A crash with a semi-truck, which is much larger than your passenger vehicle, is frightening and makes it exceedingly difficult to keep your focus. However, you should take several steps after truck accidents and other vehicle crashes to protect your safety and ability to file a lawsuit.
You should stop immediately, even if you believe the accident was minor. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and move it out of traffic if you can do this safely.
Safety is the top priority. Check all other drivers and passengers for injuries. Contact first responders by calling 9-1-1.
Do not discuss possible fault or make apologies. This can be premature, based on incorrect information and impact any legal claims.
If you can, obtain information at the accident scene. Gathering information about the crash and witnesses may turn out to be important because even seemingly minor accidents can turn out to be serious. Important information includes the following:
- Names, addresses, contact information for all witnesses and accident victims and insurance policy information.
- Description of other vehicles in the accident including make, model and license and VIN numbers.
- The identity and contact information for the truck company or operator.
- Descriptions of injuries and property damage.
- Information about responding police department including police officer identity or badge numbers, tow truck and first-responders.
- Time and location of accident.
- Road, weather, and lighting conditions at accident scene.
Photographs and videotape
Your personal electronic device gives you the capacity to photograph and videotape the accident site. Record the accident damage, traffic signals, signs, and approaches to the crash site. Photographs and videos can also contain other information on potential witnesses, malfunctioning traffic devices or objects that obstructed a driver’s view.
Photograph or film video of the following:
- Mid-range and close-up shots from every angle.
- Position of vehicles before they were moved.
- Traffic signals and signs.
- Skid marks.
- License plates.
Motorists should keep contact information about their insurance carrier and anyone that should be contacted for assistance. If they do not have a PED, they need to have a disposable camera in their vehicle.
Warning tringles and a portable extinguisher can be helpful. Retail stores have kits that also contain helpful emergency equipment.
Truck accident injuries may be catastrophic. An attorney can help you seek damages against the trucking company, operator, and other liable parties.