7 Steps You Should Take After a Commercial Truck Accident
An accident involving a large commercial truck can be frightening and confusing. However, your actions after a commercial accident are important and could affect your claim and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial semi-truck, you may be entitled to compensation. The Lynch Law Firm, PC’s dedicated New Jersey truck accident lawyers will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a claim against the at-fault party.
Below, we discuss which steps you should take if you are injured in commercial accident.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you are involved in a serious traffic collision, you should always seek medical attention. Although your injuries may not be immediately apparent, signs or symptoms could show up several hours or days later.
Waiting to seek medical treatment will only make things worse and could cause the insurance company to doubt your claim. Once you seek medical attention, a doctor can diagnose and treat your injuries, and confirm they were sustained in the accident.
2. Stay at the Accident Scene
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and could result in having demerit points added to your driving record, your driving privileges revoked or your license suspended.
You should always wait at the accident site for first responders to arrive to check for injuries and so the accident can be reported by police. Do not leave the scene of the accident until you are told to by first responders or police.
3. Move to a Safe Place
Immediately after the accident, make sure you are in a safe location. If you are in a location where you are still in danger or your vehicle could cause another accident, quickly move to safety on the side of the road.
However, try to stay as close to the accident site as possible and do not move if you are injured. If your vehicle is not able to be moved but is not in a safe place, leave it. You can set up flares or cones to help warn other drivers that there is an accident to prevent more wrecks.
4. Call the Police
If you are involved in an auto accident that resulted in injury or death, you must report the collision to law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.
The responding law enforcement officer will assess the scene and write up an accident report that states which party is at fault for the collision and document any injuries or vehicle damage. The officer will also collect witness statements.
You can request a copy of the officer’s completed report to use as supporting evidence for your claim.
5. Collect Information About the Accident
Although the police will file an accident report, it is important for you to also collect your own information. This should include:
- The truck driver’s name and contact information
- The truck driver’s license number
- The United States Department of Transportation serial number, if available
- Information about the trucking company that employs the driver or owns the commercial truck
- The trucking company or driver’s insurance carrier
6. Get Witness Statements
If possible, you should try to collect witness statements yourself. You can write down their statements or ask to take a video of them on your cellphone.
Be sure to also ask a witness for his or her contact information for your attorney to ask them questions at a later date.
7. Take Photos
If possible, you should take detailed photographs of the accident site that depict the parties and vehicles involved.
Take photos of your vehicle or any personal property that was damaged, as well as photos of the other party’s vehicle.
Also, take pictures of your injuries before and after you seek medical treatment and even during the healing process.
8. Follow Through with Medical Treatment
If you were injured and a doctor has recommended a treatment plan or prescribed you medication, make sure you follow through with it.
The at-fault party’s insurance company will likely pay close attention to everything you do after the accident. If you stop treatment early, an insurance company might believe your injuries were not as bad as you claimed.
The at-fault party’s insurer could attempt to use this to reduce your compensation or have your claim denied altogether.
9. Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney for help with your claim.
Trucking companies and their insurers are well-prepared to handle cases where the truck’s driver is at fault. They will likely use a victim’s lack of knowledge about the trucking industry to avoid liability or reduce the amount of compensation he or she may be entitled.
For this reason, you should contact the Lynch Law Firm, PC’s skilled truck accident attorneys as soon as possible for a free, no obligation review of your claim. We will help you determine which party is at fault for your accident and is liable for the injuries and losses you suffered.
All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation.