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What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Truck accidents can be particularly dangerous and stressful. The size of the vehicle increases the potential for injury and death. A large truck’s maneuverability, its weight, and the physical or mental state of the driver can all determine when a truck accident occurs. We’ve all thought about how we would handle it and asked ourselves, “What should I do at the scene of a truck accident?” If you’ve been in a truck accident, contact a Charlotte truck accident attorney today.

What should I do at the scene of a truck accident?

What to Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident

Witnessing or experiencing a truck accident can be one of the most traumatic events of your life, depending on the circumstances. North Carolina is an “at fault” state for auto accidents, meaning that the driver who is found liable for the accident is responsible for compensating the other involved parties for damages. Your witness testimony could potentially help someone with their case, especially if you saw any negligent behavior from the driver of the truck in question.

The aftermath of a truck accident can be chaotic, confusing, and time-sensitive. It is important that you take the proper steps immediately following a truck accident so the fallout is as minimal as it can possibly be:

  • Do Not Panic: As soon as an accident has occurred, your first instinct may be to panic in a chaotic fashion. While this is reasonable, given the circumstances, it is recommended that you try your hardest to calm down, focus, and remember what has just happened to you.
  • Check for Injuries: Once you have calmed yourself down, immediately start checking your body for injuries. If you find any substantial injuries, do not attempt to exit the vehicle or move yourself. Call 911 and wait for an ambulance. If you do not have any injuries, check others in the car for injuries.
  • Call 911: As soon as you have assessed your physical condition, call the police and an ambulance to your location. Even if you feel that you do not have any obvious injuries, there may be internal trauma that you are unaware of. Have the EMTs check you for any subtle signs of injuries, just to be safe.
  • Move Your Car: If you are physically able to do so, attempt to move your vehicle off the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. The last thing you want is to inadvertently cause another accident. In a truck accident, your car may be more damaged than if it was in an accident with another car. This may be easier said than done. If you are unable to move your car, don’t worry about it. Get yourself to the side of the road.
  • Document the Scene: Once you have been medically cleared by the EMTs and have done what you can to move your vehicle, you should start documenting the scene. Take photos of all the damage to every vehicle involved in the accident, along with license plate numbers, other drivers’ insurance information, injuries, road conditions, and any property damage that may have occurred.
  • Gather Witness Statements: It is paramount that you speak to any witnesses who may have seen the accident happen. Their testimony may be crucial when it is time to file an insurance claim.
  • Report the Accident: If you haven’t already, be sure to report the accident to the proper authorities and your insurance company. Keep a copy of the accident report for your records, as you will need that to file an insurance claim.
  • Consult a Lawyer: After the accident has been cleared up and you are back home, possibly a bit shaken up, you should consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer to get started on building your case for an insurance claim.


Q: What Do I Do at the Scene of a Crash?

A: The most important thing to do at the scene of a crash is to not get overwhelmed. Being involved in a truck accident is not an easy thing to deal with. If it happens to you, you are going to feel frightened, confused, or angry, and you’ll likely be in pain. Do whatever you can to stay calm and collect yourself. Then, assess your situation and take steps to protect yourself financially before you need to file an insurance claim.

Q: What Shouldn’t I Say at the Scene of an Accident?

A: Whatever you do, in the event of an accident, you should never admit fault of any kind. If you admit fault, even partially, the other party’s insurance company can use that to attempt to put all the blame on you, which would prevent you from seeking compensatory damages through legal action. Even if the accident was your fault, do not discuss it openly with anybody at the scene. Discuss it with your lawyer, who can advise you on how to handle the situation.

Q: What Is the First Thing You Do When You Arrive at an Accident Scene?

A: The first thing you should do when you arrive at an accident scene is check people for injuries. If the accident is significant and medical professionals or police have not yet arrived, you may want to assist in checking victims for injuries and tending to the injured by providing water, towels, or anything you can. Turn the hazard lights on in your car and park on the side, which can help notify oncoming cars that there has been an accident.

Q: What Shouldn’t a Driver Do If They Are Involved in a Collision?

A: There are three major things you should never do if you are involved in an auto collision. All three of these can make you more susceptible to legal trouble and physical danger:

  • Don’t let anyone take photos of your license. This opens you up to possible identity theft.
  • Don’t share extra information. Only share your personal information with law enforcement, not with other drivers.
  • Don’t put yourself in danger. Stay out of the way, and don’t put others at risk.

Reach Out to a Truck Accident Lawyer Today

The legal team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler is prepared to help you file an insurance claim in the event of a truck accident. Contact us to schedule a consultation for help with managing your claim.