Citizens and attorneys advocating for change through education, awareness, and legislation.

What to Do After an Accident

If you or a family member was involved in an accident involving a truck such as a tanker, tractor trailer, semi or 18-wheeler, you may be wondering what you should do next. Regardless of whether or not you’ve been injured, you should:

  • Say nothing
  • Call the police
  • See a doctor
  • Notify your insurance company
  • Decide if you need an attorney

Say Nothing

When talking to the police or highway patrol about the accident, it’s important to be truthful about what happened. When it’s too early to establish fault, it’s also important that you refrain from saying anything that sounds like you’re suggesting it was your fault such as:

  • Apologizing
  • Admitting fault
  • Telling the other driver that your employer will take care of everything
  • Saying “I didn’t see you” or anything of the kind

Call the Police

Call 911 to report the accident. Many state laws require that you report an accident right away. Leaving the scene of an accident without waiting for the police to come is a crime in most states. Reporting the accident is also important if someone is hurt and needs immediate medical attention.

See a Doctor

Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, it is best to be examined by a doctor. You may be dazed or in shock from the accident and not notice your own injuries.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Your insurance policy will have instructions on how to report a claim, including the person or office to which it must be reported. Your insurance card should list a claims phone number so you can call to tell them about the accident.

Decide if You Need an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you may need an attorney. An attorney can help you decide if you need to file a lawsuit and can investigate the accident for evidence. When you’ve been in an accident with a large truck, an attorney can look into:

  • The truck’s condition and maintenance records
  • The speed the truck was traveling at the time of the accident
  • The truck driver’s log book, GPS information and the truck’s “black box”
  • Witness statements from eyewitnesses and first responders
  • The driver’s driving history and whether he or she had any prior accidents
  • The trucking company’s policies and procedures regarding safety and maintenance and the company’s accident history