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What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?

October 17, 2023 Legal Team
police motorcycle with a crashed car with the caption: "what to do at the scene of a truck accident"

Accidents are terrifying and traumatic. The aftermath of a truck accident is particularly chaotic and frightening, especially if you’ve experienced painful injuries or have injured loved ones with you. It’s difficult to keep a cool head during the trauma immediately following an accident involving a large commercial truck, but what you do during the minutes after a devastating truck accident can help protect your physical and financial recovery later. Knowing the steps to take after an accident not only ensures that help arrives at the scene, but also streamlines the process of collecting evidence of liability after the accident so you can recover compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering.

Steps to Take in the Aftermath of a Truck Accident

Truck accidents cause severe and even grave injuries with life-altering consequences. If you’ve been severely injured, you should do little other than wait in place for help to arrive. If you’re able to use your phone—or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you—it becomes an important tool for the following steps:

  • First, call 911 to report the accident and give reasonable aid and comfort to injury victims
  • Record a statement about what you remember about the accident—accident trauma can quickly fade memories
  • Don’t say anything that could be interpreted as admitting fault, such as saying “I’m sorry.”
  • Snap pictures of the damaged vehicles, including the truck
  • Take photos of the accident scene, including anything relevant like an intersection or traffic signs and signals
  • Take photos of your visible injuries
  • Add the contact information of other drivers, including the truck driver and the name of the trucking company
  • Add the contact information of eyewitnesses
  • Accept emergency transportation to the hospital

Once at the hospital, be sure to have a complete evaluation and tell the providers about all of your symptoms, even if they seem minor. Trauma can mask symptoms of serious injuries. Ask for a detailed medical report with your doctor’s treatment recommendations for your injury and your prognosis.

What to Do With Evidence Documented at the Scene of a Truck Accident

After the accident, the insurance provider of the trucking company or driver is likely to reach out to you with a quick settlement offer. These rarely work in your favor. Often they make a lowball settlement offer before you even know the full extent of your economic damages, like medical expenses and lost income. Don’t sign anything until you’ve hired a lawyer.

The photographic evidence and eyewitness information you collect at the accident scene are important, but you also have to know what to do with the evidence you’ve documented as you begin the recovery process. Gather your evidence, the police report of the accident, and your medical report. Then call an experienced accident attorney to represent you in your truck accident claim. During the claim process, avoid posting on social media and refer all communication with insurance companies to your attorney.

Large trucking companies have powerful insurance providers who prioritize profits over paying out on claims. If you’ve gathered evidence at the scene of the accident, your truck accident attorney in can craft a more compelling case for compensation for damages. At Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, our skilled attorneys specialize in truck accident claims. We know how to leverage evidence to build strong cases for our clients. Don’t face the complexities of a truck accident claim alone – contact our truck accident attorneys in Sarasota and Bradenton for dedicated legal support and protect your rights.