Vehicular accidents happen every day, it’s a part of the acknowledgment of getting into a motor vehicle and operating it around others. As you probably heard countless times from your parents, driving instructors, and the law – driving is a privilege, not a right. With that in mind, accidents should be avoided at all costs but they happen even when we play it safe.
One such group of vehicles that is susceptible to accidents at potentially higher rates because of their sheer time spent on the road is tractor-trailer or transport trucks for some. With the tremendous amount of hours logged on the road, the difficulty of their operation, and sometimes the lack of duty of care by other motorists, accidents can happen. In the event of an accident while operating a tractor-trailer, here’s what to do.
Contact Emergency Services
As with any accident, the first step anyone should take before inspecting any damage or taking down any information is to contact emergency services pronto. They will come and help cord off the scene to prevent any further complications or issues with motorists or pedestrians and make sure that everyone is safe and okay. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, and vice versa for others involved, it’s always important that someone capable and responsible is responding first.
Reach Out to the Insurance Company
After that has been sorted, you want to contact insurance companies, both yours, theirs, or the companies. The insurance company will help send a claims adjustor to get a good estimate on the damage and the situation to help figure out what the costs will be and what happens with your insurance. Exchanging information about insurance is the only information you should be sharing with the other motorist(s) or pedestrian(s), to help avoid incriminating yourself if there is such a possibility.
Receive Legal Counsel
To best avoid incriminating yourself or saying anything potentially problematic to your case in this accident, you want to reach out to legal counsel. There is legal guidance available anywhere you can find, so if you get into an accident in Virginia, California, or even Alaska, you need to be smart in finding competent aid, and the folks at marksandharrison.com/our-locations/richmond-office/ make this abundantly clear for people involved in accidents. This is especially true if personal injuries are sustained, but it is good to have a legal representative walk you through your options.
Document Any Evidence and Information
Even before emergency services arrive (assuming no serious injuries were sustained) or any legal counsel is contacted, you can start collecting any evidence and information that is relevant to the accident. Things like time, place, how fast you were going, witnesses, and pictures are of good use for your lawyer and for emergency services. Again, don’t incriminate yourself and just be impartial when talking to anyone who may have seen the accident, and do not under any circumstances talk to the incident with friends/family or post about it on social media.
Contact the Trucking Company
If you work for the trucking company, it is advised you contact them or anyone who can help you out in this situation. It may be that the company has an insurance provider that would like to speak to you directly, it may be that they can help cover costs of damage, and it may be that they need to speak to the police or lawyers about your employment or other relevant details regarding your relationship with the company. Whatever it may be, they are good to contact and you most likely will need to contact them.
Reach Out to the Manufacturer
This one may be unnecessary in some cases but it could be important for the appraisal of the vehicle to reach out to the manufacturer of the tractor-trailer to determine the capabilities of the vehicle. What does this mean in the context of an accident? Well, it could be that a part malfunctioned which possibly resulted in the accident, it is unknown until you contact them and they can give a rundown on any recalls or parts issues that may come up. This is also something that can be done by your lawyer/legal team or done through contacting the employer, which goes both ways if you were the one hurt by the tractor-trailer, and not driving it.
It’s no surprise that vehicular accidents happen every day and without warning, but it is also important to know how to handle what comes next, especially with vehicles like tractor-trailers. If you are the operator of it or not, it is good to know what steps to take to ensure the proper handling occurs in any capacity.