There is not much worse than the initial feeling of dread and uncertainty after you have been in any sort of vehicle accident, especially one with a large commercial truck. In most truck accidents, injuries are severe, and property damage is extensive.

You may be wondering what steps to take after being in a truck accident, both immediately and after the collision. Knowing what to do after a truck accident can make a difference in your ability to present all the evidence needed to prove your personal injury claim.

Truck Accidents in New Jersey

According to the New Jersey Motor Transportation Association, 84.5% of New Jersey communities rely exclusively on trucking to move their goods. That means there are a good number of trucks on the road. In 2019, there were 73 large trucks involved in fatal accidents throughout the state.

Steps to Take After Being in a Truck Accident

If you have been in a truck accident in New Jersey, the first thing that you need to understand is that nothing is more important than your health and well-being. If you have serious injuries, do not hesitate to receive immediate medical attention, even if that means leaving the accident scene before gathering evidence. Your safety comes first, and everything else is secondary. As you read these steps, note that some may not apply to your situation. These are just tips to improve your chances of a successful recovery and injury claim. But even if you do not follow these steps, you can still get compensation.

Get Yourself to Safety

If your vehicle is safe to drive, turn on your hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road. If you cannot move your vehicle but can safely move yourself, get out of your car and get to the side of the road. Sometimes other vehicles do not recognize that there has been an accident and may hit your car if it is still on the road.

Contact Local Law Enforcement

It is important to have official documentation of the accident. A New Jersey police accident report will document what happened and might include witness information, a crash diagram, vehicle information, and what the officer believes caused the accident.

Take Photos of the Scene

If you are physically able and have a smartphone or camera available, take photos of the accident scene. Include close-ups and photos of the entire scene from a broader view. You may also want to get photos of your injuries and vehicle damage.

Talk to Witnesses

Though the officer on scene may gather witness information, consider requesting that information from them yourself. You could even ask witnesses to email you a write-up of what they saw. Your attorney can also reach out to witnesses on your behalf if you have their contact information.

File an Insurance Claim

New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that filing a claim with your own insurance company is an important part of what you should do after being in a truck accident. In most cases, truck accidents cause severe damage, and you will meet the requirements for filing a lawsuit. But always speak with a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company, as they typically throw out a lowball offer in the hopes of making the case go away. Do not accept an insurance settlement that is less than what you deserve because once you accept it, you can never go back for more, regardless of how much your injuries cost you.

Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

You do not want to navigate a truck accident lawsuit alone. Unlike most passenger vehicle accidents, there could be multiple parties liable for your injuries, including the trucking companies. Big businesses often have their own legal counsel, and you do not want to go up against them without representation.

The award-winning team at Petro Cohen, P.C. have handled thousands of personal injury claims throughout New Jersey. We can help determine the value of your claim and the best legal strategy to get you the compensation you are entitled to. Understanding what you should do if you are in a truck accident can be stressful, but we are here to support and guide you through the process. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.