It can be hard to think straight after a serious car accident, and collisions that involve commercial trucks are almost always serious. The steps taken directly after an accident can help to determine not just how well an injured victim heals up but also whether he or she will be able to recover fair compensation for damages suffered as a result of the crash. Read on to find out what to do next after a truck accident to reduce confusion and ensure that all the right steps get taken after a crash.
Step One: Call 911
The first step to take after a collision with a truck is to call 911 to summon police and other first-responders to the scene. When the police arrive, make sure to file an official police report and request a copy of it. It should include important information such as witness statements, driver statements, sketches of the accident scene, contact information for involved parties, and the police officer’s opinion as to what happened and who was at fault.
If an accident victim is seriously injured, paramedics will transport the person to the emergency room for immediate treatment. If possible, another party from the same vehicle should stay at the accident scene to gather information on the seriously injured person’s behalf.
Step Two: Gather Evidence
Collecting evidence at the scene of the crash allows accident victims to preserve key information and prevent it from being falsified or altered. Take photos of the damage to both vehicles, the truck driver’s license plate, any skidmarks left on the pavement, and other relevant details. It’s also wise to collect contact information from witnesses and to write a detailed statement about everything that happened leading up to the crash.
Step Three: Exchange Information
The law requires all parties involved in automotive accidents to exchange basic contact and insurance information with other drivers. Ask for the truck driver’s name, carrier, insurance info, and truck number. Having this information readily available can speed up the claim filing process.
Step Four: Get Medical Help
Even if a driver has not sustained obvious external injuries that require an ambulance ride to the ER, he or she should still seek prompt medical care. Truck collisions often result in issues such as internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious medical problems that don’t show immediate symptoms. Getting a prompt and accurate diagnosis is the key to preventing those problems from getting any worse, and it also creates a medical report that will show a person’s injuries to be directly linked to the collision.
Step Five: Hire a Lawyer
Once the dust has settled, the next step for the accident victim to take is to contact a local truck accident lawyer. It’s often the case that the carrier’s insurance company will send investigators and get in contact almost immediately to ask the victim to sign a medical release or make a statement. Never sign documents or provide statements to other drivers’ insurance companies until after speaking with a lawyer who can prevent critical errors in communication that could harm the case.
Get Back on Track
Truck crashes often have lasting impacts on accident victims’ health and lives. Taking the right steps immediately following these accidents can make it easier to get adequate medical care and receive just compensation for any damages suffered as a result of professional drivers’ or other parties’ negligence.