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Truck Accident Claims: 6 Necessary Steps To Take After A Collision

11th January 2011
By dru-man in Accident claims
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Driving our nation's big rigs is a huge responsibility for the men and women behind the wheel—both because they do so much to keep our nation moving like clockwork but also because their job when sitting in that cab is just as much about keeping other drivers safe as it is about transporting materials. Unfortunately, whether owed up to negligence on the driver's behalf, a mistake by another driver, weather conditions, or sheer dumb luck, accidents do happen from time to time. And the results can be horrendous. If you are involved in a truck crash, as the driver of the truck or another vehicle involved, it's important to take action immediately. Here are 6 steps.

1. After a collision, you first need to assess the damage of the scene and immediately determine if the truck and other vehicles involved can be moved. If there are severely injured passengers or drivers—or if all vehicles are rendered incapable—it may be a bad idea to move anyone or anything, but the danger of more traffic coming along and making matters worse is extremely real. In addition, if the accident causes gridlock, it can become impossible for emergency personnel to make it to the scene, which can become a deciding factor between life and death in critical cases.

So, if you can move the truck and other vehicles, do so. Never leave the scene without speaking with authorities, but at least try to pull off to the side of the road and out of harm's way. If that is not a possibility, try to find a way to divert one lane of traffic around the scene of the accident to allow other vehicles to keep moving and prevent a huge traffic jam.

2. Get in touch with the authorities. It's always important to have them come in, even when there are no people injured, because the opinion of authorities is crucial if a case is made. Not to mention that they deal with this stuff on a regular basis, while for most drivers it is a first time occurrence. In a trucking accident, speaking with the authorities is all the more important, and you must make sure they get your statement.

3. Contact a trucking accident attorney immediately. Make sure that you have the advice of an expert on your side when something like this happens, and in fact, it's always a good idea to have a good lawyer's number on file. If you yourself are a truck driver, it is crucial to have someone who specializes specifically in truck collisions because it is a reality of the industry.

4. Get visual evidence as well. Take photographs or shoot videos, depending on the technology on hand, and record any details you can, no matter how vague or unimportant they seem. If you are injured and cannot do this on your own, try to ensure someone else does. Also, take notes about things you don't want to forget later.

5. While you're at it, get the contact information for all parties involved, as well as witnesses. Never admit guilt or present your theories on what happened—no matter what your opinion is. A judgment call is not for you to make, but the words that come out of your mouth in this moment can hurt you when it comes down to sorting it all out, so no matter who was at fault, keep it to yourself.

6. Finally, call your insurance provider. Do not dwell on it for a few days—call them right away! Your lawyer may give you some basic tips on what to say to them, but taking too long to call can have serious repercussions on your claim.

A heavy rig is a dangerous automobile when it loses control, and many people are either so shocked by what has happened or so grateful to be alive that the last thing on their mind is how to properly proceed. But no matter what side you're on—meaning behind the wheel of the rig or victimized by it—the way you carry on from here can make all the difference between serous financial or legal issues in the future. So get these 6 steps out of the way before anything else, so you can move on with your life the right way.


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