The scene of a truck accident can feel like chaos. After the collision, you’re likely in pain and possibly in shock. You might feel confused, angry at the other driver, or really shaken up about what just occurred. However, it’s important to remain as calm as possible. What you do at the scene of a truck accident can really help your personal injury claim.
If you were not fully at fault for the accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, vehicle damage, and more. To seek financial recovery, you will need to file an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company—and the burden will be on you to prove liability and your damages.
Everything you should do at the scene of a truck accident, as mentioned next, is about gathering evidence to show what happened, who was at fault, and how the collision impacted you.
Stop and Remain Calm
After an accident, make sure you actually stop and (if it’s safe to do so) pull your vehicle over. In Georgia, an accident is defined as a collision where someone is injured or killed or there is $500 or more in property damages (Georgia Code § 41-9-2). Since this describes most truck accidents, you should always stop.
If you can, move your vehicle away from traffic, put on your hazard lights, and be careful getting out of your vehicle. Then, take some deep breaths and just to remain as calm as you can.
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Call the Police
Once you’ve stopped, you should call 911 to reach the police department and report the accident. Not reporting an accident can be a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on the details of the accident.
Tell the police that you were in an accident and give them information about the location. Make sure everything you say is a fact, and do not admit any fault in the accident, even if you are worried you were partially responsible.
Get Information from the Other Driver
Police officers will likely respond to the scene of your accident, especially because truck accidents are often very serious. While you wait for the police to arrive, if you are well enough to do so, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Get the following information:
- Full names
- Phone number
- Insurance company and policy number
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Make and model of each vehicle
When you’re in an accident with a commercial truck driver, you should also get their employer’s name and contact information.
Get Any Necessary Medical Treatment (for Yourself and Others)
Injuries from truck accidents can be very severe and even life-threatening. Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are enormous vehicles that cause catastrophic damages during even minor collisions. So, do not overlook your injuries after a truck accident.
If you have injuries that are serious or might be life-threatening, get medical attention right away. Tell the police that you are badly hurt, and they can call for an ambulance to come to the scene. You can also call 911 again to call for help yourself or ask someone at the scene to call for help.
If an ambulance is already at the scene, let paramedics look you over, even if you feel okay, to get an idea of the severity of your injuries.
If you are well enough to stay at the scene to gather information but someone else in the accident is badly hurt, you have a legal duty to render reasonable aid. That might mean calling for an ambulance or taking the injured person to the hospital.
Seeing a Doctor After the Accident
Even if you didn’t get immediate medical treatment after the accident, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Seeing a doctor will ensure you don’t have more serious injuries than you realize and give you an idea of what treatment you will require.
It also helps prevent the insurance company from claiming you were not hurt as badly as you said. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company may use it as an excuse to offer you a lower settlement.
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Take Pictures at the Scene
Getting photos at the scene of a truck accident can be so helpful to your case. Pictures preserve what the accident scene looked like before anything can be cleaned up, repaired, or healed. Including photos in the truck accident claim can better present an accurate portrayal of what occurred.
If you are well enough and safe enough to do so, take pictures of:
- The entire accident scene
- All vehicle damage
- The location of each vehicle
- Your injuries
- Any debris, skid marks, or other aftermaths from the accident
- Anything else that you think may show what happened
It’s also a good idea to get pictures from different angles and all sides of each vehicle. Take long shots and close-ups so that nothing is left to the imagination.
Talk to Any Witnesses at the Scene
When an auto accident happens, there are often other people who were witness to it. Look around the scene for anyone who saw what happened and stopped. Ask them what they saw, then get their names and contact information.
After you have a truck accident lawyer on your side, your lawyer can reach out to witnesses and ask for statements that may back up your case.
Contact a Trusted Truck Accident Lawyer
It’s really best to call an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area as soon as you can after the accident. You can do this directly at the scene, or you can wait until you’ve gathered information. If you can, call on the same day.
Talking to a lawyer who is experienced in working on truck accident cases will know where to start investigating the accident. They will also be your biggest advocate, communicating with the insurance companies for you and making sure your legal rights are protected.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Georgia for Free Today
To get help with your truck accident case today, contact John Foy & Associates for a FREE consultation. Our lawyers have been helping injury victims win the compensation they deserve for the past 20 plus years—and we’re not afraid to stand up to insurance companies.
To schedule your FREE, no-risk consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now.