What To Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident
A car accident is something that can have consequences for years to come, or just be an added stress factor, if you're lucky. The best thing is to avoid an accident altogether; however, for thousands of people in the United States each year, avoiding the accident simply isn't possible. Knowing your legal rights following an auto accident is essential to getting compensated, and there are several things to do afterward that will help other parties, such as a truck accident lawyer, win your case.
Car accidents involving trucks can have dire consequences, because a truck is so much larger and heavier than an automobile. For any driver, it is important to have a plan in case the unthinkable does happen. Cell phones should always be available when driving, and an emergency kit should include a pen and paper, disposable camera, and any information about personal allergies or medical conditions in case you are too injured to convey those details. These things and also a flashlight can be kept in the glove compartment. It's also a good idea to have your own traffic cones or emergency flares in the trunk.
After an accident has happened, safety is a primary concern. It is first important to move the car to the side of the road if possible. If it cannot be moved and you are not seriously injured, then turn on hazard lights and put out cones, flares, or warning signs if you have them. All involved parties should then exchange important details, such as their name and address as well as insurance information, driver's license and license plate numbers, and phone numbers. A description of each car or truck should be written down as well including information on how the collision took place.
The camera comes in handy next, because you can use it to document what kind of damage each vehicle sustained. Witness accounts are important as well, if they are available, but the photos need to show just what happened so claims adjusters or a truck accident lawyer can better handle a case. For insurance purposes, it is then important to file an accident report with the police, even if the police didn't respond to the incident, and it is important for the insurance company to always be involved, even if the other driver agrees to pay for the damages.
If the accident involved a truck, photographs are even more important for disclosing clues such as if the truck was overloaded or there were structural deficiencies. Experts who specialize in truck accidents can piece together the incident using these photos. In addition, truck drivers keep logs of maintenance and repairs, as well as of their work and rest time. This might be more accessible to an investigator, but you want to make sure these details are reviewed. Common causes for truck accidents include overloads, improper maintenance and faulty parts, and driver fatigue; information about these factors can help a truck accident lawyer present the case in your favor.
Philip Reed, "What to Do After a Car Accident", Updated: May 5, 2009, http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/what-to-do-after-a-car-accident.html (accessed March 15, 2011).
Sherrie Bennett, "Trucking Accidents", http://personal-injury.lawyers.com/trucking-accidents/Trucking-Accidents.html (accessed March 15, 2011).
Trucking Info, "Trucking Statistics", http://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm (accessed March 15, 2011).