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A truck is a massive vehicle that is a lot heavier and far more powerful than an ordinary passenger automobile like a sedan, a hatchback, or even a SUV. Not surprisingly, being involved in a truck accident can be a very traumatic and disorienting experience.
While the ideal situation would be one where you are never involved in a truck accident, such mishaps, sadly occur with alarming frequency. Hence, it is better to plan in advance and learn what to do if you were in a truck accident.
Check for Injuries
The first and most important step is to check yourself and your fellow passengers for injuries. Unlike cars and other small automobiles, even a low-speed low-impact accident with a truck or other cargo vehicle can lead to severe injuries.
Call 911 immediately to ensure that all injuries receive medical attention without delay. Be as detailed as possible with emergency responders to ensure that they well-prepared to handle the situation.
Report the Accident
Once you have arranged medical assistance, you should contact the authorities and report the accident. Try to report the mishap as early as possible to ensure the authorities arrive on the scene before it is disturbed or altered.
If your car is posing a safety risk to other vehicles in the road, use safety markers and barricades to ensure your vehicle is protected from further damage. Taking care of this seemingly-small point can make a very good impression in case of a protracted dispute ahead.
Identify the Parties Involved in the Accident
Try to collect as much information as possible about all parties involved in the accident. Some of the key details you should collect include:
- Contact information of the driver including name, contact address, telephone number, and email address.
- Driver’s insurance policy details including name and contact info of the insurance company.
- Details of the truck including its model and make, license number, and other identifying details.
- Contact info of the employer of the driver.
Document the Accident
Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of the entire accident. Don’t focus on the damage alone. Take photographs of the entire truck and its identifying markings. If you or your fellow passengers have suffered injuries, then you should document these details as well.
Make sure that all video documentation is straightforward and to the point. It’s also a good idea to include your voice commentary as well. Try to explain what exactly happened during the mishap.
By doing this, you will ensure that you have all relevant and necessary information and it will be very helpful in reconstructing the incident at a later date.
Look for Witnesses
A truck accident can quickly devolve into a dispute where parties exchange claims without having anything to back it up. Try to have the presence of mind to engage a bystander and find out what they saw. If possible, seek their permission and include them in your video recording of the accident.
Never make the mistake of trying to influence the witnesses’ views. Try talking as little as possible. Instead, encourage the witnesses to talk about the accident, what they saw, and other relevant details that, according to them, may have contributed to the mishap.
Prepare for the Procedure Ahead
A truck accident will involve numerous parties including law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, the entity owning the truck, and medical experts as well.
Obviously, you must be prepared to be contacted by insurance companies or their representatives including insurance adjusters. While you have the option of talking directly to these agencies, it is always advisable to be represented by a legal expert.
Contact a Reputed Truck Accident Attorney
Finally, it is time to contact an attorney with specialized expertise and experience in handling truck accidents.
Even a minor accident involving a truck can cause significant damage to your vehicle. Then, you will have to consider the immediate and long-term medical consequences of your injuries. Finally, the liability of the at-fault party will have to be determined.
Instead of taking on the company owning the truck and its insurance company, you should have an expert representing all your claims.