No one wants to be involved in a truck accident, or any collision, but accidents can and do, happen, all too frequently. It is hard to think clearly and remember all the things you should do when you’ve just had a sudden shock to your system, you may be injured, and you are upset. You should try to memorize a list of things to do in such a situation so that it might come back to you as second nature in your time of need. Recently, such a truck accident occurred on I-275 near 22nd Avenue N in St. Petersburg.
1. Never leave the scene of an accident, even if you are scared and think you might be the one at fault. It is very important to stay and let the facts be understood. Speak to a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and your responsibilities.
2. Call 911 to notify the authorities of the accident so they can arrive at the scene to help sort things out and make sure reports are filed properly. It’s always wise to call the police, even if the other person(s) involved doesn’t want you to, or, especially if they don’t want you to. You need official documentation. Otherwise, it could end up affecting you negatively later on and then you can’t go back and change those circumstances.
3. If you or anyone involved has been hurt, ensure the police know to send an ambulance right away. Never attempt to move an injured person on your own, as you don’t know the extent of any possible injuries, most notably internal injuries.
4. The vehicles involved should not be moved until after the police have arrived and experts have examined the accident scene. The position of the damaged vehicles, tire tracks, skid marks, etc. needs to be documented.
5. Cooperate with police and emergency personnel as they arrive. Try not to divulge any unnecessary details that might implicate you as being at fault until after the facts have been ascertained and you have spoken with a personal injury attorney.
6. Never give any statement in writing at the scene of the accident, and never sign anything without first speaking to a personal injury attorney.
7. Always have your insurance information with you, handy and available. Notify your insurance company as soon as you can and understand what your insurance does and doesn’t cover.
8. If you are not injured yourself, always try to jot down the license plate numbers of any and all vehicles involved, as well as vehicle identification numbers (VIN), if possible. As well, if there are witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and phone numbers for reference and possible later use, if needed.
9. The majority of people carry a cell phone with a camera. If a camera is available, take pictures – plenty of pictures – to document all evidence. It might be very important later. If you don’t ordinarily carry a cell phone with a camera, consider purchasing a disposable camera and leaving it in your glove compartment for emergency uses.
10. Even if you don’t think you have been injured, especially when the accident involves a large truck, make an appointment with your physician to be checked out anyway. Internal injuries might not show up immediately. Follow the best course of action and visit your doctor. If an injury is found, the documentation from your doctor’s visit will also be helpful to your case, if it comes to that.
Remember, U.S. law protects those who have been affected by truck accidents. Seek a Pinellas personal injury attorney to assist with your needs.