The Steps to Take Following Commercial Truck Accidents

Due to the sheer weight and size of these vehicles, any road accidents that involve a large, commercial truck are often very dangerous and a terrifying experience. The trucking industry is a massive, important one that is integral to the economy. As consumers demand for products grows rapidly, so does the number of trucks on the road. The demand for good truck drivers has never been higher. The trucking industry is a busy, deadline-driven one that puts a huge amount of pressure on truck drivers to cover even more miles in steadily decreasing periods of time.

While it might mean that products are landing on the shelves sooner, the bad news is that the high demand is leaving many professional truck drivers in a situation where they are working under extreme amounts of pressure. In these situations, even the safest and most conscientious professional drivers can be more prone to being involved in an accident. A crash involving a truck can be a very serious accident, and if you have been involved in a road accident with a truck, it’s important to know the steps that you should take afterwards.

 

What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Accidents?

Most accidents on the road involving trucks are caused by an error on the part of the truck driver, according to FMCSA. This is often due to the high demand and pressure on the trucking industry and truck drivers. However, truck drivers are professionals who are held to a higher set of standards compared to regular car drivers. Some of the main reasons for driver error that might be behind a truck accident are:

Decision

This refers to the failure of the driver to make the best decision based on the current driving conditions. For example, this could include exceeding the speed limit, or driving at a speed that is too fast for the current road or weather conditions, such as heavy traffic or heavy rain. Drivers might also misjudge the speed that other vehicles are traveling at or risk a crash by following another vehicle too closely.

Non-Performance

This is the driver’s failure to perform their driving duties adequately. For example, this could be caused by an overworked trucker who falls asleep at the wheel, or their driving being affected by a physical impairment or health condition such as a seizure.

Performance

Over performance is one of the main types of performance issues with truckers. This could involve overcompensating for a driving error, panicking while at the wheel, or having poor directional control.

Recognition

This involves the failure of the truck driver to adequately recognize and respond to driving situations. This might be caused by a distraction inside or outside of the cab, for example, or down to simply not paying enough attention to the road.

 

What to Do If You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident

It is important that all drivers on the road know what to do after being involved in a truck accident. The first day or two following the accident are the most critical, with a lot to do during this time.

Call the Police

After being hit by a commercial truck, the first thing you should do is call the police. Do not speak to anybody else before the police arrive, unless you need to provide emergency first aid. Always check your own condition first – if you believe you have been injured, then inform the police of this and they will send EMTs to the scene to help. Once the police arrive, they will need to get a report – this is crucial when you are filing a truck accident injury claim in the future. Provide the police with an accurate description of what happened during the accident.

Take Photos

If you can, take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved. Try to get at least a couple photos of the area where the accident took place, any damage to the vehicles, and any visible injuries. If you have dash cam footage, then it’s important to save this as well as it can come in very handy in the future.

Exchange Information

You will need to get some information from the truck driver who you have been involved in an accident with. If possible, before you leave the scene, get their name, contact number, license plate number, insurance information, and the name and contact information of the trucking company that they work for. If you are unable to get this information due to injury to yourself or the truck driver, be sure to arrange to have somebody do it for you.

Get Medical Help

Once you can leave the accident scene, you should seek medical attention right away. This could involve going to the Emergency Room, an Urgent Care center or seeing your doctor. Either way, the sooner you get medical attention, the better. Even if you feel fine, it is worth getting checked out by a medical professional as the shock that an accident can cause can sometimes mask the pain from injuries you have suffered. Along with this, having any injuries documented on the same day as the accident will go in your favor when it comes to filing an accident claim and getting the compensation you deserve.

Contact an Attorney

Contacting an attorney is an important step that you can take at any point during the aftermath of your trucking accident. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. An experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in truck accidents will be able to help you better understand your case and take on the hard work for you while you focus on recovering from any injuries and getting back on the road. They will handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf and obtain all the necessary documentation for filing an injury claim.

At Karns & Karns Injury and Accident Attorneys, we are ready to fight to get only the best results for our clients. We know how terrifying truck accidents can be, and whether you had a lucky escape or have suffered life-changing injuries from being involved in a collision with a truck, we want to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to – get in touch to discuss your case today.

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