Commercial truck accidents are traumatic events. You do not wish to ever be involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, a construction vehicle, bobtail truck, cement mixer or any other commercial truck. Because of their size and weight, a collision with such a truck can cause severe personal injury, property damage and in the worst cases, death.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, there are a number of steps you should take immediately afterward. Often, injured drivers or passengers fail to act responsibly at the scene of the accident, costing them their compensation claims or even worse, committing an offense. Following these steps keenly could just be the difference between a worthwhile case and a worthless case. Talk to a Texas commercial truck accident lawyer to find out more.
What to Do When You are Involved in an Accident with a Commercial Truck
The Texas Transportation Code requires certain things of drivers involved in car accidents, including commercial truck accidents:
1. Stop at the scene of the accident
Do not flee from the scene. Doing so will be a criminal offense if the accident resulted in serious bodily injury or death. You should immediately stop at the scene of the accident. If you had driven off, you should return to the scene of the accident.
Make sure you do not stop in a way that obstructs traffic. Stay as reasonably off the road as possible.
2. Call the police
It is absolutely critical that you call 911 after an accident, especially one involving a commercial truck. A police report will provide a detailed explanation of the accident and serves as crucial evidence when filing an insurance claim or during trial.
3. Check to see whether anyone is injured
Check the driver of the other vehicle or large truck to see whether they are injured. If there were passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident, confirm their state of health. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance or, if possible, arrange a way for them to be rushed to hospital.
4. Exchange details with driver
Get the truck driver’s details including the name, address, contacts, driver’s license details and insurance information. Do not discuss the accident, especially details pertaining to who was at fault. Do not admit liability. Do not play down your injuries. Do not play down your car’s or bike’s damage. These may harm your future claim. Stick to exchanging contact details.
5. Take photos of the scene
Using a camera or even your own phone, photograph the scene. Capture the accident site, the condition of the road, traffic signs present, both cars’ license plates and any visible skid marks. Also capture any injuries you have suffered. The best time to do this is after the accident, before the cars are moved.
6. Get witness information
Did anyone witness the accident? Get their contact information. They may just testify in your favor in case of trial.
7. Seek medical care
Even if you think you are okay. Sometimes, injuries do not manifest until days later. A physician’s report after an accident is evidence of the physical toll the accident took on you or your passenger. If you do not seek medical care, an insurer can claim injuries occurring later were not as a result of the accident.
8. Notify your insurer
You want to do so within 24 hours after the accident. Inform them of the accident. In some instances, the other party’s insurer will call you for a recorded statement. Do not talk or record a statement with the other party’s insurer without first speaking to a lawyer.
In fact, it would be best to first contact a Texas truck accident lawyer before talking to any insurer. While an insurer is focused on the bottom line, your attorney is looking after your best interests. If you’ve been injured in a commercial trucking accident and have questions about your rights, schedule a consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer.