Getting into an accident with a semi-truck when you’re driving a sedan or SUV could be one of the scariest things anyone can experience. The sheer size and weight of the truck means that you and your passengers are especially vulnerable to serious injuries.
As long as you are not seriously injured, there are a few things you can do after an accident with a truck that will ensure your rights are protected once the accident and insurance claims have been sorted out.
This is a short guide that explains what to do after a truck accident in California.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in California
Each motor vehicle accident case is inherently different, and a truck accident case can be particularly complex. After being involved in a truck accident, it is important to take the correct steps to protect your rights and maximize the amount of compensation you may recover.
Most likely you are reading this on the side of the road, so we have made these steps short and easy to follow.
These are the steps of what you should do after a truck accident:
Step 1. Call 911.
The police and emergency medical technicians need to get there as soon as possible to secure the scene and assist those with injuries.
While you’re waiting for the professionals, it’s okay to gather information at the scene from the truck driver, as well as any other drivers who may have witnessed the accident.
Be sure to write down or take photographs of the truck driver’s license and insurance information. Also make note of the markings on the truck itself, as they will tell you the name of the trucking company. On the rear end of the truck, as well as the trailer, look for the Department of Transportation numbers and write them down. Insurance companies, and your attorney if you need one, will find this information valuable.
Step 2. Take photos of the scene of the accident.
However, keep in mind to always keep your safety a number one priority during this activity, particularly if the vehicles are still in the roadway. You may have heard stories in the news of people being hit by other vehicles when they get out of their car to gather this type of information. That being said, try to take photos from a variety of angles and positions to really get a feel for what the accident scene looks like. Take photos of where the vehicles hit together, skid marks on the road, injuries on your person and/or your passengers, and any road signs that indicate a yield, stop or speed limit.
Step 3. Wait for the ambulance and the police to show up.
By now, the ambulance and police should be on the scene.
Even if you’re feeling ok, it’s vital to get checked out anyway. Some injuries, particularly those to the neck and back, may not be felt for a few days. Once you are cleared by an emergency room doctor or EMT, it’s a good idea to follow-up with your primary care physician a few days later, just to be sure that any pain or soreness you feel is normal for having been in an accident with a truck.
Step 4. Speak with a personal injury attorney.
Finally, it’s a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney who specialized in truck accidents.
An attorney can advise you on what to say and what not to say when you are speaking to the truck driver’s insurance company. Getting an attorney on board from the beginning will benefit you in the long-run, just in case you need to negotiate a settlement or file for damages for severe injuries.
The California truck accident attorneys at The May Firm offer an initial free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case. Call today at (866) 619-6714 or fill out a contact form online and one of our team members will be with you shortly.