Although the premises are pretty similar, truck accidents are different from your typical car accidents. They have a higher mortality rate and can lead to more catastrophic damages to the surroundings. As such, the compensation will be relatively higher than usual, so dealing with a truck accident is much different than when you’re involved in a typical car accident.
This guide will discuss the things you need to do when you’re involved in truck accident cases so you don’t get the short end of the stick.
1. Get To Safety
The first thing you need to do after a truck accident is to get to safety. You can start by driving to the side of the road since your vehicle may become an obstacle to emergency services that will arrive on the scene and cars that pass through the road. If the accident happened at night, it’s advisable to turn on your hazard lights for passersby to see.
2. Call Emergency Services
After getting to safety, it should be safe to start calling emergency services, such as 000 or 911. If you don’t have a phone with you at the moment, try asking a passerby to make the call instead.
Furthermore, if you think the truck is carrying hazardous materials, make sure to inform the dispatcher of this since they might need to prepare extra equipment.
3. Document The Scene
Emergency services typically arrive one hour after the call, depending on the distance between the accident scene and the nearby station. In the meantime, you can document the scene. You can start by taking pictures of your vehicle, preferably the areas showing the damage. Make sure to take photos of your injuries as well.
If there are people who witnessed the accident, you can try to get testimonies from them. But, if they don’t have time at the moment, you can simply get their contact information and names.
By documenting the scene, you can gather enough information to ensure that you’ll get compensation from the truck driver. It may also serve as a great tool to convince your insurance company to cover the expenses on repairs.
4. Exchange Information With The Other Party
Once the emergency services arrive, they’ll be busy filing an accident report, so you should exchange information with the other party (the truck driver) in the meantime. At the very least, you need to collect the following information:
- Full name
- Contact information
- License plate number
With these pieces of information, it should be difficult for the other party to get away from their mistake if they’re at fault, and this will help greatly in the settlement process.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel like you’re completely fine, it should still be in your best interest to seek medical attention along with other parties involved in the accident since there’s a chance the injuries are internal and have no immediate signs.
Since there are already emergency services on the scene, you don’t have to trouble yourself by going to a nearby hospital. But, just in case, make sure you also go to a hospital after getting checked by the responding officers so you can get a medical record from the doctor. This will come in handy during negotiations later on.
6. Check Your Vehicle
Just like your body, your vehicle might’ve sustained internal damage that you’re not aware of, so it’s a good idea to get your vehicle appraised before settling the truck accident claim. That way, you can minimize the compensation for your vehicle’s repairs.
Take note, however, that when getting your vehicle appraised on a body shop, you need to remind them that it’s not up for repairs, at least not until you’ve settled the claim.
7. Call Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company immediately to inform them of the accident. However, remember that they will aim to cut on their losses, so they’ll push you to settle immediately so the compensation will be as little as possible. On that note, you need to take control of the call. Here are some tips for pulling this off:
- During the call, remain calm at all times.
- Confirm if the one you’re talking to is associated with your insurance company.
- Provide them with the basic information about the accident, such as when and where it happened, and who was involved.
- If they push you to discuss any additional information, try to explain that it’s still under investigation, and you’ll disclose the facts at an appropriate time.
- Avoid mentioning your injuries right off the bat. As previously said, you may have sustained an injury you’re currently unaware of that may increase the compensation.
Truck accidents cause 5000 deaths every year, and if you’re not careful, you might become a part of such numbers. Hence, it’s only natural to panic after getting involved in a truck accident, but that will only be counter-productive. If you want to achieve a favorable outcome from this incident, your best bet would be to follow the tips above.