Being involved in a truck accident can be devastating, traumatic, and the aftermath difficult to manage. An Indiana personal injury lawyer can help you recover financial damages from these events, but there are several things you must do to protect yourself immediately after an accident occurs.
It’s important to know that the actions you take after a truck accident can have a significant impact on your chances of obtaining compensation, meaning you must take immediate action as soon as the accident occurs to protect yourself.
In this piece, we’ll explore what to do in a truck accident so you can give yourself the best possible chance of obtaining the maximum compensation and protecting yourself from losing out by failing to prove that the crash wasn’t your fault.
What to Do if You Are in a Truck Accident — 8 Steps
In the eight steps below, we’ll cover valuable tips relating to truck driver accident procedures. This guide should give you an idea of what steps to take, depending on the severity of any sustained injuries, to prove that an accident was not your fault and to ensure your personal injury lawyers have sufficient evidence to make a claim on your behalf.
#1. Remain Calm
The first step is not to panic. That’s tough after a truck accident, but the calmer you are, the safer your response to the crash will be. It’s important not to jeopardize your safety or the safety of anybody around you, and a clear head will allow you to take the next steps more easily.
If you need time to pull yourself together, that’s fine, but we should cover the next step before you do that – and that’s assessing your condition and the condition of those around you and calling the emergency services.
#2. Call 911
Call 911 immediately. You should ensure that both the police and the ambulance services are made aware of the crash.
The ambulance service will be able to respond to any medical emergencies, whether that’s individuals in your car or \other cars and trucks involved in the crash. Calling the police will also mean that any evidence relating to the crash can be quickly documented at the scene.
This is a key part of the commercial vehicle accident procedure as it leaves little to speculation and ensures the authorities know as much as possible.
#3. Seek Medical Treatment
Whether or not you think you have been injured in the accident, another important part of truck driver accident procedures is to seek medical attention. You may not notice an injury initially because of the adrenaline, but as time goes by, you may notice injuries and pain that need to be treated immediately after that.
The sooner you visit the doctor, the better. A medical professional will determine what caused the injuries, and you’ll have documentation to prove that it happened during the crash. This is essential for seeking damages when you recruit an Indiana injury lawyer.
#4. Try to Find Witnesses
Assuming you aren’t too injured immediately after an accident, you should scope out the area around you and collect witness statements from anybody around you who may have seen what happened. Be sure to ask for the contact information of those who say they witnessed it and who are willing to support you.
You should also be sure to point out these witnesses to the officer who arrives at the scene. If police officers have these witnesses documented, then it will further support your case.
#5. Document the Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
Indiana’s comparative faulty law means that more than one party can share the blame for a crash, meaning you’ll need to document as much evidence as you can – especially if you are confident that our actions in no way contributed to the crash.
You should document as much as possible at the scene. That means taking photographs of the car and your surroundings and obtaining witness statements. Be sure to get copies of photographs taken by other people and to see if you or anybody has video footage of the crash from a dashcam device.
#6. Know What to Say at the Scene
The things you say at the scene of an accident really matter, so do try and remember to keep your cool. While a truck accident can be an infuriating experience, especially if you or somebody else has been injured or your car has been damaged. No matter the circumstances, remember that getting angry or hostile will not help your case.
Remember not to apologize or admit fault or liability in a crash. It doesn’t matter whether you know you were at fault or not. We’re not saying you should lie, but we are saying you should let the evidence speak for itself.
Be mindful of what you say, keep calm, and collect evidence.
#7. Avoid Posting to Social Media
It might be tempting to post to social media, but more often than not, the photos, videos, and messages you post online immediately after an accident will hurt your case. Anything that may indicate your physical or emotional state after the accident could affect the case, and so could any assumptions you make at the time about how the accident happened.
Again, it’s important to let the evidence speak for itself, and anything you post online can be used in evidence. It’s better to take photographs, collect witness statements, and inform the emergency services and authorities.
If you’re involved in an accident, stay off social media or at least don’t post anything about it publicly.
#8. Complete a Preliminary Accident Report
A preliminary accident report helps you compile information easily after an accident. You should keep documents in your vehicle so that they are readily available, or at least remember the format so that you can create a report when it happens.
This is one of those truck accident reporting procedures that many people don’t think about, but it helps establish the facts. Your report should detail the time, date, location, and a general description of the accident. In addition, you should write down the estimated speed of the vehicles, the road and weather conditions, and any other information that seems relevant.
Also, draw a diagram of the accident, which includes the position of the vehicles and the directions in which they traveled.
Finally, be sure to include the names of the drivers, their driver’s license numbers, and the issuing states.
Contact an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer
Hopefully, this guide gives you a good idea of what to do if you’re in a truck accident. These steps will help enable you to gather the facts and protect yourself.
By following this guide, you’ll give your personal injury lawyer the tools and resources necessary to defend you and obtain maximum compensation – and Stracci Law Group is here to help.
To find out more about our Indiana personal injury services and how our seasoned legal experts can navigate the complex process of obtaining compensation or defending yourself in a truck accident, give us a call today at 219-525-1000.