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Whether you are the truck driver or someone involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it is dangerous to be on the side of the road after the accident, especially if visibility is poor. Make sure you get yourself and any other passengers away from the accident and far from the road in the event that another oncoming driver doesn’t see you. This is extremely important or you could end up being hit by another vehicle. Once you have done that, move on to the next steps listed below provided by our experienced truck accident lawyers.
There are multiple steps that need to be taken to avoid any further accidents or injuries, so make sure not to skip over any of the following instructions or it could end up costing you.
2. Check for injuries – Next you need to check yourself and any passengers for bodily injuries. Sometimes the injuries will not be felt right away and sometimes they will be obvious. To be safe, move slowly and don’t make any movements that could accentuate any injuries that you have. Remember, your adrenaline will be pumping and you may be in shock, which can make it hard to tell if you actually have any injuries if there is no blood or broken bones. Always be cautious not to make your injuries worse as this can really lengthen the time to full recovery or even injure yourself to the point where the injury is not treatable. If you do notice any severe injuries, make sure you don’t move until you can be checked out by paramedics.
3. Get away from the accident and road – if you don’t have any major injuries and can walk okay, then get yourself and any passengers away from the accident and off the roads as soon as possible. Other drivers may not see you as they approach which could cause them to hit your vehicle or truck and cause additional accidents. If you can, move as far away from the accident as possible so that you are out of the way in the event that another vehicle does cause a second accident. This is especially important if road conditions are slippery, wet, snowy, icy or if visibility is limited. If you also have safety markers such as reflectors or flares, put those out to help direct traffic away from the accident.
4. Call an ambulance and the police – If there are any injuries, make sure you call an ambulance first so you can get medical treatment as soon as possible and reduce the risk of making your injuries worse. Once that has been settled make sure you contact the police so they can come out and direct traffic away from the accident as well as complete their accident investigation and police reports.
5. Watch what you say – This is a very important part of any accident. Watch what you say to the police, other drivers and other passengers or witnesses. If you admit fault for the accident, then you can bet the other drivers will use that against you so that they don’t have to pick up the blame. It can be easy to say sorry and I didn’t mean to or whatever comes to mind in these situations, but that can make a huge difference in whether you are considered at fault or not if a lawsuit comes from the event. Be careful not to say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault while under the influence of adrenaline and the stress of the accident.
6. Exchange information with involved parties – Now you need to exchange information with the other drivers and witnesses. Make sure to get their driver’s license and take down their name, address and driver’s license number to ensure that you can track down that person at a later date. Make sure to get the insurance policy number as well as license plate numbers from the other involved parties and vehicles as well. You should also collect contact information and statements from any eye witnesses so you can use that to support your case. All of this is information the police, insurance company and attorneys will need when filing a claim so make sure you get the correct information and keep it in a safe place.
7. Gather evidence – Now it’s time to take pictures and videos of the accident scene and the surrounding areas as well as the time of accident. Make sure you get documentation of skid marks, speed limit signs, any damage to vehicles, injuries and anything else that could help your 18-wheeler accident lawyer build a solid case for you. This evidence will be used in court when it comes time to prove what happened so backup these files and store them on a computer at home in the event that you lose your phone before then. Also, try to make sure the pictures are as clear as possible and not blurry. You may even want to take a video of where the accident started, what happened and where the accident ended to help your lawyers recreate the accident.
8. Speak with your insurance company – Get in touch with your insurance company and let them know that you were involved in an accident. Again, make sure not to admit fault and just give them the basics of what happened and pass over the contact information to them so they can reach out and start the insurance claim with the appropriate parties. Remember, 18 wheeler accident lawsuits take a long time to finish, so be patient during your accident claim process.
9. Follow any company policies after an accident – The trucking company will likely have specific policies that need to be followed after an accident, so make sure you look at your policies and follow all steps to ensure you don’t risk getting in trouble with your employer. These policies are there for a reason and may include some very important safety tips to help keep you safe after the accident.
As stated earlier, the biggest thing you need to worry about is getting yourself to safety first and foremost to avoid further injuries from other passing vehicles. After that, you need to focus on not making any statements that could be construed as an admission of fault in any way. This can be tough to do, but in the end it could save you from getting sued, or even charged with a traffic violation or criminal offense. Sometimes the other drivers may even admit fault themselves which can get you out of trouble if you actually played a role in the accident happening. So always be careful of what you say. This means not saying sorry or I didn’t mean to or anything along those lines, because those lines are admitting fault. If you are not sure what to say after the accident, contact a qualified personal injury attorney for guidance.
If you are the truck driver, then you are aware that you may need to do drug and alcohol testing post-accident. You are considered a professional commercial driver when you have a CDL and you will be required to undergo testing to ensure you were not intoxicated during the time of the accident. Accidents can happen at any time and most of the time are unexpected so make sure you stay clean and sober at all times when operating a motor vehicle as well as making sure you don’t consume anything you shouldn’t be before or after the accident or you could be charged with driving intoxicated even if you weren’t actually intoxicated during the accident because drug tests can detect things that were consumed days or even weeks before.
If you were involved in an accident either as the truck driver or another driver that was in an accident with a semi truck, make sure you give Rector Stuzynski LLC a call to go over your case. We offer free consultations to all accident victims to determine if you have a case and move forward from there. Our staff is available over the phone 24/7 for your convenience, so don’t hesitate to call. You can also stop by our office during business hours to speak with our truck accident attorneys directly at our Colorado Springs, CO office.
We serve clients injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.