5 Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
Commercial trucks are a common sight all around America. Big rigs and 18 wheelers are the transportation method of choice for countless companies and industries. Ensuring that only the highest safety standards and training regimens are used at truck companies has become a massive undertaking for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and many commercial trucks and truckers on the road actually pose a serious danger to other motorists.
No matter how careful a driver you may be, you could be blindsided by one of these negligent or reckless truckers and find yourself in a serious truck accident. If this happens to you, knowing what to do immediately after the crash can make matters down the road much easier.
Follow these five steps after being in an 18 wheeler accident:
1. Check on everyone: Health and safety is the number one priority after any sort of motor vehicle accident. If anyone is hurt, tend to them right away. Do not attempt to move them if there is a chance their spine, neck, or brain has been injured. Do not attempt to perform any medical procedures you are not trained to complete, or without the permission of the wounded individual, assuming they are conscious. If you can do so safely, move all vehicles out of traffic and have everyone stand far from the street.
2. Call the authorities: Get emergency responders to your crash site as soon as possible, especially if someone has been injured. The police that arrive can direct traffic away from your vehicles, preventing subsequent collisions. You can also get useful crash reports from the police as well as paramedics, even if their services are not needed.
3. Exchange information: You need to get all insurance and identifying information from the truck driver and the vehicle itself. Many trucks have unique numbers assigned to both the tractor (where the trucker actually sits) and the trailer (where all the cargo is stored – the back-half). Record all of this information, as well as the usual pieces, such as license plate numbers, vehicle description, etc.
4. Take pictures: The evidence you collect at the scene of your truck accident will be crucial for your injury claim later on. Do not assume that other parties are going to get evidence for you. If you can, use your smartphone to snap photographs of the scene, including weather and road conditions. Talk to any eyewitnesses who have stopped to help and see if you can get testimonies from them as well.
5. Get an attorney: Taking on a trucking company or corporation in pursuit of compensation is probably not what you want to do after being hurt in a trucking accident. The sooner you retain the services of a personal injury lawyer, the less work you will have to do and the greater your chances of landing a successful settlement or verdict. Many people choose to talk to a lawyer before ever talking to their own insurance company, as saying the wrong thing to even your own insurer could increase your liability inadvertently.
The Law Office of Steven R. Whitman has more than 55 years of combined legal experience, focused on managing complex injury and 18 wheeler accident claims. If you get into a truck accident in Massachusetts, please do not hesitate to call our Boston truck accident attorneys at (617) 870-3347, no matter the day or hour, and request a free consultation. If we are unable to answer the phone at that time, we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also fill out an online contact form if you prefer.