Every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you’re at risk of getting in an accident. And if you’re a truck driver who spends hours and days on the road, your risk is much higher. Truck driving is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Do you know what you should do if you wind up in danger?
Truck accidents can be complex, frustrating, and expensive even when they’re simple. And they can be very costly. With truck accidents happening increasingly frequently, you need to be prepared. You need to know what to do if you get into an accident.
These are the steps you need to take if you find yourself in a truck accident.
Call the Police to Secure the Scene
The very step you should take after an accident occurs is to call the police.
By law, you’re required to contact the police so they can create and complete an accident report. And even if the accident seems minor, you need to contact the police in order to file an accident report.
You can contact 911 if the accident is severe and emergency help is needed. If the accident is minor, you can call the police or highway patrol.
While officers are on their way, you should stay inside your vehicle. If you can, try to move your vehicle to the side of the road and out of traffic. If that isn’t possible, just stay put until help arrives. Once the police or local highway patrol arrive at the scene of the accident, they will set up the necessary equipment or precautions to secure the area.
Document the Accident and Any Damage
If you’re able to safely get out of your vehicle once the police arrive, you’ll need to document the accident. Whether your truck was involved or you’re a driver who was hit by a truck, you need to take photographs and get information to accurately note what happened.
Documentation will be needed in a number of forms. You’ll first want to >take photos of the accident and the surrounding scene. Snap photos of your vehicle, any other vehicles, and the damage that’s present. Photograph the cross streets and direction that vehicles are facing. You should also take pictures of anything that may have been related to the accident, like the weather, puddles on the road, or road condition.
You should also speak to witnesses to help document what happened. Ask bystanders if they saw the accident happen. Write down their personal information – names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Your insurance company and lawyer may need to speak with them.
Exchange Information With Everyone Involved
After you’ve properly documented the accident and its scene, it’s time to collect and exchange information with everyone involved. Whether the accident involved one other driver or multiple individuals, it’s critical that you get as much information from them as possible.
You’ll need contact information and vehicle information from all drivers and passengers. And you yourself will need to share that information with them as well. Insurance companies, the police, and legal representatives will need it to resolve the accident.
Make sure to ask those involved for the following information:
- Driver names, addresses, and contact information.
- Other drivers’ insurance companies and policy numbers.
- Driver’s license numbers.
- License plate numbers.
- The make, model, and color of the vehicles involved.
If you are a truck driver, you’ll need to provide the others involved with your employer and trucking company information too. And if you’ve been hit by a truck driver, make sure you ask the driver for the name of their employer and trucking company.
Contact Your Insurance Company or Workplace
Your next step will be to file an official claim. Whether you were the at-fault driver or simply an involved party, you need to contact your auto insurance company in order to report the accident and begin a claim. You can start a claim at the scene of the accident or once you’ve safely returned home.
When you do this, your insurance company will ask you for all of the evidence and information you collected at the scene. You’ll also need to send any photographic evidence and witness contact information to the insurer.
Additionally, being in a truck accident brings additional complications. If you are the truck driver, you’ll need to report your accident to your employer or trucking company. If a truck hit you, you may need to contact the trucking company of the individual trucker who was involved. Make sure to take this extra step to ensure every company or insurance policy is informed.
Consult an Attorney
You don’t want to leave your accident in the hands of your insurance company or the police alone. You may not get the compensation you need – or the compensation you deserve. And you may not even be able to resolve the accident and its damages.
That’s why consulting an attorney is a critical step. Whether you were the driver of the truck or a regular driver involved, a truck accident can be complex, have long-lasting effects, and cause financial devastation.
But an attorney can help resolve a truck accident fairly and with significant results. In fact, hiring a truck accident attorney could help you get 3.5 times more in compensation than if you didn’t hire one. And you don’t have to pay any money upfront. Truck accident attorneys typically work on contingency, which means your lawyer won’t be compensated unless you’re compensated.
So, if you’re left with the devastating results of a truck accident, consult an attorney. Many attorneys offer free consultations, and you can discuss the details of your case before deciding to hire one. Take the time to search for truck accident attorneys in your area, and you may be able to enlist crucial help in your case. And that legal help can make all the difference when it comes to recovery and compensation.