Accidents involving tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles are among the most devastating incidents on the road. Truck accidents often result in severe injuries, property damage, and emotional trauma.

In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, it can be difficult to make decisions or even think straight. However, the actions you take can have a lasting effect on your physical health and financial recovery.

In this article, we will outline some important things to do after a truck accident to ensure your well-being, protect your legal rights, and safeguard your financial interests.

Prioritize Safety

Your top priority immediately after a tractor-trailer accident should be your safety and the safety of others.

If possible, move to a safe location away from oncoming traffic. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and use warning triangles or flares to alert other motorists to the accident scene.

Call 911

You should always report any type of motor vehicle accident to the police. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were approximately 494,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2021.

After an accident, call 911 and let the dispatcher know that you were involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer. The dispatcher may ask about the accident’s severity and the number of vehicles involved so he or she knows how many police cars and ambulances to send to the scene.

The law enforcement officers who arrive at the scene will create an accident report of what happened. If possible, obtain a copy of the police report for your records. The accident report is important as it provides documentation of the crash.

Seek Medical Attention

Your health is a priority following a truck accident. Sadly, tractor-trailer accidents often leave victims with severe injuries.

Even if you don’t think you are hurt, it is important to have a medical professional evaluate you to ensure you don’t have any injuries. Whiplash, brain injuries, or other internal trauma may not manifest symptoms immediately but can worsen over time if left untreated.

Additionally, documenting your injuries and receiving medical treatment can strengthen your personal injury claim. If you don’t get medical attention right away, it can be more difficult to prove that your injuries are accident-related if you require medical treatment later on.

Document Everything

If you are badly injured, do not get out of your vehicle and try to walk around. However, take videos and pictures to document the accident scene if possible. This will provide visual evidence to support your car accident claim.

Take photos or videos of:

  • Property damage
  • Road and weather conditions
  • Debris in the road
  • Your injuries
  • Anything else that seems relevant to determining fault

Exchange Contact Information

While you are documenting the tractor-trailer accident scene, you should gather contact information from the involved parties and any witnesses to the crash.

The police officers who are called to the scene will usually try to gather witness statements. However, well-meaning bystanders may leave the accident scene if they feel the situation is under control.

If you are able to get the contact information of potential witnesses before they leave, your personal injury lawyer can contact them for official statements.

You may want to request the following information:

  • The truck driver’s name, address, and phone number
  • The truck driver’s license plate number
  • The truck driver’s insurance company and policy number
  • The name and phone number of the driver’s employer
  • The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of any witnesses to the tractor-trailer accident

Do Not Admit Fault

Understandably, your emotions may be running high after having a tractor-trailer crash into your vehicle. However, it is important to keep a cool head and be careful what you say even if you are feeling upset. You do not want to say something that could hurt your truck accident claim.

Do not admit fault or liability to anyone. Just stick to the facts when speaking to the police. The trucking company’s insurance company may try to contact you to get a recorded statement, but it is best to avoid speaking to them without an attorney.

Keep in mind that anything you say could be used against you during the claims process.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Just as with speaking to the police officers, provide your insurer with the necessary details, but refrain from discussing fault or liability.

Your tractor-trailer accident lawyer can communicate with the insurance company for you. Your lawyer will protect your rights and negotiate a fair settlement.

Avoid Posting on Social Media

It may be tempting to vent about the accident, your injuries, and the trucking company on social media. However, keep in mind that insurance companies and attorneys may look through your social media account searching for inconsistencies that can be used to discredit your truck accident claim.

Anything that you post online could potentially be used as evidence against you. For example, a simple statement on your social media account, such as, “I was in a tractor-trailer accident today, but don’t worry, I’m fine,” could be used to discredit your personal injury claim.

Consult a Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer

Regardless of the circumstances of your truck accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. He or she can investigate your case and take action to protect your legal rights.

Trucking companies and drivers are required to keep maintenance records, logbooks, data from electronic recording devices, and other documentation for a certain period of time. This information can provide valuable evidence to hold the trucking company and driver liable for damages. Such evidence could be lost if you put off hiring a truck accident attorney to investigate your case.

Speak With Our Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyers Today

Being involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer is traumatic and can have long-lasting impacts on your physical and emotional health. You do not have to navigate this difficult time alone. The tractor-trailer accident attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law are here to help.

Our compassionate and experienced legal team can guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. We will help you pursue compensation from all parties who caused or contributed to your accident and injuries.

The lawyers at our law firm understand the devastating effects a tractor-trailer accident can have on victims and their families. We care about our clients and are eager to make a difference in their lives. Contact us today for a free consultation at 732-888-8888 or complete the contact form.

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Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.