Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
With trucks weighing 20 to 30 times as much as cars, it’s no surprise that when they’re involved in crashes, the results can be serious. According to the National Safety Council, large trucks account for 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes, even though they make up only 4 percent of registered vehicles. There just aren’t many minor accidents when it comes to tractor-trailers.
Truck accidents are also complex from a legal perspective. Fatalities and severe injuries make truck accidents expensive for insurers, so it’s not uncommon for truck companies to deny fault or otherwise attempt to cover up what actually happened. That’s why it’s important to understand what steps to take after a truck crash.
Call 911 and request medical help. After a truck crash, call 911 and explain that you’ve been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, box truck or other large vehicle. You’ll want authorities to secure the crash site, document the scene and get you the medical attention you or your passengers need. Even if you don’t feel badly hurt, you’ll want to receive medical attention in case your injuries worsen.
Stay safe on the scene. It’s a good idea to document the wreck after most crashes, photographing the scene and speaking to witnesses. However, after a truck crash, your safety needs to be your priority. Never put your life at risk, especially when you’re on a busy highway. However, if it feels safe to do so and your injuries are not serious, take photographs of the immediate crash site and anything that may have led to the crash, like a blinking light or missing stop sign.
Gather personal information from the driver. Again, if it’s safe to do so and you’re physically able, request the name of the driver, his or her employer and insurance information.
Exchange contact information with any witnesses. If other drivers stop to check on the scene before authorities arrive, ask if they’d leave behind their name and contact information. While the highway shoulder won’t be the place for a chat, you may be able to later collect a statement from them, helping to support your account of the accident.
Consider your social media. If your crash is serious, there’s little doubt that the insurance company will be putting up a fight. Don’t give them material by discussing your accident on your social media accounts. Even tiny things—like saying you’re “feeling OK,” can be used against you if you try to later argue you were in serious pain.
Contact a Macon truck accident attorney. After a crash, you’ll need an experienced truck accident lawyer to get started on your case right away. Truck crashes sometimes involve more than one company. There may be a particularly complex discovery stage, requiring an attorney who knows where to look for problems in the company’s record keeping. Some cases even end up in federal court. But with high policy minimums, there’s also a lot to potentially recover—if you’re able to argue your case.
Personal Injury Attorney in Macon, Ga.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need a Macon truck crash lawyer with experience. The Macon personal injury attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.