Make Sure You Know What to Do in a Trucking AccidentMarch 19, 2020
Truck accidents are terrifying. They have a much higher fatality rate and involve more complicated state and federal laws than car accidents. At Dudley DeBosier, we know just how difficult this experience can be. When you’re on the scene, you can easily become overwhelmed with the multiple parties involved, including the lawyers and insurance adjusters trying to reach you. First thing’s first: breathe and take it one step at a time.
Step 1: Make sure you’re safe, then call 911. If possible, remove your car from the roadway and make sure you’re in a safe spot to call 911. You don’t want to jeopardize your own safety (or someone else’s) unnecessarily. You’ll want to get the complete police report even if it’s a minor accident. It’s the best way to have immediate documentation of the accident and can be presented as evidence if you end up in court.
Step 2: Seek medical help. You might think you’re fine, but you should still get evaluated on the scene and at a doctor’s office. You may be experiencing internal bleeding, which a doctor will be able to diagnose.
Step 3: Identify and document all parties involved. If you’re uninjured and it’s safe for you to be walking around, you’ll want to document as much as you can. Take pictures, gather contact information of witnesses and people involved, and write notes about the road, weather conditions, or other factors that could have affected the accident.
Tips for taking pictures: Getting an overview from several angles of the accident can help tremendously. Vehicle damage and other property damage are important, but traffic signals and the weather are significant too.
Step 4: Be careful with what you say. Don’t be mean, never lie, and don’t be too nice and admit fault if you are not responsible. Some trucking companies will send a whole team of lawyers to the site, or your own insurance company might call you to “make sure you’re okay,” but they use all these tactics to get you to say you’re in better health than you actually are.