a result of your accident.
With all of these things in mind, contacting an attorney is one of the most important things that people should do after truck accidents. You might potentially put yourself into a tight spot if you choose not to bring a lawyer on board to represent you.
Jump Right on the Road to Recovery Following Your Accident
If you sustained truck accident injuries during your crash, you should work with your doctor to start nursing yourself back to health as soon as you can. In some cases, that might mean simply staying at home for a few weeks to rest up. But in others, it might mean having surgery performed or, at the very least, taking part in physical therapy.
Outside of taking care of your health, you should also work to get your car back out on the road, if possible, by having it repaired. Work closely with your truck accident attorney to take the right steps to repair your car or to replace it if your car was totaled.
By doing these things, you’ll be able to get your life back to normal in no time at all. You won’t have to worry about injuries lingering around for very long or damage to your car preventing you from getting to and from work.
If you have any questions about the recovery process at any point, don’t be afraid to lean on your lawyer for support. They’ll assist you in making a full recovery in all the different facets of your life after truck accidents.
Make Sure You Always Take the Right Steps After Truck Accidents
Some people make crucial mistakes after truck accidents and pay the price for it later. You should avoid this at all costs by following the steps listed here.
These steps will prevent a truck accident from taking a huge toll on you. You’ll be able to get your life back together in a hurry as long as you follow them and hire the right lawyer to help you.
Browse through all of the other articles on our blog for more great tips on what to do following other kinds of accidents.