Unlike car collisions with a driver behind the wheel of a personal vehicle, a truck crash can be complex. This is due in part to the fact a vast amount of truck drivers do not own the rig they are piloting. Rather, the driver is an employee of a company that has its own insurance policy that you will have to file a claim with post-collision.
However, truck accident lawyers Hipskind & McAninch warn that there are a few other things that should be done prior to leaving the scene of the collision. Missing out on just one important detail can royally mess up your chance to file a personal injury claim later. So remain diligent, even if you feel like you want to panic.
Just like with a car crash, the first thing you should do after you are in an accident with a truck is to first check on any passengers in your vehicle and call 911. Be sure to mention how many injured people there are and in what condition they are in physically and mentally. The dispatcher will send police and paramedics to you to tend to your safety and health needs.
While you wait for the authorities to arrive, look around and determine if you are in a dangerous location. If you are at risk of getting hit again by oncoming vehicles, move your car to the side of the road, or abandon the vehicle entirely and seek a safe location.
Next, check on the truck driver and exchange information with them, just like in a car accident. You should exchange names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license information, and car insurance information.
The truck driver will need to give you their employer’s name, contact information, truck identification number, and other information as instructed by their company’s accident policy. You should also get the contact information of any witnesses.
When the police and paramedics arrive, they will write up a report and treat any injuries that may have been sustained during the collision.
Although an attorney can go to the scene of the accident to conduct an investigation, getting evidence from the scene several days after being cleaned up yields very little helpful information.
Before you leave, take pictures and videos of the accident. Once it is cleaned up by first responders, you will lose valuable information that could help your attorney figure out what transpired.
Take wide-angle shots that encompass the entire scene and close-up shots of any damage. Pictures of any relevant street signs, speed limit signs, road obstructions, and street names are also highly advisable.
Motor vehicle accidents can lead to serious injuries like bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Whiplash is a very common accident caused by the rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck during a collision. This motion strains the neck muscles and leads to severe pain and a limited range of motion. Other injuries include concussions, cuts and lacerations, burns, and joint injuries.
When you go to the emergency room, tell them that you have been in an automotive collision. They will be able to treat your injuries and make recommendations for follow-up visits with other specialists.
After a truck crash, the most important thing you should be concerned about is recovering from your injuries.
While you heal, take the time and speak to a personal injury attorney with experience in truck crashes. This will allow you to focus on recovery while they take care of the legal aspects of the case.
Trucking companies have the resources to hire intrepid attorneys who will fight to say that their client is not liable and will work hard to gather evidence against you.
Although trucking companies take out large insurance policies, they are not interested in giving you the best settlement possible. Instead, they are all about saving the reputation of the trucking company and preserving its bottom line.
On the upside, most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation and are only paid if they win cases for their clients. Therefore, there’s no risk in getting professional legal advice on your truck collision case.