Due to the size and mass difference between a passenger vehicle and a truck, truck accidents tend to be more severe in damages and injuries. Anytime you are involved in an accident, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company, but it’s important to follow certain steps in order to help your claim and get the maximum compensation that you deserve for your losses.
Truck Driver Accident Checklist
1. Immediately After the Accident
As soon as you feel the impact, check to see if you are blocking traffic or are at risk of getting hit by another vehicle. If you are, then carefully move to the side of the road or the shoulder. Next, evaluate yourself and any passengers in your car for injuries. Then you should check on anyone else who may have been involved, such as the truck driver or pedestrians. Immediately call 911 and let the operator know where you are, what happened, and how many people are injured.
If your phone was damaged during the crash or you are unable to make the phone call yourself, you should ask a bystander or the truck driver to call for help. You can also use their phone to call a friend or family member who can offer assistance, such as taking pictures. More on that later.
2. Exchange Information
Next, you and the truck driver will need to exchange your names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and auto insurance information. You both can present your valid driver’s license to each other if either one asks. If there have been any injured victims, whether in your vehicle or pedestrians, then you will need their contact information as well. Additionally, you should get the contact information for any accident witnesses since their testimony could be useful later on.
When the police arrive, they will ask you for a statement. You should tell them what you recall immediately leading up to the accident, how many impacts you felt, and what happened immediately afterward. Details you provide should include the sounds you heard and what you saw, but don’t try to estimate how fast the other driver was going or provide any speculation.
3. Take Photos At The Scene of the Accident
The ubiquity of cell phone use makes it easier than ever to capture videos and photos of the accident scene. You should take photos that include the street name, if possible, and any factors that may have contributed to your accident, such as construction. Close-up photos can detail your injuries and damage to specific parts of your vehicle or personal property. Be sure to include a photo of the license plates.
4. Get Medical Help
Always accept medical help when offered, even if you were lucky enough to only experience minor injuries. Due to the flight or fight response of the nervous system, you may not feel your injuries, but a doctor can diagnose them before you feel them. Trucking accidents usually lead to severe injuries that will require extensive medical care, so you will need to speak to an attorney about compensation for your medical expenses.
5. Call An Attorney
New Jersey truck accident lawyers help injured victims get the compensation they deserve for their losses and will stand up to the insurance companies. The trucking industry is heavily regulated to protect road users, but if those regulations aren’t followed properly, then people can get injured. Your attorney will investigate your case and compare the actions and decisions of the driver or trucking company with the regulatory guidelines.