10 Steps to Follow When You Get Involved in a Trucking Accident

Strong Tie Insurance March 1, 2021 Our Blog

Getting into an accident of any kind is stressful, and it can be even more inconvenient when you’re driving on the job. Trucking accidents are a serious matter, even if you have proper insurance for commercial trucks, but they are easier to deal with if you have a plan of action.

Read the tips below so you can stay prepared in the event of an accident.

1. Stay At the Scene

It’s important to stay at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives. Otherwise, the accident could be considered a hit-and-run. 

Aside from your legal obligations to stay there, it’s also in your best interest to stay in place and learn more about the situation. You can get information about the other driver and see what the police have to say about the accident. 

2. Contact Law Enforcement

After you get in an accident, it’s important to notify law enforcement and emergency services. You can call the police station or call 911, depending on how serious the accident is and if there are any injuries. Make sure to get a copy of the finished police report for your records, since it will be a useful reference to send to your insurance company. 

Even if there are no injuries, you still need to contact law enforcement and make sure they file a report. This will provide an important legal record for insurance purposes and to make sure that 

3. Contact the DMV

In some situations, you’ll need to contact the DMV about the accident, depending on the severity. 

It’s your legal obligation to report any accident that involves an injury or damage to a vehicle over $750 within 10 days. If you don’t notify them within those 10 days, the DMV could suspend your license. 

4. Get Medical Attention

Many injuries are immediately obvious, like scratches or broken bones. Others might not be immediately apparent, though, so it’s important to get a checkup from a doctor and make sure you don’t have any injuries that you haven’t noticed. Symptoms can take a while to appear, and the adrenaline from the accident can distract you from the pain. 

It’s also useful to have a report from a medical professional to refer to, for insurance or legal purposes. That way, you’ll have proof of any injuries. Keep all the hospital bills and paperwork for your commercial insurance company to refer to.

5. Document the Damage

Proof of what really happened is important in any accident, and taking pictures of the incident yourself is a good way to make sure you have evidence. Smartphones make photographic evidence easier to obtain than ever.

Make sure to document the damage to the vehicles, any injuries sustained by you or another party, and even the positioning of the vehicles, if possible. Since photos are timestamped, they’re useful evidence in or out of court.

6. Move to the Side of the Road When Possible

If you’re able to move to the side of the road, do so as soon as possible. That way, you can prevent other accidents and avoid causing more traffic. If you stay in the middle of the road, there is the risk of another car hitting one of the people or vehicles involved. 

If anyone is injured, though, make sure to stay in place to avoid making the injury worse. A law enforcement officer can help block off your area of the street until help arrives. The same applies if your vehicle is seriously damaged. If you have any flares in your truck, try setting them around the accident so that passing cars can avoid the area.

7. Get Information from the Other Parties Involved

When the accident occurs, you’ll need to get some important information from the other parties involved. This information could be important in the future, especially when it comes to insurance. It’s important to stay civil during this conversation so you can get the contact details you need.

The most important information is the person’s name and contact information, including their address and phone number. Their license plate number and insurance company are also important information to have. 

Make sure not to discuss who is at fault in the accident, because even a simple apology can come back to haunt you as an admission of fault. Instead, just stick to the facts of your contact information and insurance company. 

8. Get Contact Information from Witnesses

It’s always a good idea to find witnesses at the scene and get their contact information. These witnesses can provide an outside perspective on the series of events that led to the accident, if it becomes necessary. 

Another option is to ask for a written statement with their contact information, but that isn’t always possible, especially if the accident occurs in a high-traffic area or if the scene is chaotic. 

9. Contact Your Insurance Company

After any accident, you should make it a priority to contact your insurance company. They might not be the first call you make, but be sure to communicate with them so they are aware of the situation. You can give them the details from the police report about the extent of damages and injuries.

Every truck driver needs quality insurance for commercial trucks, because trucks can cause more damage in an accident than standard vehicles. 

10. Take Your Truck to the Shop

If there’s visible damage to your truck, this is an obvious step. You’ll need to get repairs before you can get back to work as a trucker.

Even if your truck seems mostly intact, it’s still important to have it assessed by a professional. Structural damage, alignment issues, and other issues could be a concern.

There could be damage that isn’t noticeable to a layperson, and there’s nothing worse than having a serious auto issue sneak up on you at an inconvenient moment. 

Good insurance for commercial trucks can make an accident a lot less stressful. Strong Tie Insurance offers affordable plans tailored to your unique truck driving jobs, so you can drive comfortably, knowing that you have quality coverage. Contact us today for a free quote and more information about our services.