As a truck driver, being involved in a collision can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It’s important to know what to do in the event of an accident to ensure the safety of all parties involved, and to protect yourself from potential legal and financial consequences if the accident was out of your control.
It’s important to know how to navigate the complexity of a collision for everyone’s safety, well-being, and for the purpose of reporting the accident’s details accurately. Here’s some information on truck accidents and the steps to follow if you are involved in a collision as a truck driver.
How Common Is A Truck Collision In America?
Truck collisions are unfortunately not uncommon in America. The National Safety Council (NSC) has reported that large-truck involvement in crashes that include injuries have been over 100,000 per year since 2016. The graph below shows the incremental increase in injury-related collisions over the years:
While these statistics are concerning, it’s important to note that many factors can contribute to truck collisions, including driver error, vehicle maintenance issues, weather conditions, and more. It’s important for truck and car drivers alike to exercise caution and follow traffic laws to help prevent accidents on the road.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
Here, we will outline the steps that truck drivers should take after a truck accident, including immediate safety measures, reporting the accident to the appropriate authorities, and seeking legal advice if necessary. By following these guidelines, truck drivers can minimize the impact of a truck accident on their health, finances, and future career prospects.
Stop Your Vehicle and Stay Calm
The first thing you should do if you are involved in a collision is to stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. Turn on your hazards and put out warning devices (such as reflective triangles) to alert other drivers that an accident has occurred. It’s important to stay calm and composed in this situation, as it will help you to think clearly and make rational decisions, especially due to the likelihood that the passengers of the other vehicles involved will be significantly more injured.
Seek Immediate Medical Assistance
Once you have stopped your vehicle, check yourself and any passengers in your truck for injuries. The accident lawyers at Shaw Cowart insist that you call for medical assistance immediately, regardless of the severity of the injuries you can see or feel. Your body is often in a state of shock, so the extent of your injuries can’t be fully assessed or acknowledged. If you are seriously injured, do not move and wait for medical professionals to arrive. It is important to prioritize the safety and well-being of everyone involved in the accident, yourself included.
Call the police
Even if the collision is minor, it is important to call the police to report the accident. The police will come to the scene and assess the situation, and file a report. Reporting an accident to the police creates an official record of the incident, which can be important for insurance and legal purposes. This record can be used to establish fault or liability for the accident, and to document any damage or injuries that occurred as a result. Be sure to give accurate and truthful information to the police, and answer any questions they may have.
Exchange information with the other driver(s)
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the collision. This information should include the driver’s name, address, phone number, and insurance information. You should also obtain the license plate number, make and model of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident.
Gathering evidence as a truck driver is crucial. Because you drive the bigger and more dangerous vehicle, a lack of evidence can leave a lot of room to assume the fault lies with you. Take photos of the scene of the accident, including any damage to your truck and the other vehicle(s) involved in the collision. You should also take photos of any injuries sustained by yourself or any passengers in your truck. Gather any witness statements and their contact information if possible. If your truck has a dash cam, this can serve as your best piece of evidence. While dash cams have grown in popularity for many commercial trucks, not all are integrating video technology, so liability, in many cases, is determined based on statements from witnesses and those involved.
Contact your employer and insurance company
Notify your employer and insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Your employer may have specific policies and procedures that you need to follow in the event of an accident, and your insurance company will need to be informed of the collision to initiate the claims process.
Follow up with medical treatment and document your injuries
If you or any passengers in your truck were injured in the collision, it is important to seek medical treatment and document your injuries. Keep copies of all medical records, bills, and receipts related to your treatment. This information will be important in any insurance claims or legal proceedings related to the accident.
Cooperate with the investigation
If the accident is investigated by the police or other authorities, be sure to cooperate fully with the investigation. Answer any questions truthfully and provide any additional information or evidence that may be requested.
Seek legal advice if necessary
If you are facing legal or financial consequences as a result of the accident, seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. Truck accident attorneys at Hanson & Mouri note that legal intervention can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights much better than you could on your own.
In conclusion, being involved in a collision as a truck driver can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, by following these steps, you can ensure the safety of everyone involved in the accident and protect yourself from potential legal and financial consequences. Remember to stay calm, prioritize the well-being of those involved in the collision, and document all information related to the accident.