5 Things to Do If You Are in An Accident with A Commercial Vehicle
An accident with a large semi-truck, bus or another commercial vehicle can result in serious injuries. Occupants of a passenger vehicle are far more vulnerable to catastrophic injuries when the accident involves a commercial vehicle.
A fully loaded big rig truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and the sheer force of a collision with this type vehicle even at a moderate speed can have devastating consequences for the victims.
To protect your own health as well as your right to obtain damages from the other party, it is vital for you to take some steps immediately after a crash with a commercial vehicle. Here are five important things to do following an accident with a commercial vehicle:
Focus on Your Safety and Help Other Injured Occupants
Your first priority after an accident with a commercial vehicle must be to ensure that you and/or any other injured victims receive emergency medical attention. Provided your medical condition allows you to make a call, reach for your cell phone and call 911 to ask for an ambulance.
The mental shock that you may experience in the aftermath of a serious accident can sometimes mask pain or injuries. So, even if your first thought is that you are feeling fine, be on the safe side and call for medical assistance. In these types of accidents, it is common that your symptoms may begin to develop several hours or even days after the incident.
Make the Accident Site as Safe as You can
After you have called for medical help, you should focus on securing the scene of accident as much as possible until the first responders arrive. If possible, move your car away from the traffic, preferably to a roadside where you are not in the way of oncoming vehicles.
Switch on the hazard lights, and set up flashers, cones, or flares to alert other drivers on the road about the accident site ahead. Do not leave the scene of accident and wait for the paramedics to arrive and check on you for injuries. This will also ensure that your accident gets properly reported by the police. Leave the accident site only when the police or the first responders tell you to do so.
Exchange Key Information with the Truck Driver
Keep calm and exchange important information with the commercial vehicle driver and any other parties involved in the crash. Do not speculate, apologize or admit fault in any way as to why the crash occurred. If there are any eyewitnesses around, obtain their name and contact details as well. Make notes about the accident scene as well as any remarks made by the eyewitnesses.
Obtain the following pertinent information about the commercial vehicle driver:
- The driver’s name, address and phone number
- The driver’s license number
- The driver’s insurance information
- Name and address of the truck company (the driver’s employer)
- US DOT serial number (in case it is available)
- Any identifying signs or marks on the commercial vehicle
Use Your Phone to Record Images/Videos/Audio
The strongest opportunity to collect evidence of your accident with a commercial vehicle exists at the crash site right after the accident. You may not know it, but the accident scene will have evidence that can prove that another’s negligence may have caused your injuries.
Therefore, take photographs and videos of the injuries that your and/or others may have sustained, as well as photos or videos of the vehicles involved, surrounding area, landmarks, intersections, skid marks or any other telltale signs of the incident.
You may not have a pen or paper, or it may be dark, or your hand may be hurting. So, to record your account of the sequence of events, you may use the audio record option in your smartphone. Courts will pay maximum attention to all types of evidence that was collected immediately after the accident.
Speak to an Experienced Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
At the first opportunity after you have received medical attention, get in touch with a seasoned truck accident attorney. Remember that trucking companies and their insurance providers will be adequately prepared to defend themselves in order to minimize their damages. They will use every tactic in their playbook to avoid liability or deprive you of your rightful compensation as far as possible.
When you have a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer by your side, your ability to negotiate will exponentially increase. Our dedicated truck accident lawyers at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, Ltd. in Virginia will create a strong legal strategy to hold the at-fault parties accountable and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
If the accident occurred in Virginia, contact our skilled truck accident attorneys as soon as possible for a free, no obligation review of your claim. We will help you determine which party is at fault for your accident and is liable for the injuries and losses you suffered. Call us at 434.977.7977 for a consultation or contact us online.