Out of all the types of accidents that can occur on a road or highway, probably none is more frightening than the prospect of a commercial truck colliding with a passenger vehicle. The truck is so much more massive than the car, van, or SUV that it plows into, the chances of passengers walking away from this collision unscathed are usually pretty small.
It’s important to know what to do in this situation. If you ever find yourself the victim in a truck accident like this, there are several steps to take, not the least of which is finding the right truck accident attorney.
Here is what you need to do:
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Assess Your Safety
As with any accident, the first thing you need to do is make sure you and your passengers are all right. This is important because you need to know who can be moved and who should stay put until an ambulance arrives. Assess yourself first, so then you can be of more use to those around you. Are you badly hurt? Bleeding? Do you have any broken bones? Answering “yes” to any of these questions means that, unless you are in immediate danger from a fire or some other threat, you should consider staying put until emergency personnel arrives. You do not want to risk aggravating an injury!
If you are okay to move, ask the same questions as your passengers. If anyone is seriously injured, it’s best for them to wait. Otherwise, you can all exit the vehicle to take stock of the scene around you.
While you are at the scene and waiting on the police and other responders to arrive, go ahead and start taking pictures. With how common smartphones and cameras are, you can be sure that pretty much everyone will be doing the same thing, but you want to make sure you have clear, high-quality pictures of your own. Chances are you will need to use these photos later on, so the earlier you can start gathering information, the better. Make sure to take pictures of your vehicle, the entire scene, the truck that hit you, any injuries that have been sustained, and any other important information like insurance cards. You might even ask nearby witnesses if you can take their pictures.
Don’t Say Too Much
At this time you’ll most likely be talking to the driver of the truck and other people. Sharing information at this stage is important, but just make sure you avoid saying too much. Humans have a natural tendency to try and smooth over a situation, but words like that can actually be used against you later if it sounds like you are in any way taking the blame for what happened. Stick to the facts, be calm, and don’t offer too much information.
Talk to the Police
Of course, the police will ask you many questions, and you’ll want to talk to them in more detail. The most important thing to remember here is that it is vital that you state all of the facts pertaining to the accident without offering any sort of speculation whatsoever. Present the facts and let the police do their job. Offering emotional or speculative information can often backfire on a victim when it turns out that what they think happened isn’t exactly the same as what did happen. Inconsistencies are often a good way to get cases thrown out, so just stick to the facts as you know them!
Find an Attorney
After you return home, the next step is to find a highly qualified truck accident lawyer. If you are a victim, then you will need representation; it’s as simple as that. Finding the right lawyer quickly will help save you precious time as you start to build a case. While finding the right lawyer can take a while, The Jones Firm is ready to listen to your case and begin forming a plan to protect you during this difficult time.
In addition to the pictures you took earlier, you will also want to gather other types of documents. Maybe there was a traffic camera where the accident took place; that footage could be very valuable. The driver of the truck most likely kept a log, that information could be very helpful. There are many types of documents that might be helpful, having an attorney on your side at this stage is helpful because they will know what sorts of information can help, and more importantly how to get their hands on it.
If you’ve been injured or involved in a truck accident like this, time is precious you don’t want to wait before you start to build a case. Time is so important, contact us today to get the ball rolling so we can start building your case.