What To Do After A Truck Accident

Truck Accident Attorney in Houston Highlights Important Accident Steps

what-to-do-after-a-truck-accidentImmediately following a commercial truck accident, our Houston truck accident lawyer recommends taking several important steps to protect yourself. He has summarized the most time-sensitive information for you below.

1. Check for any injuries and contact 9-1-1 immediately.

Before you do anything else, check yourself and any passengers for visible injuries. Truck accidents can be catastrophic. If anyone is seriously injured, do not try to move them. Call 9-1-1 to the truck accident scene. If needed, let them know that someone or more than one person needs immediate medical attention.

Depending on where the accident occurs, local police, the county sheriff’s department or the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will respond.

When Do I Call the Police After an Accident?

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says that you should call the police when any of the following situations are present:

  • Injury or death
  • Uninsured driver
  • One driver leaves the scene
  • Vehicles cannot be moved
  • You suspect one of the drivers is intoxicated

Why Is It Important to Call the Police to a Truck Accident Scene?

Law enforcement is important for multiple reasons. Law enforcement should:

  • Make sure that anyone who is injured receives medical attention and transport if needed
  • Block off the accident scene to oncoming traffic and direct traffic
  • Gather important information about each driver, including insurance information
  • Compile a police report, which includes driver information, witness information, evidence about the crash and law enforcement opinion about the cause of the accident.

2. Exchange contact information with the other drivers and witnesses.

You should exchange certain information with the truck driver involved in the crash. Important information includes:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Driver’s CDL number (drivers license number)
  • Insurance company and policy information
  • The truck’s license plate number
  • Employer name and contact information

If other vehicles were involved in the accident, you want to get similar information from them.

Get Information From Law Enforcement

You should also get important information from law enforcement, including:

  • Law enforcement agency name
  • Officer names
  • Officer badge numbers
  • Police report number

Talk to Witnesses

If there were any witnesses on the scene, ask them if they would be willing to write a witness statement for you about the accident. If you find a willing witness, then ask for contact information so you can follow up with him or her.

3. Document the truck accident scene.

This step is all about preserving evidence for your truck accident claim. Documenting the scene should include taking pictures, videos and even writing down important information. You should take pictures and video of the damage and anything that could have been a contributing cause of the accident.

If you can, document:

  • Your vehicle and all other involved vehicles. Document license plates, make and model, and VIN numbers of vehicles if possible. You should also take pictures of how the vehicles were positioned at the time of the accident.
  • Damage to all vehicles involved. Document the damage of each vehicle from multiple angles.
  • Your injuries and injuries of any of your passengers. Document your injuries and injuries of your passengers.
  • Weather and light conditions. How was the weather when the accident occurred? Was it dark outside? These are questions you can answer with pictures or videos.
  • Road conditions. Show the road conditions at the time of the accident. This may include road hazards such as potholes or construction. You can also document traffic conditions.

4. Call a truck injury attorney as soon as possible.

After a serious truck accident, you can bet that the truck company and its insurance company will have a team of attorneys and investigators working on the case. Evidence disappears very quickly after a truck accident. Once the involved vehicles are towed from the crash scene, and witnesses leave, it is much more difficult to gather and preserve evidence. You need a truck accident attorney that is experienced in recovering evidence, recruiting expert witnesses and inspecting the commercial vehicle involved in the accident.

5. Notify your auto insurance.

Your auto insurance likely has a clause about how long you have to notify them after an accident. Do not miss this deadline. Call your insurance company and let them know you have been involved in a truck accident.

Truck injury attorney Daniel D. Horowitz, III recommends that you do not make any official statements to the insurance companies until you review it with an attorney.

More Truck Accident Tips

The steps above are important for protecting your potential claim in the event that you need to recover compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. However, these steps do not end after you leave the truck accident scene. Our truck accident attorney in Houston outlines other truck accident tips to protect yourself:

Tip: Seek medical attention

If you did not receive medical attention at the accident scene, you should seek it as soon as possible. It is possible to have underlying or dormant injuries that may appear hours or even days following your accident. If days pass before your injuries appear and you did not see a doctor right after the accident, then you leave a window of time that the insurance company can use to blame your injuries on another event.

You should follow all of your doctors’ orders about your truck accident injuries. You should also write down your symptoms and continue to seek medical attention as your injuries persist.

Tip: Do not get your vehicle fixed.

Do not get your vehicle fixed right away. You need to get your vehicle estimated for damages. Get it estimated by the truck driver or company’s insurance company. Then, get a second and third opinion from trusted body shops in your area.

Tip: Stay off social media.

Though you may often share your life with friends and family online, do not post about your accident. Anything you put out on the Internet stays there, and what you say or post can be used against you to reduce your recovery compensation.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Us Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, discuss your situation with our truck injury lawyer. Daniel D. Horowitz, III can help you understand your legal options and next steps during a free case evaluation. Call us at (832) 734-9967 or fill out our online contact form to get started.