AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT:
- The first thing is to make sure everyone is safe, call 911, and to get out of the roadway. You shouldn’t move your car, unless the damage and injuries are minor, until the police arrive.
- Take photographs if possible. Consider the trucks tires, skid marks, the damaged area of the vehicles,
- Get a copy of any identifying information (names and numbers) on the cab and the trailer. Generally the DOT numbers on the cab and the trailer are different.
- Get a copy of the license plate.
- Obtain Driver information (name, state and license number of the driver, and any insurance information.
- Obtain any witness information (Name, work and home address and phone numbers as well as any cell phone and an emergency contact. Witness’ are critical to your case and finding them after a wreck can be very difficult. Don’t trust the police to write it down.)
- Get a copy of the police report number and the names of the police officers at the scene.
- Measure any skid marks at the scene.
- DO NOT GIVE A STATEMENT UNTIL YOU CAN GIVE A FULL AND COMPLETE STATEMENT WITH YOUR LAWYER. Insurance company employees have learned to ask questions that help the company and leave out significant facts which would help your case. The tape recorded statement will then be used to show you "made up" this information at a later date. DO give the police the facts of the collision but avoid any speculation.
- Insurance Companies will have investigators on the scene ASAP. They are trained to be friendly in order to elicit information from victims. They create a false sense of security that "everything Will be taken care of" while they methodically work to eliminate any chance you have of a full recovery for your injuries. They are hired to protect the trucking and insurance companies legal and monetary interests, not yours!
ONCE YOU LEAVE THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT:
- CALL AN EXPERIENCED TRUCKING LAWYER ASAP!
- Go to the Doctor and get examined.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Get photo’s of your car and the truck if at all possible and you have not already done so. Generally it is better if you are not in the photographs and you can get someone else to take the photo’s.
- Understand that due to adrenaline and shock it may take several hours or days before the full impact of a collision is felt by you. If you need to see a doctor GO! Many people have been hurt by waiting, "hoping it gets better" or that they can "tough it out."
- Obtain a copy of your auto insurance and your health insurance policies.
- Use your health insurance to pay the bills and use any MedPay benefits you may have through your Auto policy to repay any deductibles or co-pays you might have paid out-of-pocket with your medical providers.