Motor Vehicle Accidents

What to Do After a Truck Accident

December 15, 2023
Close-up of a gray heavy goods truck driving along a road at night

If you’re in a truck crash, it’s important to act fast to protect your legal rights. Truck accidents can result in severe and even fatal injuries. At RF Injury Law, we’re here to help you get the justice you deserve – for you and your loved ones.

Call now or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Truck Accidents

As with car crashes, truck accidents can happen anywhere. The most common types of truck crashes are:

  • Rollovers
  • Rear end collisions
  • Sideswipes
  • Front end collisions
  • T-bone crashes

Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruising to paralysis and limb loss. Severe crashes can cause fatalities. Given the sheer size and weight of trucks, serious injuries are not uncommon.

Proving a Truck Accident Claim

If you’re injured after a truck crash, you may have a personal injury claim. To file a lawsuit, you must show that:

  • The driver owed you a duty of care;
  • The driver breached this duty, e.g., by speeding, careless driving, and
  • You were injured due to the driver’s negligence

In some cases, it might be possible to sue other parties. For example, it might be possible to sue the driver’s employer. Or, you might even sue the vehicle manufacturer if the truck is faulty. The RF Injury Law team will fully explore all avenues to ensure you sue anyone responsible for your injuries.

Aftermath of a Truck Accident: Steps to Follow

Hopefully, you never need to manage a truck crash – however, truck accidents can and do happen. If you’re in a truck collision, here’s a guide on how to handle the situation.

1. Check for Emergencies

Truck accidents can be catastrophic. They can result in severe injury, property damage, and explosions. Check for medical emergencies or other hazards, such as engine fires. Call 911 to report any immediate danger to life.

2. Gather Details at the Scene

Truck driver accident procedures can be complicated. It’s important that you gather as many details as you can from the scene.

  • Start by exchanging contact information and insurance details (if known by the truck driver).
  • If you can, identify witnesses. Collect their contact details if they are willing to share them.
  • Take pictures or video evidence of property and/or physical injuries. Be sure to include any hazards on the road that contributed to the crash, such as potholes and weather conditions.
  • Make a note of anyone else involved in the accident. Obtain their details, if possible.

If you’re worried about asking for the truck driver’s information, don’t panic. Leave the matter to law enforcement, who should attend the scene.

3. Report the Accident

In NY, you must report a crash to the DMV if there’s property damage worth over $1,000. You have 10 days to do this.

You must report a crash to the police if there’s any bodily injury, however minor. This means contacting the police at the scene to report the crash. Police will attend and complete a police report, which sets out the details of what happened.

4. Get Medical Attention

Always get medical attention after a truck crash. Even if you don’t have obvious injuries, serious conditions can take hours or days to develop. You can use your doctor’s visit to prove your injuries as part of a civil lawsuit or insurance claim.

5. File an Insurance Claim

You should contact your auto insurer to file a claim. Don’t imply fault or apologize for the crash! Simply stick to the facts. Otherwise, your insurer may argue that you deserve less compensation than you are actually due.

Provide any information your insurer asks for, such as photographs or proof of property damage. However, don’t be afraid to get your own repair or replacement quotes for damaged property. You don’t need to rely solely on your insurance company’s estimates.

6. Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

Even before you start an insurance claim, you can call a lawyer.

A truck accident attorney can explain if you have a personal injury claim for damages or compensation. They’ll explain who you might sue for damages and how the process works. They can also help you manage your insurance claim and decide whether to accept or reject an offer.

7. Gather Evidence to Support Your Losses

The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better! Evidence you might gather includes:

  • Witness details
  • Medical records
  • Proof of medical expenses e.g., prescription costs
  • Property repair/replacement quotes
  • Proof of lost income
  • Funeral expenses (for fatalities)

Your attorney can explain what evidence you need to build a strong case in your favor.

Overturned large truck on side behind cones on the freeway, clear blue skies in the background

What to Avoid Doing After a Truck Accident

That’s what to do after a semi-truck accident or heavy truck crash. Now, let’s briefly consider what not to do after a truck crash.

  • Delaying medical attention: Some injuries, such as internal damage or brain injuries, take a while to develop. Always seek help, even if you don’t feel unwell. Your medical records can be used to support your civil lawsuit.
  • Admitting fault: Even if you might be partly to blame, don’t admit fault. Leave the evidence to speak for itself. Anything you say that suggests fault will be used against you!
  • Leaving the scene: Leaving the scene without reporting the crash could be considered a “hit and run.” Don’t take any chances. Always exchange details or, if the other driver flees, get as much information as you can and call the police.
  • Accepting a quick settlement offer: Insurers might offer you a quick settlement to close the case. This is rarely the best offer, but if you accept it, you’ll lose your right to seek more damages. Don’t settle without getting legal advice first.

After a crash, take time to recover. Let your body – and mind – heal.

Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in NY and NJ

Commercial vehicle accident procedures are complex. If you have a truck crash, you need experienced attorneys on your side.

At RF Injury Law, we know what it takes to navigate this process. We’ll explain if you have a claim, discuss your options, and help you understand what to expect. And if you have a case, we’ll fight to get you the compensation you truly deserve.

Don’t waste any more time searching for an accident lawyer. Trust our team to handle your case with dignity, respect, and care. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. Or let us come to you – learn more about our mobile legal services!

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