Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation

Navigating 10 Important Steps After a Trucking Accident

Eric Chandler

Eric Chandler

Thursday April 25, 2024

Semi-truck or other trucking accidents can be devastating, both in terms for human lives and property damage. These incidents demand swift and prudent action to mitigate immediate risks and handle the aftermath effectively. The following steps serve as a comprehensive guide on what to do after a trucking accident while emphasizing safety, maintaining legal obligations, and taking appropriate steps towards recovery.

Step 1) Safety First

The paramount concern after a semi-truck accident is safety of all individuals involved or nearby. Immediately following the collision, move to a safe location (if possible) away from traffic to prevent further harm. Activate hazard lights and set up warning triangles to alert oncoming vehicles of the accident and any wreckage.

Prioritize seeking medical attention for anyone injured, even if injuries seem minor. It’s crucial not to underestimate the potential severity of injuries sustained in such accidents.

Step 2) Contact Authorities/Police

Once safety measures are in place, contact emergency services and the police to report the accident. Promptly inform them of the location, number of vehicles involved, and any injuries. If you’re able to stay at the accident scene, make sure you get medical attention from the responding emergency authorities.

Law enforcement officers will arrive at the scene to assess the situation, document evidence, and prepare an accident report. Cooperation with authorities is essential, as their report will serve as valuable documentation for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Step 3) Document the Scene

Take photographs or videos of the accident scene from multiple angles. Be sure to capture pictures of the entire accident scene, including:

  • Vehicle positions,
  • Road conditions,
  • Your injuries or those of any passengers in your vehicle,
  • The damage on all vehicles, and
  • Any relevant details such as skid marks or road signs.

If the weather played a role in the cause of the accident, be sure to take photograph or video evidence of the sky and weather conditions. Documenting the scene comprehensively provides visual evidence that can corroborate your account of the events leading to the accident.

Step 4) Exchange Information

Exchange essential information with all parties involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Witness statements can be very helpful in the process following a trucking accident—collect their names and contact information.

Collect the following information from the other drivers involved:

  • Driver names
  • Contact details
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance information
  • Vehicle descriptions

Documenting this information helps facilitate the claims process and ensures accountability for damages incurred.

Step 5) Notify Your Own Insurance Company

Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate details of the incident and any documentation gathered at the scene. Prompt notification enables the insurer to initiate the claims process promptly, facilitating timely assistance with vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and other damages.

Step 6) Seek Medical Evaluation

Even if injuries appear minor or non-existent immediately after the accident, it’s advisable to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal trauma, may manifest symptoms hours, or even days, later.

A medical examination not only ensures proper treatment, but also helps document any injuries you sustained for future insurance claims and/or potential legal actions.

Step 7) Preserve Evidence

Preserve all evidence related to the accident including vehicle damage, personal belongings, and medical records. Avoid repairing or altering the vehicles involved until insurers and authorities have had the opportunity to assess the damages.

It’s important to retain copies of all documents, correspondence, and receipts associated with the accident for reference during the claims process.

Step 8) Consult Legal Counsel

Consider consulting with a qualified attorney experienced in handling semi-truck accident cases. Truck injury cases are extremely different from motor vehicle injury claims involving passenger vehicles.  The claims can be extremely complex and often include multiple defendants, such as the shipper or the company who brokered the load.  Legal counsel can provide invaluable guidance on navigating complex legal procedures, negotiating with insurance companies, and pursuing compensation for damages.

A Chandler | Conway attorney will safeguard your rights and interests, advocating for a fair and just resolution of the case.

Step 9) Evaluate Financial Impact

Assess the financial impact of the accident, including vehicle repairs, medical expenses, lost income, and other consequential damages.

Keep detailed records of all expenses incurred as a result of the accident, as these will factor into insurance claims or potential litigation. Understanding the full extent of financial losses empowers you to pursue adequate compensation effectively.

Step 10) Follow Through

Stay in touch with your attorney and follow through with all necessary procedures, including cooperating with investigators, attending medical appointments, and adhering to legal deadlines. Prompt and thorough compliance with these obligations strengthens your position when pursuing insurance claims or legal action. Remember that patience and persistence are often crucial in achieving a satisfactory resolution.

Semi-truck accidents are harrowing experiences with far-reaching consequences, but taking proactive steps in the aftermath can alleviate some of the burdens. Prioritizing safety, gathering evidence, engaging with authorities, and seeking appropriate assistance are essential elements of navigating the post-accident landscape. By following these guidelines and seeking support when needed, individuals involved in semi-truck accidents can move towards recovery with greater confidence and resilience.


Use Chandler | Conway Attorneys for Trucking Accidents

Attorneys at Chandler Conway have exceptional experience and knowledge from decades of successful trucking accident cases. Being part of a trucking accident is a challenging and traumatic event. By consulting with an expert attorney, individuals can navigate the legal process effectively and work towards achieving a just resolution to their accident case.

Contact us or explore our website to see how we can help you.


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Attorney Eric Chandler
Eric Chandler

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