Heavy trucks are workhorses that ply the roads on a daily basis, making them susceptible to traffic accidents, as much as any other vehicle.
By hauling cargo and other essential goods, trucks need to travel countless miles as the economy moves. Because of their imposing size, smaller vehicles, motorcycles, and bikes would rather not challenge these heavy trucks while on the move.
Road accidents can and do happen at any time. No matter how careful you may be on the road, there are always risks involved. Harsh weather, drunk drivers, drug-impaired motorists, and sudden mechanical problems are the most common causes of traffic mishaps.
What to Do in a Truck Accident
If by some unfortunate incident, you get involved in a fender-bender on the road, it’s better to focus on truck and trailer repairs later. Here are the things you ought to do immediately:
Stop and Don’t Leave the Scene
Whether a serious accident or a minor crash, all the motorists involved in a vehicle collision should stay and avoid attempting to flee the scene. If you can move and your vehicle is along the perilous side of the road, or if it’s disrupting the flow of traffic, consider pulling up on the safe side of the road. However, don’t do this until you’ve taken a photo of the actual accident scene.
Otherwise, make sure your vehicle or heavy truck is secure, activate your hazard lights, and put some visible warning signs to avoid another potential crash.
Whether you or any of your passengers are visibly injured or not, make sure to call the emergency services to seek medical attention. Most injuries and major car problems do not appear until a few days after the collision. Additionally, your adrenaline and other hormones may prevent you from feeling pain immediately. So, whether you’re experiencing a mild case of whiplash or thinking you may have broken a bone somewhere, don’t skip this procedure for your own good.
Err on the side of safety by seeking medical care always. Besides, this procedure can be very useful should you decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the other party.
Notify the Police
In some states, drivers or motorists are obliged to report a traffic accident, including minor mishaps. When a crash happens, authorities should be notified as early as possible so a police officer can record the incident.
Upon arrival, the officer will check on the situation, make an objective assessment of the incident, and will conduct interviews with all the motorists involved. During the interview, explain what happened clearly and answer questions truthfully. But do not admit responsibility or say you’re sorry, as this could be translated as an admission of guilt.
The police officer is responsible for making an accident report. Ask for a copy of this document for insurance claims or potential lawsuits. You’d need to present the accident report, too, when you’re asked to go to court because of the accident.
Gather Evidence and Document the Scene
While waiting for the authorities and medical staff to arrive, use your free time by taking photos of the truck and other vehicles involved. These photos can be used to validate or refute the police report about the accident or understanding how the crash may have happened.
For medical specialists, it may be easier to understand and suspect potential injuries incurred if the vehicle positions are correctly understood. In most cases, it could also determine who is at fault over the collision. This is important especially for car insurances that don’t pay for claims if the beneficiary is at fault.
If you can, talk with potential witnesses. List down their names and contact numbers as they’ll be very useful contacts in the future. Listen to what they have to say about the accident.
Exchange Information with the Other Party
Focus on the other car and check for markings on the truck. See if the truck company’s name is indicated in the body of the vehicle. If you’re found to have been injured due to the driver’s negligence, you may be qualified to file for a personal injury claim.
But before this could take place, get the other driver’s complete details as well as the information on the truck. Write down and take photos of the driver’s name and contact numbers, license details, insurance provider’s information, as well as the vehicle registration number, and company details.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Let your vehicle insurance provider know about the accident and ask how you can initiate the claims process. Ask about the necessary documents needed, and let the representative walk you through the procedure.
Seek an Appointment with an Attorney
If you think you can pursue a personal injury claim against the other party, consult with a personal injury lawyer. Apart from providing you with sound legal advice, an attorney can also represent you in court and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Getting involved in a truck accident is no joke. Physical injuries and a disfigured vehicle all cost money, not to mention the potential physical and mental anguish and trauma involved. Apart from following the road rules, knowing what to do in case of a traffic accident is critical in reducing the burden of truck accidents.