Any car accident can be severely damaging and terrifying for those involved, and accidents involving large trucks are especially dangerous. If you are ever involved in a truck accident, it’s important to know what to do after your vehicle comes to a stop. The steps you take following an accident can either help or hinder any chance you may have at securing compensation for your damages through a lawsuit.
At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we believe in fighting for the rights of injured victims in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. One of the best things people in these situations can do is to speak with a qualified attorney to represent their interests in court. However, before speaking to an attorney, there are several things any person who experiences a truck accident should do immediately following the commotion.
Tractor trailers are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, so anyone involved in a truck accident is far more likely to suffer serious injuries than in a crash with other smaller vehicles. After your car comes to a stop, if you are able to do so, assess your injuries. If you suspect anything severe, do not move and instead call emergency responders. Georgia law requires you to report any car accident that involves injury or serious property damage, so call 911 and wait for emergency personnel to respond.
If you are able to move, do so carefully and check on the other drivers involved in the accident. If everyone appears to be fine or only sustained minor injuries, it’s a good idea to use the time waiting for the police to arrive to take photos of the accident scene. Make sure you capture any pictures of damage to your vehicle and the others involved as well as any skid marks nearby. These photos will help recreate an accurate picture of events for the jury later. Try to take several pictures of the surrounding area as well, including signs, traffic lights, and notable landmarks.
Exchange personal and insurance information with the other drivers, and wait for police to arrive. Emergency responders will render aid to anyone who needs it and provide transportation to the nearest hospital if necessary. Try to take photos before the police and other emergency personnel arrive because they will want to clear away the accident site and clean up debris as quickly as possible so regular traffic may resume. In doing so they could destroy evidence that would be crucial in a future lawsuit, so make sure to take as many pictures as possible before they arrive.
Once the police arrive they will take statements from everyone involved in the accident and any witnesses nearby who may have witnessed the crash. It is very important to be honest and concise when speaking with the police. Saying things that seem harmless such as “I couldn’t see him,” or, “I’m so sorry,” may make it into the police report and out of context appear to be admissions of guilt. Answer the police officers’ questions honestly and concisely, and be sure to obtain a copy of the police report.
Depending on who caused the crash, you may have to file a claim against another driver’s insurance policy or your own. A qualified attorney can help guide you through the claims process. At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we understand how confusing everything can feel after a truck accident, and we’re here to help our clients by handling their legal concerns so they can focus on recovery. We offer new clients a free case evaluation, so contact our team to get started on your case today. (800) 242-2962