There are several things you should remember to do directly after a truck accident. First, you should be sure that you and the other party are all right. If you didn’t hit another vehicle, check any passengers in your own. In either case, once you know that there are no serious injuries you should call the police to file an accident report. Take pictures of any damage to your truck and any other involved vehicles, and then wait for the police to arrive.
If your truck accident occurred in the center of a highway or busy parking area, be sure to move the vehicles off to the side to avoid further accidents, if possible. Injured individuals should not be moved unless there is immediate danger of being hit by another vehicle. Call emergency services if there are any serious injuries which require medical attention right away rather than calling the police station directly. Otherwise, dialing the local dispatcher is fine.
Once everyone is out of harm’s way, if there are no serious injuries, you should exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved. It’s a good idea to keep a camera in the glove box to take pictures of the truck accident. This will allow you to give insurance adjusters and sometimes the police an accurate depiction of the damage.
All involved parties should remain at the accident site until the police arrive. Sometimes this can take a while if other more serious accidents or situations are occurring, so be patient and use the time to do a thorough inspection of your truck and passengers. If the damage is extensive, you will likely need to call a tow truck to move it to shop or scrap area. If damage is less severe you may be able to drive the truck home, but be sure there are no gas, oil, or fluid leaks before you attempt it.
Sometimes injuries after a truck accident don’t show up until hours or days later. Whiplash, for instance, usually doesn’t appear until later. If any small children were involved, it is advised that they be seen by medical personnel even if symptoms are not present. This is especially important for infants and toddlers because their necks and backs are not as strong as those of older children and adults.
After the report has been filed and you are sure everyone involved is safe and free from injuries, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company to cover any damage caused to the other party in the accident. If you do not have insurance, you are responsible for paying for repairs to their car and any public property which may have been damaged. The police may rule which party was at fault for the accident so that insurance premiums and payments can be adjusted accordingly.