If you or someone you know has been in a truck accident, it can be difficult to think beyond immediate needs, and rightfully so. Truck accidents can be devastating. Once you have addressed immediate dangers, you may be wondering what information to collect after a truck accident.
If the accident was caused by the negligent or intentional behavior of another party, the information you gather after a truck accident can be instrumental in determining your ability to receive adequate compensation. That being said, compensation is important, but will never exceed the value of your health. If you are seriously injured or potentially injured in a truck accident, emergency medical personnel should be requested at the scene of the accident.
Gerling Injury Law Truck Accident Attorneys
Obtaining certain information is important, but it will likely not be as big a factor in your settlement as having an experienced personal injury attorney who can conduct an independent investigation into your accident and negotiate on your behalf. The team at Gerling Law understands how hard it can be to determine the best path forward after experiencing a truck accident, and we are here to help. Truck accidents can be more complicated than standard automobile accidents, and we can guide you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve and help you find what info to collect after a truck accident.
Trucking Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has some astounding statistics demonstrating the prevalence of truck accidents in recent years:
- There were approximately 415,000 crashes involving large trucks reported by police in 2020. Of those crashes 4,444 were fatal and 101,000 resulted in injuries.
- The majority of fatalities (83%) in large truck accidents were not occupants of the large truck.
- Approximately 54% of all large truck accidents resulting in fatalities occurred in rural areas. 27% occurred on interstate highways, and the remaining 13% occurred on rural interstate highways, putting them in both categories.
- Over 80% of crashes involving large trucks occur on weekdays.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of April 2022, there were 1.564 million people employed in the truck transportation subsector, and it is expecting continued growth.
What Information to Collect After a Truck Accident
The more information you have the better, regardless of whether you are in an at-fault state like Indiana or Illinois, or a no-fault state, such as Kentucky. The severity of your injuries and circumstances of the accident will determine the best legal strategy. Here is what info to collect in a truck accident.
Other Driver Contact Information
You cannot receive compensation from the other driver if you cannot find them. Ask for the other driver’s important information such as name, address, date of birth, and telephone number. You will certainly want their insurance information as well. If you have the ability to take a photo of these pieces of information, that would be helpful and quick.
If there are passengers in the other vehicle or people who saw the accident, you should get their contact information as well. You may need to find them later to provide witness testimony. The police should also be gathering this information, but it is a good idea to have it yourself as a backup.
Make sure you acquire details about the other vehicle, including make, model, year, and license plate number. At bare minimum, get the license plate number. Again, taking a photo makes this easy. If the accident is with a commercial truck, you will also want to obtain whatever information you can about the trucking company.
The police report is an important document that the insurance company will want access to. Ask the officers on the scene for a copy of the report or the incident number. You should also write down the names of the officers so you can contact them if needed.
Photos of the Scene
If you have a smartphone available, and can safely do so, consider taking photos of the accident scene. Include placement of vehicles from a wide angle and close up photos of damage.
Who Is Liable for Damages in a Truck Accident?
Trucking companies are generally responsible for the actions of their drivers. You will need to file an insurance claim to recover damages. If you are in a no-fault state, you will likely need to file a claim with your own insurance carrier first. But even in no-fault states like Kentucky, the gravity and circumstances of the accident may allow you to seek compensation from an at-fault party. Such parties could include:
- The driver of the truck for their negligent actions,
- The trucking company for the actions of the driver or lack of education or training,
- The cargo loading company or individual if an unbalanced trailer caused the accident,
- Truck manufacturer of a specific part if a defective part was responsible,
- A government municipality for failing to maintain roadways, or
- A truck mechanic for poor repairs or maintenance.
Depending on the circumstances of your truck accident, multiple parties may be liable for your injuries.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
The more information the better. When determining what info to collect after a truck accident, know that you may not be able to get all the facts necessary to succeed on your claim and get a fair settlement or verdict. Trucking companies often have their own legal counsel. You should not stand up to them alone. We can help you understand the true value of your claim and ensure that you do not settle for less than what you are entitled to. The team at Gerling Law can conduct an independent investigation into your accident and gather additional evidence to support your claim for compensation. We have recovered over $500 million for clients in the tri-state area and are available 24/7 to discuss your case and how we can help. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.