What Should I do if I am Involved in an Accident in the State of Florida With a Semi Tractor Trailer or any Other Commercial Vehicle?
- Stay safe. Above all else, ensure your immediate safety and the safety of others in your vehicle. Quickly assess the risk of injury and whether moving yourself, any passengers, or the vehicle may put you or your passengers at risk for further injury.
- Move to a safe location, without leaving the scene of the accident, if you safely can, but only if your vehicle is creating a safety hazard or is obstructing traffic. Otherwise, it is most prudent to leave your vehicle in place where it has come to rest following an accident.
- Assess whether or not there are injuries.
- Call 911 immediately, if you can safely utilize a phone, to report the accident and to get help at the scene, if necessary.
- Photograph and video the property damage of the vehicles involved in the crash, including your vehicle and the scene of the crash, with your iPhone, Droid, smart phone, or other device as long as it is safe to do so.
- Obey directives of law enforcement and provide your contact information and insurance information.
- Call your insurance company. Alternatively, you can contact a Florida Truck Accident Attorney who can contact your insurance company on your behalf.
- Request a tow, if necessary.
- Note the name of the tow company, law enforcement agency and personnel, location of accident, identities of any witnesses, identities of other vehicles and drivers involved and their insurance companies and corporate identities and/or DOT numbers, and document the condition of the vehicles and the scene/physical evidence (i.e. damage to all vehicles, license plate numbers, debris and evidence at scene and in roadway, contributing factors to the accident such as obstructions, and any other landmarks or street signs to identify the location) by photograph or video if you can do so safely. Do not assume that law enforcement or the other parties involved in the accident will document these things.
- Be polite and courteous, but do not admit fault where doing so would be the product of speculation or conjecture. The accident scene is a place to gather information, not to assess or assign blame.
- Document the time/date, weather and traffic conditions, a brief description of the accident, a brief description of the injuries and damage to the vehicles, and the details of any witnesses, law enforcement and emergency personnel.
- Document everything in terms of insurance representatives you speak to, medical personnel and facilities who treat you, and any others who may be involved with investigating the accident or repairing the vehicle.
- Maintain receipts for of all expenditures related to the accident, including repair costs, medical expenses, mileage, etc.
There are a number of tasks, challenges, and stresses associated with the aftermath of a Florida Truck Accident. Because of the complexities of these cases, it is beneficial to you or your loved ones to get a Florida Truck Accident Attorney involved in the case as soon as possible. Trucking companies have "Rapid Response Teams" consisting of corporate representatives, lawyers, investigators, and insurance representatives who are oftentimes dispatched to the scene of a crash within minutes of a crash occurring. Their investigative and evidence-gathering resources are significant and are usually immediate, and that puts most victims of a truck accident at a severe disadvantage due to the inability to have their own representatives on the scene or gathering evidence as quickly as the trucking company's representatives. While most victims of a Florida Truck Accident are not immediately concerned with obtaining legal representation, one should keep in mind that competent and experienced truck-accident attorneys can ensure that the necessary steps are taken to gather evidence quickly and efficiently following a truck accident while victims and their families can focus on their recovery.