Understanding what to do after an accident can be confusing, but it’s even worse when the other vehicle is commercial. It’s also important to know who to contact after a commercial vehicle accident. If you sustained injuries in an accident, your first contact should be 911 to request medical assistance. Read on to learn more about navigating the aftermath of a commercial accident.
What To Do After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Your safety is always the most important thing to consider in any accident. Check yourself, your passengers, and the other driver for any injuries. Move your vehicle to avoid causing another accident, if possible. If you cannot move your vehicle, get to a safe location nearby.
If your injuries aren’t so severe that you’re incapacitated, you should contact 911 to have medical and police respond. You should get checked out at the scene, especially in a commercial vehicle accident. Many commercial vehicles are trucks, vans, and larger vehicles that can cause more damage.
It’s imperative to involve the police. The responding officer will document the accident scene, take statements from those involved and witnesses, and create an official report. This police report is a critical piece of documentation that can be used in your claim for damages.
While waiting for the police and emergency services, gather as much information as possible.
- Exchange information with the other driver and get the witnesses’ names;
- Take scene photos, including damage, debris, skid marks, and any other important details,
- Get the commercial vehicle information, including company name and insurance details.
One of the most important commercial vehicle accident tips is to be cautious about what you say to the responding officer. You should not admit any guilt. Avoid saying anything like I’m sorry, as it can be taken incorrectly and seen as an admission of guilt.
Who to Contact After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
After the accident, it’s essential to start the claims process immediately. Commercial accident claims can be more complicated and time-consuming. You may also deal with strict deadlines depending on who owns the vehicle. For example, a government-owned vehicle claim might require you to file a specific notice of claim with the government agency within a few months. Failure to do so could jeopardize your right to compensation.
Notify Your Insurance Company
After you leave the accident scene, contact your insurance company. Please provide them with the details of the accident and all information you collected. You should have a temporary report number from the police as well. Even though you’re speaking with your insurance company, you should avoid making any definitive statements regarding liability.
Your insurance company will let you know whether you need to set up a claim with the commercial company’s insurance or whether they will handle the initial contact. Some commercial vehicles may have internal claims departments that handle accidents. Either way, be even more cautious about speaking with the other driver’s representatives. The claims adjuster will be looking for anything that could incriminate you.
Seek Follow-up Medical Treatment
If you are not transported to the hospital from the accident scene, seeing a doctor is crucial. Even if you feel fine, you should get checked out. Some injuries, like whiplash or concussion, might not be immediately apparent. Documenting these medical visits is essential for your future compensation claim.
Hire a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Consider contacting a New Jersey truck accident lawyer who has experience in handling commercial vehicle accidents. At Petro Cohen, we have years of experience assisting injured victims get justice after a commercial accident. We will protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will assist you every step of the way so you can focus on your recovery. We will help with everything from getting the police report to negotiating a settlement on your behalf. Gathering evidence is a crucial aspect of your claim, especially if your claim winds up in litigation.