What To Do After A Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident, the first and most important thing to do is to make sure that you and your passengers or fellow riders are safe, and to get to a location sheltered from oncoming traffic as quickly as possible. This could be the side of the road, a median strip, or the breakdown lane. If you are unable to move, or one of your passengers is severely injured and can not be moved, be sure that the authorities are notified as quickly as possible so that medical attention will be there soon. Once you are certain that you are safe (if you are in the physical condition to do this), you can then start moving down the list of next steps.
Keep in mind that if you are injured beyond the ability to take care of yourself, please do not cause yourself additional harm or injury by trying to work through your pain. STAY PUT until EMTs arrive, and allow them to handle you properly so you do not cause any further injury or permanent damage.
Get To a Safe Place
As mentioned above, make sure that you are in a safe place if you are able to. If you are mobile and able to get out of your car after an accident, you may be in a shock and forget that you are standing in a dangerous area. Move to the side of the road, away from the vehicle, and make sure that your passengers are safe as well.
Contact The Authorities
If you are able to, call 911 immediately and let them know there has been an accident, and inform them of any injuries that you are aware of. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2016 report on Large Truck and Bus Crashes, “Approximately 61 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas,” meaning that it might be up to someone involved in the crash to contact police and medical help if there are not other drivers around to report the incident.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have sustained any injuries at all, no matter how trivial, it is important that you seek medical attention. In fact, you may want to meet with a doctor even if you believe that you are not injured. Part of the reason for this is, obviously, that you want to ensure you do not have any injuries that will become worse without attention, but additionally because it is important that you establish medical documentation. In many cases following an accident, the insurance company will point out that it is impossible to prove that the injury was a result of the accident if there was no immediate medical contact. Therefore, it is important that you have initial contact with your doctor as soon as possible.
Gather All Relevant Information
As soon as you can, begin to collect all of the relevant information to your accident. This can include eyewitness accounts, police reports, medical records, arrest records if applicable, insurance statements, and anything else that will help paint a full picture of the situation. Whether or not you choose to seek personal injury damages, the insurance companies will require extensive documentation if you are requesting any compensation beyond simple repair or replacement costs of your vehicle.
When you are in an accident with a CDL-licensed driver, there will be additional paperwork and documentation available as well, since they are required to keep extensive logs of their travels. This information provides a lot more insight into the situation, but can additionally complicate the claims process because of the additional information and regulations that must be addressed.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Understand that dealing with the claims process following a truck accident is complicated and confusing. What would be a simple claims process for an accident between two non-commercial vehicles can become drawn out and complex because of the regulations for commercial truck drivers. Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers at Friedland and Associates as soon as possible in order to get assistance during this process.