Trucking Accidents: A Post-Collision Checklist

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 21, 2019
Why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer after being in a truck wreck
A high percentage of traffic collisions involve trucking accidents. Personal injury law defines a trucking accident as, "a motor vehicle accident involving a truck that weighs 10,000 pounds or more." 

According to the Department of Transportation, there are more than 500,000 trucking accidents per year. These collisions almost always result in injury; especially if the other party involved is in a passenger vehicle.

There are several standard procedures that have been put in place to safeguard the company driver involved in the trucking accident. Personal injury cases are based on how you respond to and counter these procedures. There are three areas you need to pay particular attention to immediately following an accident involving a big rig:

1.      What happens on-scene

2.      Documentation of any medical attention both immediate and ongoing

3.      The interests of the insurance company

Knowing about these areas ahead of time will help you keep your best interest in mind until you can secure the proper legal representation.

What Do I Do If I'm in a Trucking Accident?

The three areas we just mentioned are also the three most common pitfalls victims encounter after a trucking accident. Personal injury cases are often won or lost based on what you do immediately following a collision. That's why we want to make sure you know exactly what to do and exactly when to do it.

The injuries sustained in these collisions will likely be severe to critical. If you're fortunate enough to retain your mental faculties, after you assess the injuries of all the occupants in the vehicle and call 911, try to document everything around you. This includes:

  • Witness statements

  • Photographs (these can be taken with the camera or cell phone)

  • Documentation of your version of the events that led up to the accident

  • Any statements made by the other driver

  • Your official statement to the police

Obtain and keep copies of everything. This will be used to build your case down the road.

What Do I Do Next?

The second thing you need to do is be seen by a medic. Even if you are fortunate enough not to be seriously injured, you need to undergo a medical evaluation, as does every occupant of your vehicle. Make sure any injuries, including the appearance of mental confusion or psychological trauma, are noted in detail by the paramedics’ on-scene.

Documentation of your injuries and medical care doesn't end there. The remaining steps will continue even after a personal injury lawyer gets involved. Injuries that require hospitalization and/or follow-up care need to have every step of the treatments and procedures documented. This establishes burden of proof for damages beyond medical and rehabilitation expenses.

The most important thing to remember is: do not settle with the trucking company’s insurance provider. In fact, don’t speak to them at all until you have proper legal representation. Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas will protect your interests, not the interests of the trucking company responsible. When you are in a trucking accident, contact one of its professional, experienced attorneys as soon as possible.

SJB Law Firm

Topics: Vehicular Accidents