A truck accident can result in very serious, life-changing, or life-threatening injuries. Even if you don’t see any apparent damage to your body, it’s possible that you or your passengers sustained internal injuries which can’t be seen but would need medical attention. You should know what to do after getting into such an accident.
Here are some initial considerations:
1. Check For Injuries First
The first thing you should do after getting into a truck accident is to check yourself for injuries. Inspect thoroughly if you’ve been wounded and whether you’re bleeding. If you don’t have any wounds, try to feel whether you’ve broken your arms, elbows, shins, ribs, or other bones.
If you’re conscious enough, check on your passengers if you have any. See if they were gravely affected or not. If you’re not feeling well yourself, try to contact the nearest hospital or ambulance service.
Here are some of the most common truck accident injuries:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations, cuts, gashes, and wounds
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Intestinal and abdominal injuries
- Seatbelt and airbag injuries
Even if you think you didn’t get hurt, seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible because you might have suffered injuries that aren’t physically observable. If you do end up requiring medical attention or being admitted to the hospital, inform the attending physician that you figured in a truck accident.
Ask for an official medical report which could be useful should you need to sue the party at fault. You need to do this before the state of your injuries could be ruled out as not having been caused by the truck accident. There’s an identified period for such damages to be recognized in this manner.
2. Call The Police
The next thing you need to do after getting into a truck accident is to call the police. Don’t take matters into your own hands. You don’t know yet what happened to the other party. You don’t know how they’ll react.
In most instances, you’ll be dealing with 911. They’ll most likely route your call to the local law enforcement agency. Tell them how many people are involved so they can send as many emergency responders as needed.
Ask for a police report even if you think the accident is minor. A police report is good to have because the court will give weight to it should the incident lead to a court case. They are generally reliable sources of the narratives, statements, allegations, and claims of the parties involved.
3. Gather And Document Evidence
If you’re well enough after the accident, gather as much evidence about the accident as you can. Do this only if you didn’t sustain any serious injuries and you deem it safe to step out of your car to see what happened. If you or any of your passengers were injured, getting treatment is your priority.
If you’re able to, gather as much evidence and documentation as you can about the accident. Take pictures of the positions and state of the vehicles involved in the collision. You can also snap photos of the immediate surroundings to set the proper context of the accident area. For instance, take photos of the road whether it’s slippery or not, or document the presence or absence of nearby stoplights and road signs.
Here are some of the relevant information which you should get if you can:
- The personal details and contact information of all drivers involved, such as full name, home address, phone number, and email address, as well as any pedestrians involved or injured
- The insurance provider and policy number of the other driver
- Contact information of the truck driver’s employer and the trucking company
- Information about the truck, such as the license plate number and additional identifying information
4. Get Contact Information Of Witnesses
Another thing to keep in mind is to get the contact information of anyone who saw the accident. They’re potential witnesses should you need to sue the other party. Don’t limit yourself to other drivers and passengers involved. Witnesses could be a bystander, people in a café or diner across the street, or drivers of vehicles in a nearby parking lot.
You don’t have to take statements from these potential witnesses because that’s police stuff. But if many people saw what happened, try to approach as many as you can. This is especially relevant if the accident occurred in a location where you’re just passing through.
Chances are high that you might not see these people again, so it would be hard to track them down. They might have valuable information to share or say in front of a jury. Remember that a vehicle accident is a potential lawsuit. Stay alert for any information which might prove helpful to your case should you need to file a suit.
Consider Calling A Truck Accident Lawyer
When it becomes apparent that you or some of your passengers have sustained injuries, it’s time you seriously consider contacting a truck accident lawyer.
Any damages to your person could be life-changing or life-threatening. It’s also inevitable that you’ll have to shell out a substantial amount of money for medical treatment. Know which steps to take after figuring in a truck accident, and find a lawyer specializing in such cases.