Truck Accident Victims: What to Do at the Scene
In many ways, learning how to handle traffic accidents is just as important as learning how to operate a vehicle. Even though a car crash is an uncommon event for most drivers, lives may be at stake and legal issues can make a difference to the ability to pay for injuries and other damages. When a large commercial semi-truck is involved, injuries become more severe even as the legal issues become more complex. Our Charlotte truck accident attorneys recommend that drivers keep accident-handling tips available in their vehicles so all occupants can refer to them when needed.
Start With the Basics
Regardless of what types of vehicles are involved in a car accident, one 911 call gets police on the scene to file an accident report and emergency workers to help ensure injuries and other emergency situations are assessed and addressed immediately. Nothing is more important than this call.
The next cardinal rule is to avoid admitting fault. Accordingly, you should confine all conversations — including those with occupants of your own vehicle — to the business at hand. By all means, provide accurate information to police, but you do not have to accept the blame, particularly when the confusion from the accident makes these issues unclear.
Finally, start collecting information from participants and witnesses, as well as evidence from the accident scene. Edmunds.com explains that it is important to capture pictures of the full context of the accident scene in addition to the damage to all vehicles and injuries.
Truck Accident Victims Should Take Additional Steps
Accident victims should always assume that an accident with an 18-wheeler will put them against a large trucking company with a team of powerful lawyers ready to protect their legal interests. It is important to take extra precautions to level the playing field when seeking justice for this type of claim. The following additional steps can make a difference to any case:
- Seek experienced legal support as soon as possible: Evidence from the accident scene deteriorates very quickly, but a skilled trucking accident attorney has investigative resources that may be able to get to the site before it is wiped clean of evidence. These investigators can also examine damage from all vehicles, which can provide forensic evidence to clarify what happened.
- Capture information about the trucking company: Write down information from the truck, looking specifically for information pertaining to the trucking company. Accident attorneys use this information to look into the company’s background, which may show a history of flouting federal trucking statutes, or numerous recent accidents.
- Avoid contact with trucking company representatives: There will be an appropriate time to make official statements to the truck company insurers or other representatives. However, if anyone makes contact, victims should refer them to their attorneys. A legal advocate will advise when and how these conversations should occur.
Serious Accidents Require Serious Legal Support
Every moment that trucks drive on the road involves complexities and safety issues that do not apply to smaller vehicles. These issues put other motorists at risk every day, but without knowledgeable legal representation, truckers may not be held fully liable for the severe injuries caused in an accident. Before filing a claim, schedule a free initial consultation by calling us at 800-948-0577, or use our convenient online contact form.