Being in a truck accident in South Carolina can be an incredibly frightening experience.
With emotions running high and the potential for very serious injuries, it can be hard to know what to do at the crash scene and in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
At Joye Law Firm, we understand that the actions you take after an accident can have a lasting impact on your health and can affect your legal rights.
To help you avoid overlooking any important steps, we’ve prepared a checklist of things to do after you’ve been involved in a truck accident.
- Stop at the accident scene. All drivers involved in an accident must stop their vehicles. A driver who doesn’t stop for an accident could be charged with hit-and-run.
- Get out of harm’s way. If no one was seriously hurt and your vehicle is in the path of traffic, it may be safest to move the vehicle to the side of the road.
- Call 911. You should call 911 if someone may have been injured, or you can contact the local police department’s non-emergency number if you just need to file an accident report. Every accident that causes property damage or injuries must be reported to the police. You will want a police officer to come to the scene and write a report if the accident was serious, if the property damage was significant or if anyone was hurt.
- Get medical help. If anyone is seriously hurt, getting help should be the first priority. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after any accident, even if you don’t initially think you were hurt. Some serious health issues, such as organ damage or internal bleeding, may not manifest symptoms right away. Other injuries may turn out to be more serious than first thought. Getting medical help can create a record that ties your injuries to the truck crash.
- Take photos at the scene. If you are able, take pictures of your vehicle, the truck, any other cars involved in the accident and the area where the accident took place. Pictures from the scene may be invaluable in proving how the truck accident happened. You can keep a camera in your car to take pictures in case of a crash or use your cell phone.
- Get the contact information of other drivers and witnesses. You should get the truck driver’s contact and insurance information and the name of the trucking company. Getting the contact information of witnesses is also smart, as they may be able to back up your version of events. Contact information for drivers and witnesses is often included in the police report.
- Be careful what you say at the accident scene. While you should cooperate with police, you do not want to accidentally say anything that jeopardizes your right to truck accident compensation or that suggests you were to blame. Provide factual answers to the questions you are asked. Don’t offer an opinion as to who was at fault, and don’t divulge unnecessary details or apologize.
- Don’t talk to insurance adjusters at the accident scene or without the advice of a lawyer. If the trucking company or truck driver has an insurance adjuster come to the accident scene, you should not say anything that undermines your claim for damages. You have no obligation to speak to the adjuster. You should not sign any documents or paperwork from an insurance company without the advice of a lawyer.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Joye Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers offer free consultations to truck accident victims in South Carolina. Our attorneys charge no fee unless and until we obtain compensation for you. Call Joye Law Firm or fill out our online contact form as soon as possible after your truck accident for a free claim review and the help you need.