After getting into a road accident with a commercial truck, it’s understandable that you might feel shocked, frustrated, or downright angry. You’ll likely have concerns about bodily harm and damage to your vehicle, among other things.
However, it is very important to keep a cool head in such situations. Unleashing your anger on the other drivers involved won’t get you anywhere. On the contrary, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could lead to legal problems down the line. Do your best to stay calm so you don’t end up saying something you regret later.
If you need to talk to someone, it’s much better to contact a lawyer immediately. A truck accident lawyer from Chris Hudson Law Group will help guide you through the shock and avoid the mistakes that vulnerable people in a terrible situation sometimes make.
Keep any interactions you have with the truck driver as polite as possible. At the same time, there are certain things you should absolutely avoid saying, during your communication with them. Most importantly:
Do Not Admit Fault
In the aftermath of an accident, you may instinctively feel that you are to blame. Nevertheless, it is important to keep that opinion to yourself until you have an opportunity to speak to your lawyer. Even a simple “I’m sorry” could come across as an admission of guilt, so avoid apologizing in any way.
It may be the case that you are partially liable, but there are always multiple factors at play in any road accident. Some of these other variables may, in fact, reduce your liability, and your attorney will be able to determine whether any circumstances exist that might bring more light to the situation.
When the police arrive on the scene, they will attempt to reconstruct the accident as thoroughly as possible. They will ask you, other drivers, and witnesses for statements about the accident. It is important that you do not lie when you give the police your statement, because this will damage your credibility and create even further issues later on. If in doubt, simply say nothing rather than make a statement that could potentially be proven untrue.
It’s human nature to reassure someone who asks if you’re okay when they think you’ve been hurt. Resist the temptation. When anyone at the crash site asks you if you’re okay, tell them you don’t know. And go see a medical professional in the ambulance, or as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries may not become apparent immediately, and others may be masked by the adrenaline rush that follows a frightening situation.
Don’t Admit to Anything
Even innocuous statements can cause trouble for you down the road, but saying things like “I didn’t even see you coming” can end your claim before it even begins. Keep scene of the crash conversations to a bare minimum. Exchange information with the other driver and then say nothing more. Don’t give them anything the insurance company could potentially use to shift blame for the accident onto you.
What to Do Instead
- Your priority should be to attend to any injuries you or anyone in your vehicle may have sustained. This may require the help of an EMT.
- Notify the police. But again, don’t give them any information that could cause courts or insurance companies to determine the incident was your fault.
- Collect license plate and vehicle information from the truck, as well as the truck driver’s license number, employer, and insurance company information.
- Take photos of the accident scene, along with any damage that came about as a result.
- Seek legal help as soon as possible.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Truck accidents are usually a much bigger deal than accidents between two smaller vehicles. For this reason, they are also more complicated from a legal perspective. It’s important to find lawyers with experience dealing with truck accident lawsuits to handle your case.
Your lawyer will help you request the accident report and understand what’s written in it. We can also help you get the details from the driver’s log, which contains information about the driver’s break schedule. Driver fatigue often plays a huge role in truck accidents.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it’s possible that you were unable to follow each and every one of the steps outlined above. Contact an experienced legal team for a legal roadmap to help get you a fair settlement.
The truck accident attorneys of the Chris Hudson Law Group have the knowledge and experience to fight on your side, and we know what to do to help our clients win their case and get the compensation you deserve.