What to Do Immediately After a Truck Accident
A truck accident is one of the things drivers fear the most - a collision with a large vehicle such as a truck can result in catastrophic injuries and property damage. It’s vital as a driver to adhere to the rules of the road and remain a safe distance away from trucking, making sure to never cut them off or drive in their blind spot. However, as a driver, there’s only so much you can do. Sometimes the driver of the truck or a malfunction can cause a crash. You should always know what to do immediately after a truck accident in order to make the best series of decisions when you’re caught in this difficult moment.
Steps to Take Right After a Truck Accident
If you’re seriously injured, your first priority is to always get medical help. The police will arrive on the scene and create their own report. If you’re not hurt immediately after the accident, here’s what you should do:
- Call the police.
- Take as many photos as you can of the scene, including your own vehicle and pictures of any others involved, these will come in handy when dealing with your insurance company.
- Get the contact info for the truck driver and any other motorists involved in the accident, including their name, insurance company name, policy number, address, and license plate numbers.
- Talk to witnesses and retrieve their contact information.
- Always accept medical help - even if you feel okay, take the ambulance ride and allow a doctor to check you out. You may not realize you’re injured as endorphins tend to kick in after an accident.
- File a police report and take down the details of this report, such as the report number and the attending officer’s names.
You should also keep in mind that some injuries aren’t instant. For example, whiplash is a common problem after a truck accident and drivers may not notice the symptoms for a while. Head injuries, broken bones, and other more obvious injuries will get treated right away, and you will be eligible for compensation if you’re not at-fault.
Talking to Insurance Companies
One thing you should avoid doing without the help of a lawyer is talking to the insurance company. While you are required to call in and report the accident, you should skip over any details in the initial report, as the insurance company representatives look for any reason to pay out less money. Don’t give them details on your injuries, even if you are seriously hurt. It’s best to wait for complete doctor’s reports. The same goes for damages to your car. Insurance companies have different requirements for cars. Some companies only allow individuals to use a shop on their list, or may require specific photos of the damage.
You should also avoid saying you’re at-fault, even if you are. It’s best to have a lawyer handle that situation. Although the insurance company representatives will come on strong, you have the right to tell them that you’re working with a lawyer and your legal representative will be in contact to answer any questions they have. An experienced attorney has dealt with cases like yours before and understands how insurance companies work, as well as the laws and the jargon - so you’re much more likely to get a better settlement if you have a lawyer.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
At the Alexander Law Group, PLC, our lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience working on a variety of personal injury cases. Trucking and insurance companies have a team of lawyers on their side - you should have someone that’s ready to fight for your rights. Give us a call at 804-271-1969 and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer today