Any car accident is terrifying, but an accident that involves a commercial truck can be even more so. Not only can the damages and injuries be far more serious because of the weight of the vehicle, you will be dealing with many more parties than a typical car accident. If you are in an accident with a truck, here are seven things to do right away:
- Get to safety and stay put
You should always do your best to get to a safe place on the road, but don’t leave the scene of the accident. If you can, try to pull over to the right side of the road. If you leave the scene, though, the accident will likely be considered a hit and run, which can have serious criminal charges attached.
- Get medical attention
The safety of everyone involved in an accident should be first priority. Check to make sure that you, your passengers and the truck driver are not injured. Get proper medical attention for everyone, even if that means calling an ambulance. Even if you feel okay, don’t refuse medical attention because some injuries have delayed symptoms.
- Call the police
You should always call the police in the case of an accident. This is the best way to protect yourself and ensure that the at-fault party is held responsible.
- Get evidence
Take pictures of the accident and get the information of potential witnesses to the accident. It’s important to have all the evidence supporting your claim as possible.
- Be careful of what you say
Though it may feel unnatural not to apologize for involvement in a harmful incident, that courtesy could mean that you take legal liability for the accident. It’s smart to only talk with your attorney, insurance company and the police about the accident. Don’t talk to the trucking insurance company without discussing with your lawyer first.
- Call your insurance company
Tell your insurance company about the accident as soon as you can, but don’t sign a settlement right away. Wait until you know the full extent of the damages and injuries involved.
- Call a lawyer
Especially when you are going up against the many parties involved in a commercial trucking accident, you need professional legal representation on your side. They will try to get you to admit fault or sign an early settlement, but that may mean that you are not getting the compensation that you need. Protect yourself by working with an experienced attorney.