Accident scenes can be chaotic and charged with emotion. But remaining calm and taking appropriate steps to protect any future claim is critical. This is especially true when it comes to a truck accident, as there can be a lot of complex issues that arise along the way.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Say at the Scene of a Car-Truck Accident
The first thing you should do – unless someone is seriously injured and requires immediate medical attention, in which case you should call 911 – is contact the police. The responding officer will complete an accident report and take statements from everyone involved, including witnesses.
One of the most important things to remember after an accident is to be careful about what you say. This means refraining from antagonizing the truck driver. Although it can be challenging to keep one’s composure, failing to do so could negatively impact the direction of things to come.
At the same time, it’s imperative not to take blame for the accident. Even making a comment such as, “If only I hadn’t ” or “I didn’t see the truck” can be misconstrued. There could be other circumstances surrounding the crash of which you aren’t aware, which is why suggesting or outright taking blame isn’t a good idea. In fact, it could hurt your ability to recover compensation later.
Statements could be misunderstood, twisted, or they may not even be accurate. For instance, indicating that you never saw the truck could be interpreted to mean you weren’t paying attention when in fact it could be the truck had been traveling at such an excessive speed you couldn’t know it was going to be there.
Start Collecting Evidence at the Scene
A lot of people don’t think about evidence when at the scene of an accident. But to build a strong case, it’s important to preserve as much of it as possible, which is why evidence collection should start right at the scene.
Photographs can be one of the most valuable forms of proof utilized in a trucking accident case. Most people have access to a camera on their phone. Take advantage of this opportunity to get as many pictures as possible before the scene is cleared.
Take a wide-view shot of the entire accident scene. It’s also important to get specific angles; for instance, close-ups of damage on the vehicles or other damaged objects, such as a broken light pole. Also take pictures of any debris in the road, along with tire marks.
Collecting information from those involved in the accident is critical. Be sure to get not only the truck driver’s name but also the name of the trucking company for which he/she works, along with a driver’s license and license plate number. If there is a phone number on the truck, a company name or other relevant information, write that down as well.
Finally, be sure to get contact information from anyone who witnessed the crash or saw what happened afterward. Testimony from others could help determine what caused the accident. Someone in another vehicle or a person walking down the street at the time may have seen the accident.
Get Help Pursuing an Injury Claim: Contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates
If you were involved in a truck accident, remember that there are several complex issues that may arise compared to a usual motor vehicle accident. Involvement of the trucking company, shippers, truck owners, or others can complicate things.
An attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help accident victims collect evidence, deal with insurance companies and trucking companies, and help pursue fair compensation. Call 800-246-4878 to schedule an appointment.