What to Do After a Truck Accident: 10 StepsAugust 4, 2020
If You Know What to Do After a Wreck, You Can Protect Yourself & Your Recovery
When a truck accident happens, protect yourself and a potential claim for recovery by taking these key steps:
- Get to safety & call the police.
- Seek medical attention.
- Exchange driver & insurance information.
- Take pictures & videos.
- Only report the facts.
- Get witness information.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Keep everything.
- Contact a lawyer.
10 Steps to Take After a Truck Wreck
What you do after a truck accident can affect your physical and financial recovery. While it’s important to take as many of the following steps as possible in the aftermath of a truck wreck, medical attention should always be the priority when catastrophic and life-threatening injuries have been sustained.
Step 1: Get to safety & call the police.
If possible, get yourself out of the way of traffic. Call 911 after a serious accident or whenever there are moderate to serious injuries. If the crash is a fender bender, call the local non-emergency police number, which is:
- (713) 884-3131 in Houston
- (214) 744-4444 in Dallas
- (210) 207-7273 in San Antonio
Step 2: Seek medical attention.
Get emergency medical care for any serious injuries. If you don’t get medical attention at the scene, visit a doctor later even if you don’t feel badly hurt. Some injuries can take time to present symptoms. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can get on the path to a better prognosis.
Additionally, seeing a doctor means there will be official documentation, like diagnostic test results, lab work, and doctors’ notes. This can all be crucial to proving the extent of the injuries and suffering.
Step 3: Exchange driver & insurance information.
Record the name(s) and contact information of all other involved parties. Also, be sure to get their:
- Driver’s license numbers
- Auto insurance information
- Vehicle make(s), model(s), and license plate number(s)
- Vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
Step 4: Take pictures & videos.
Snap photos and/or videos of as much of the vehicles, wreckage, and scene as possible. Also, do your best to capture details like (but not limited to):
- The damage
- The surrounding features
- The road conditions
- The weather conditions
- The involved parties
Photos and videos may serve as helpful evidence when it’s time to establish fault.
Step 5: Only report the facts.
This means only the facts that you are absolutely sure of, and it applies whenever you may be speaking to police, others at the scene, and insurance companies. If you don’t know something, say you don’t know or no comment. And never apologize or admit blame.
Step 6: Get witness information.
If possible, collect the name(s) and contact information for any witness(es) to the wreck. If you notice any surveillance cameras at nearby buildings or storefronts, take note of those as well.
Step 7: Get a copy of the police report.
This report can contain a number of key details that may help prove liability for a crash. Some of these details may include:
- The officer’s observations of each involved party
- What each involved party said and how they appeared after the crash
- Whether any involved party was tested for alcohol or drugs and, if so, the results of that testing
- Whether any involved party was issued a citation or was arrested after the wreck
Step 8: Report the accident to your insurance company.
This should be done as soon as reasonably possible after you leave the scene of the accident. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for auto insurance policies to set strict deadlines for reporting accidents. Missing these deadlines could cause challenges or problems when it’s time to file a claim later.
Step 9: Keep everything.
From the items and information you collect at the scene of the wreck to doctors’ bills, insurance company correspondence, and beyond, keep it ALL. You never know what items will be essential to proving fault and establishing the value of a case—and you don’t want to sabotage your rights to recovery by losing or tossing out key evidence.
Step 10: Contact a truck wreck attorney.
An attorney can explain your rights and legal options and:
- Initiate your claim
- Deal with insurance companies on your behalf
- Advocate and protect your rights in and outside the courtroom
- Set your case up for success