Jake thought it was just another day on the road. But he was wrong.
After the light turned green, a large SUV sideswiped Jake’s truck. He’d later find out that the SUV driver was on their cell phone and never even saw Jake enter the intersection. Now with this truck upside down in the ditch, Jake wondered what exactly he was supposed to do after a truck accident.
Distracted drivers injure around 400,000 people every year. We hope that you never have to deal with the aftermath of an accident. However, instead of waiting for something to go wrong, it’s better to be proactive in learning exactly what to do after a crash.
To help you out, we’ve created this short guide. Precisely what should you do after getting into an accident? Read on to find out.
Check for Injuries
Immediately following a truck accident, your body will be surging with adrenaline. You could be injured and not even know it. To avoid making any injuries worse, do a quick checkup right after the accident.
Take a moment to assess yourself and everyone else in the vehicle. The next step is to get yourself to a safe location. If you don’t have any visible injuries and you can safely move, you’ll want to get out of the way of traffic.
Take a moment to determine where your vehicle is after the accident. Are you sitting in the middle of the road? If it’s a busy road and you can safely move the car, go ahead and pull over to the shoulder.
Make sure you pull completely off onto the shoulder so that there isn’t any risk of you being struck again. If your vehicle can’t move, or you don’t feel that you can safely drive, don’t attempt to move the truck.
Instead, get yourself and your passengers out of the way out of harm’s way. Once everyone is safe, you can call emergency services.
Do You Need Medical Attention?
If you’re not injured after a truck accident, it might be tempting to forgo getting medical treatment. However, this would be a foolish choice. You never know when there might be an underlying injury that hasn’t come to the surface yet.
For instance, you might be suffering from whiplash, but the adrenaline is masking the pain. Suppose you don’t take an ambulance directly to the hospital. In that case, it’ll be hard to establish that the crash caused your injuries.
Your truck accident lawyer will want to use the hospital records to prove your case. Experienced attorneys like Curcio Law Offices, can help pull the records too, to help make things easier for you.
If you don’t have any hospital records, you’ll be putting yourself in a compromising position. It doesn’t matter how minor or significant the impact was, seek medical help.
Gather Photos and Videos at the Scene of the Accident
While you’re waiting for law enforcement and medical services to arrive, you can start gathering evidence. Take a moment to look around at the scene of the accident.
Then using your smartphone, begin taking photos and videos of everything. We mean everything!
Photograph the street you’re on any obstructions in the road. Then photograph both vehicles. Get a lot of pictures of any damages to your car and any damages so the other vehicle.
If you or any of your passengers have injuries, start taking photos of those. The more pictures you can have from the accident scene, the better. Your photos will be able to help prove your personal injury case later on in several ways.
For instance, the images may be able to establish who was at fault in the accident. If you and the other driver didn’t have to move your vehicles, the photos would be even more helpful in determining fault.
Whatever you do, don’t share these photos with anyone but your lawyer. You don’t have to provide the photos to your insurance company or to the other driver. The photos are your private property, and you can maintain full ownership of them.
Look For Witnesses
Was anybody there to witness the crash take place? Then you want to talk to them to get their contact information.
Survey the scene for potential witnesses, and approach calmly. Do everything you can to keep your emotions that they are to remain logical and practical.
Calmly ask witnesses if they would please provide you with their name and phone number so that you can give them to your lawyer. Let them know that you’d like a testimony. Then ask them what they saw, and take a few notes.
If you have your smartphone with you, now would be a great time to use the voice recording function. Let potential witnesses know that you are recording, and then ask them to describe what they saw.
Remember, the more calmly you approach these witnesses, the more likely they’ll be to talk to you. If you come up to them upset and crying, they might be afraid to speak with you.
Don’t Say Sorry
No matter who you think caused the accident, never apologize. As we mentioned earlier, truck accidents are emotional scenes. You might feel overwhelmed with guilt or worry about the other driver.
However, you should resist the urge to apologize or console the other driver in any way. You don’t want to accidentally admit guilt.
It’d be in your best interest to talk to the other driver as little as possible. It’s okay to exchange your contact and insurance information with the other driver. You can also ask them if they need medical help.
However, you shouldn’t start discussing the details of the crash with the other driver at any point in time. Instead, keep that conversation for your lawyer and the insurance company.
Recovering After a Truck Accident
We sincerely hope you never have to experience any type of crash. However, at least now, if you do, you’ll know exactly what to do after a truck accident.
By putting safety first and getting emergency help, you’ll be able to put yourself in the best possible position. Remember to go to the hospital, too, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Having a hospital record can pay off big time if injuries surface later.
We’d love to provide you with more tips to help things go smoothly. So read another one of our posts!