What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
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- What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
Getting into a truck accident is a truly frightening event. Sadly, in 2021, trucks and buses were involved in more than 6 percent of all crashes in Arizona, causing 3,317 injuries and 119 deaths. If you ever get into a truck accident, it’s likely to leave you distressed, in shock, and possibly in pain.
That said, as soon as a truck accident happens, there are a few key things you must do to protect yourself physically, financially, and legally. So come to us. The legal team at Phillips Law Group has decades of combined experience in pursuing justice for truck accident victims. In total, we have secured more than $1 billion in damages for thousands of clients in Arizona and throughout the country.
The evidence you collect at the scene of a truck accident may help a personal injury lawyer pursue compensation on your behalf. Schedule a free case evaluation with a Phillips Law Group attorney by calling (602) 222-2222 or filling out our online form.
Protect Your Health After a Truck Accident
Immediately after a truck accident, your priority is ensuring everyone in your vehicle is okay. Check yourself for signs of injuries and ask everyone in the car to do the same.
Some common injuries to look out for include:
- Whiplash: Pain/tightness/tenderness in the neck, headaches
- Concussion: Feeling dazed, confused, blurred vision, nausea
- Back pain: Overextension or spasms may be felt
- Broken bones: Any bone could take the impact, but pelvic bones are thought to be among the most common broken bone injuries in car accidents
- Bruising: Caused by internal bleeding of varying severity
- Stomach pain: This could be a sign of severe injury, perhaps internal bleeding
These are just a few examples of the symptoms you may have after a truck accident, and some people don’t experience any. However, that does not always mean that they are not injured. Our bodies may experience a flood of adrenaline after an accident, which could mask the pain of serious injuries.
The key takeaway is that you should always see a doctor after a truck accident, even if you feel alright. If an ambulance attends the crash scene, let the EMT check you over. He or she will examine you and may notice signs of internal injuries or conditions that will become painful later. You can be referred to a doctor if you need further treatment or investigations. The medical report the doctor makes can serve as significant evidence in your personal injury claim.
After helping yourself and the passengers in your vehicle, you can start to help other people who may have been injured.
Move to Safety
The next step is to try to prevent another accident from happening. The concept of “quick clearance” is part of Arizona state law. The law states that if “serious injury or death is not apparent, the drivers of the motor vehicles…shall remove the motor vehicles from the main traveled portion of the roadway into a safe refuge.”
Of course, if you have been seriously injured or someone has died in the collision, skip this step and call 911 immediately. This also applies if your vehicle is too badly damaged to move safely. If there’s a chance that the tank of either vehicle has been damaged or the truck contains flammable cargo, move away from the vehicles.
On the other hand, if the vehicle damage seems minor and no one is injured, you must remain at the scene of the accident. You may only leave when a law enforcement officer gives you permission.
Call the Police
Once your vehicle is safe, it’s time to call 911. Arizona state law requires that all accidents are reported to the police. Whenever the police investigate a motor vehicle accident that resulted in injury, death, or property damage in excess of $2,000, they must complete a written report.
You may require all three emergency services. For example, fire trucks may report to the scene of a truck accident because fires are more likely with these kinds of accidents. EMTs can check everyone over and provide initial treatment for injuries.
When the police arrive, be cooperative and tell them precisely what happened. Stick to the facts and avoid offering your opinion on what caused the accident or who was at fault. If you do not know the answer to a question, tell them so. This report could also become crucial evidence if you pursue a compensation claim.
Do Not Admit Liability
Being involved in a truck accident is extremely stressful. The other drivers will be stressed out too, and some may respond angrily. In addition, someone may try to pin the blame for the accident on you.
The best course of action is to remain calm and not say anything to the other drivers about the accidents. When the police arrive, discuss it only with them.
Establishing liability in truck accident cases can be very complicated. For example, the truck driver, the trucking company, and the owner of the truck may all be partially liable. Therefore, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you navigate these complicated legal issues.
Try to gather personal and contact information from the other drivers, passengers, and any witnesses to the accident. If these people are unwilling to give you their information, the police may be able to help you.
Additionally, you must collect the following from the drivers:
- Driver’s license information
- Insurance details
- Vehicle information, including license plate number
- Name and contact details of the trucking company and vehicle owner (if different from the driver)
Photograph the Scene
First, focus on taking photos of the scene of the accident. If it is safe to do so, take pictures from multiple angles and try to include the license plates. Next, take some close-up shots of the damage and some wide-angle shots to show the entire scene.
Also, take photos of skid marks and any damage to the road. For example, there may be potholes, ruts, or road construction that had an impact on what happened. Take as many photos as possible to give a full picture of what occurred.
Take clear photos of the damage to the vehicles. Don’t forget to photograph the interior of the vehicles, especially if the airbags were deployed. If possible, take photographs of any injuries caused by the truck accident.
One word of warning – do not upload any photos to social media. It’s possible that your photos and other posts about the collision could be used against you later. Instead, wait until you have talked to a truck accident attorney before sharing any information about the accident online. It’s always safer not to upload anything, though.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer
At Phillips Law Group, our truck accident lawyers know how to pursue justice for people suffering because of another party’s negligence. It may be tempting to represent yourself, but truck accident cases are notoriously complicated. With multiple parties involved, an attorney can take the weight off your shoulders and fight your corner while you focus on your recovery.
During your case review, a Phillips Law Group lawyer will listen carefully to your experience and look for evidence of liability. If our attorney feels you have a case, we will fight tenaciously to protect your financial and legal interests.
At Phillips Law Group, our legal team will explore all possible options for securing the compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you only pay our fees if we successfully obtain compensation for you. Contact us today at (602) 222-2222 or fill out our online form to speak to one of our attorneys.
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