You’re driving down a busy highway when you see a big rig going the opposite direction lose control. It drifts toward the median and you barely have time to react before it comes into your lane and strikes the side of your car. This is a serious situation, which is why it’s important to understand what happens after a truck accident.
Call an Ambulance
As soon as your vehicle comes to a stop, reach for your phone and call 911 if you are injured and able. More often than not, a truck accident causes severe or even catastrophic damage to both your vehicle and you. There’s no way to know the full extent of your injuries until you’re examined by a trained paramedic and a doctor, which is why it’s best to have someone examine you and provide first aid at the scene and at a hospital.
It’s a good idea to call for an ambulance after any trucking accident, even if you don’t feel immediate pain. The adrenaline coursing through your body can mask the severity of your injuries, especially when it comes to hairline fractures and internal bleeding.
If you see blood or believe you have a broken bone, restrict your movement if it is safe to do so. Emergency services are best equipped to rescue you and safely move you into their care. However, if your car is smoking, on fire, or if the vehicle damages are too dangerous to stay put, try to relocate to a safe place until an ambulance arrives.
Exchange Insurance (If Possible)
If your injuries aren’t too severe, you may be able to speak to the truck driver and exchange insurance information. The information you’ll collect is similar to what you would collect if you were in any other crash. Here’s what you need before you leave the scene:
License number on their commercial driver’s license (CDL)
License plate number
Insurance policy number
Name of their trucking company
Supervisor’s name and phone number
If your injuries are too severe to speak to the truck driver, wait until emergency responders arrive. If someone is seriously injured in a car crash, law enforcement officers are required to be at the scene and file a police report. This report will include the information listed above and may include testimony from witnesses, including yourself and the truck driver.
If you’re unable to trade insurance information with the truck driver directly, the police report may be your best means of contacting them in the future. However, if there are no serious injuries at the scene or if police never arrive to file a report, you should contact your local police department shortly after the crash to can file a report online or at their office.
Go to the Doctor
Whether you go to the hospital in an ambulance or you leave the crash site on your own, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible. For the first few hours after the crash, adrenaline may mask your pain and make it more difficult for you to identify your injuries, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t injured. Your doctor can conduct a physical examination to identify any latent or internal injuries you may have.
Contact an Attorney
Once you’ve seen a doctor, you should contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. When you’re in serious pain or recovering from a catastrophic injury, stressing about filing an insurance claim, managing paperwork, and negotiating with the insurance company should be the last thing on your mind.
When you hire an attorney to handle your case, you can focus on getting back to health while your legal team handles the rest.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a trucking accident, we are here for you. If you’d like to discuss the impact of your crash with an experienced car accident attorney, don’t hesitate to call upon Maring Williams Law Office. Our firm serves injured parties across North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Send us an email or call us today at (701) 402-6644 for a free consultation.