Road traffic accidents are always frightening regardless of the types of vehicles involved in the collision. However, these accidents are infinitely more scary, confusing, and frustrating when a large vehicle like a commercial truck is involved. Truck accidents can cause more physical and property damage than regular car crashes and pose a greater risk of catastrophic physical injuries and even death.
If you were involved in a serious commercial truck accident, you should remember to follow some essential steps to safeguard your legal rights. While the confusion and trauma can make it difficult for you to focus on the legal implications, the hours and days immediately after the accident are crucial to protect your rights in case of a future lawsuit or insurance claim.
Stopping at the Scene
The first thing to do immediately after the accident is to stop at the scene. Regardless of the magnitude of the vehicular accident, you should never drive away from the scene of the accident because it carries a significant risk of a felony hit-and-run charge.
Calling 911 and asking for emergency medical assistance and the police is one of the most important steps to follow after a truck accident. Informing the local law enforcement is essential to create an official record of the accident and determine the party responsible for the accident.
Checking for Injuries
After stopping and calling 911, you should check yourself and any passengers in your car for visible signs of injury or bleeding. It is better to get them out of any immediate danger and wait patiently for the emergency medical services to reach the site of the accident.
After the accident, you should park your vehicle on the side of the road away from the oncoming traffic in a safe and secure spot. It is also advisable to turn on the hazard lights of your vehicle and bring out the emergency flares to slow down the traffic.
It is essential to exchange your personal and insurance information with the truck driver after the accident. Both drivers should exchange their full names, contact details, driver’s license, insurance provider and policy number, vehicular details (license plate number, vehicular make, and model), etc. The exchange of personal information is a prerequisite for all future legal and insurance proceedings related to the accident.
Documenting the Accident
If you were unharmed during the accident, it is advisable to use your smartphone to document the scene of the accident. You should take photos of any physical injury, damage to the car, and site of the accident. You should also try to talk to eyewitnesses and obtain audio recordings of their narration of the accident.
It is also advisable to obtain a copy of the official police report and note down the names and badge numbers of the police officers who responded to the 911 call and approached the site of the accident.
Contacting the Insurance Company
After you receive medical attention for your injuries, you should contact your insurance provider and notify them of the accident. The insurance provider will inform you about the documents required to file and process your insurance claim. Remember to not hand over any medical records before talking to a lawyer.
Hiring an Attorney
After a commercial truck accident, hiring a knowledgeable attorney is very important to protect your legal rights. You can contact the team of highly experienced truck accident lawyers at Angel Reyes & Associates Law Firm, who will help guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit and help you obtain fair financial compensation for your damages.