Within hours of an accident, trucking companies usually have investigators at the scene of the crash to collect evidence for use in a case. Likewise, accident victims need to begin gathering evidence to bolster their claim for compensation.
At Khan Injury Law, PLLC, our legal team represents many clients injured in crashes with large commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers, semi-trucks, and sanitation vehicles. If you were hurt, follow the steps below and then reach out to our law firm.
Call an Ambulance for Anyone Badly Injured
Some truck accidents cause horrific injuries, and more than one person has been rushed to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance following a wreck. Ask all passengers in your car if they are okay or if they need an ambulance. If you can exit your vehicle, ask anyone else involved in the crash if they need you to call 911.
Notify the Police
Washington requires that those involved in accidents report them as soon as possible. You can call the Seattle police to report a crash. An officer should come to the scene.
Swap Information with the Truck Driver
You should get the following:
- Driver’s name
- Driver’s license number
- Truck license plate number
- Insurance information
Share your own information with the driver as well.
Some truck accidents involve multiple vehicles. For example, you might have been rear-ended, which caused you to crash into the car in front of you. Get the above information for any driver involved in the crash, because they could also make an insurance claim.
Take Pictures of the Scene
It is impossible to fully reconstruct how an accident happened later without photographic evidence. Try to get a picture of the vehicles before they are moved out of the way. This helps us “see” where they ended up, which helps with assigning fault for the crash.
Remember to get a picture of every side of a vehicle involved, including the truck. Zoom in on any damage. Also, take multiple pictures of skid marks and the debris field.
Record Your Impressions of the Truck Driver
There is usually quite a bit of information that will be helpful. For example:
- Write down anything the driver said to you or a witness.
- Note whether the driver had a cell phone in his hand when he got out of the truck.
- Document if the driver had beer cans spilling out of the truck or in his hand.
- Note anything helpful about the driver, such as slurred speech, lack of balance, or bloodshot eyes which might indicate alcohol use
Go to the Hospital
Even if you felt “okay,” you should still be checked out by a doctor. Always follow any recommended treatment, such as rehab or even therapy to deal with the shock created by the crash.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Your insurer will want to know about the wreck as soon as possible, so call and report it. This will get the claims process started. Typically, your insurer will reach out to the trucking company or its insurer to coordinate a claim.