What to do after an accident with an 18-wheeler or large truck?

After being in an accident involving a large truck or 18-wheeler in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, or Virginia, it may be helpful to follow these steps after the crash occurs:

  • Stay on the scene

    • Remain at the scene of the truck accident no matter how minor the accident may appear to have been. Although an accident is minor, there may still be vehicle damage or physical injuries that do not appear for several days. In addition, you should remain on the scene to avoid any misinterpretation of facts regarding how the accident occurred and to avoid any doubt that you committed a hit and run.
  • Call 911

    • Once you are in a safe location, out of the way of traffic, you should call the police. The police will gather information from all of the parties involved and any witnesses that may have seen the accident occur. The officer will include all of the information in an official accident report that will be available to each party involved and their insurance carriers. Without an official accident report, both the parties involved and the insurance carriers may deny that the accident ever occurred. Therefore, even if an accident is minor, you should obtain an official accident report.
  • Gather your own information

    • Although the police will gather information and provide that information to you, you should still gather information while you are on the scene of a trucking accident. Typically, accident reports take weeks to become available and that may cause a delay in your ability to file an insurance claim or pursue potential legal action.
    • What type of information should you gather?
      • Names (full name correctly spelled), addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved.
      • Drivers’ license number, license plate number, make and model of vehicle, and insurance carrier’s name and policy number for all parties and vehicles involved.
      • Insurance carrier name and policy number for each vehicle involved.
      • Name of the company that the truck driver is employed or contracted by, and the address and phone number for the company.
      • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all witnesses that may have seen the accident occur or may have any information related to the accident.
      • Take note of any statements made by the parties involved (such as: “I’m sorry” or “I did not see you there”). These statements may help when determining who was at fault and during any recreation of the scene by your attorney or the insurance carrier.

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