Truck accidents can be devastating. Given their size and weight, trucks are some of the worst vehicles to be involved, even in minor accidents. The thought that there may be people in the vehicle that has been struck results in immediate anxiety. Whether the accident was your fault or not, there are important steps to take to protect yourself.
First, calm down
Do what you have to do to calm yourself before you step out of the truck. The accident probably wasn’t your fault, and you’re angry. Getting out of the vehicle yelling, ranting, and raving will neither help you or anyone around you. Take a deep breath, relax, and then step out of the vehicle and contact emergency services.
Immediate actions on the accident scene
In most states, the law reflects the initial instincts of most drivers is to help the injured. For instance, the California law requires you to render ‘reasonable assistance’ to the people injured in the accident, and that involves getting them to the right medical caregivers. Even in the midst of this chaos, Fisher &Talwar, a popular law firm advises that you should take note of the following.
- Your name and address
- The personal identifications of any vehicle occupants
- Your truck’s registration and insurance information. You can also obtain the other vehicle’s insurance and registration information.
- If requested, you should provide the driver’s license.
Report the accident and preserve evidence
Regardless of whether there were injuries or not, the law requires you to report all truck accidents to the state’s law enforcement. Accidents involving trucks cause injuries and substantial property damage. Therefore, you’re better off just contacting the law enforcement personnel at the scene, after which the right professionals will file a comprehensive report. Note that the police focus on preparing a report because, in most states, the law also holds drivers liable for damages to bridges and roads.
An accurate accident report is invaluable when it comes to establishing the liability of drivers or the employers. Besides, you may want to seek recovery from the other vehicle’s owner if their driver was negligent in hiring competent drivers or follow state and federal regulations in any way.
Avoid giving statements to anyone unless your lawyer is present. Keep in mind that insurance service providers are notorious for attempting to secure any recording from drivers the moment they make contact. Anything they do is hardly ever in your best interest. Besides, whatever you say can be used against you. Therefore, whenever you want to speak with the insurance company, get your attorney to do it for you.
And no signatures
Some insurance companies trick people into signing paperwork. Though part of this paperwork is innocuous, some paperwork grants rights that you may not want to throw away. Thus, if the insurance company requests you to sign anything, request your lawyer to check the documents before you put a mark. Attorneys understand insurance and legal jargon and can help you identify any pitfalls and avoid them.