Getting into a truck accident is not a situation you would ever want to find yourself in, whether you’re the driver or the owner of the truck company. It’s quite an intimidating situation that can often lead you to panic or be confused as to what it is you should do next. Here’s a guide on what you should do when you’re involved in a truck accident:
1. Consult a lawyer
Whenever you’re involved in a vehicular accident, such as a truck accident, when the situation calls for it, then you should be smart enough to call for the help of a lawyer. With the aid of your lawyer, you’ll know your rights and how to defend them and your liabilities. A lawyer is your best advisor in an unfortunate situation as an accident, and he will serve as your guide to winning truck accident lawsuits.
2. Do not leave the crash site.
Leaving the crash site after an accident can constitute a serious felony of hit and run; it can only aggravate your case, or put you in a guilty position, even if you were not the negligent driver. It’s best for you to stay on the site and to leave the vehicle as it is, unless it has to be moved for safety reasons. When you leave your truck in the crash site in the same position as when the accident occurred, you’ll make it easier for the rescue operations to take place and for the police offers to examine what happened.
3. Check for any injuries.
Before you concern yourself with any damage to the truck or the other vehicles involved in the accident, examine yourself first for any injuries that will need immediate care. If you’re safe, then do care enough to check other passengers, even those from the other vehicle for an injured person. Human injury should always be the top priority problem to be solved in the event of any vehicular accident.
4. Report the accident.
The very first person that you should call right after the truck accident should always be 911 or any equivalent hotline in your country, especially when there’s an injured person that needs help. Also, 911 usually coordinates with the local police to go to your location as well. Before you report the incident to any family member or loved one, be sure to call the paramedics and police first.
5. Take photos of the incident.
Yes, the police will usually do all these for you; after any vehicular accident, police officers will come to the site to examine the evidence and to start a probe on the crash. However, it is to your advantage to take photos as well because these photos may be helpful in the event you have to bring your case to court. Do your own share of investigating as well. You would want to make sure that you have as many photos from varied angles of the accident scene. Take photos of injuries, too.
6. Exchange information.
When you’re sure that no one has been harmed in the accident or that all injuries are already taken care of, it’s prudent to exchange information with the other drivers and passengers. You may need the information for insurance claims, settlements, and others.
Here’s the essential information that you’ll be needing:
- The other driver’s name, address, age, and contact details.
- The company to which the other driver or vehicle belongs and its contact details
- The other driver’s insurance provider, if any
- The other driver’s license
7. Be very careful with whatever you say.
Now is not the time for you to be chatty, overfriendly, and too kind. Stay reserved and quiet while you’re still in the scene of the accident. If possible, speak only when you’re asked to answer questions by authorities and only make statements if you’re entirely sure about it. Don’t make half-baked, haphazard comments especially if you’re still in a panicky state. Even if you feel that the accident was your fault, don’t admit it just yet as you may not be entirely sure of what went on with the other vehicle: maybe the other vehicle wasn’t able to stop at a stop sign, perhaps the driver was speeding, or worse, maybe the driver was on his phone.
Your statements can be taken out of context or twisted and used against you, so be careful with what you say.
8. Search the scene for any witnesses
Witnesses will always be called especially if your accident turns out into a full-blown trial in court. While you are in the scene of the crash, check for other possible witnesses – as many witnesses as you can gather so that there are honest reports from any possible angle. Doing this will help piece out the accident together, especially as the police themselves have not personally seen the accident happen and you and the other driver are still in a state of mental shock or mental confusion.
The best way to drive is to stay cautious and careful. Remember, as a truck driver, you’re using a massive vehicle while sharing the road with other smaller ones; you have to exercise a lot of caution and care. However, in the event of an unfortunate situation such as an accident, these tips will help you stay calm and guided as to what you should do to protect your best interest.