Being involved in commercial vehicle accidents can be a stressful experience. That’s because unlike collisions involving passenger vehicles, commercial vehicle accidents can be more complicated and confusing. This is true because of the extent of the damage and numerous parties involved. As such, you need to know how to handle these road collisions to save yourself from potential headaches later on. The more you’re familiar with what to do, the better you can navigate the situation.
Keep reading this article to learn about how to handle commercial vehicle accidents.
- Stop Right Away
If you were the driver of a commercial vehicle and were involved in a road accident, one of the best ways to handle it is to stop immediately to assess the situation. Whether you’re injured or not, don’t ever drive away and leave the accident scene.
The best thing you can do is switch on your hazard lights, set the brakes, and turn on the engine. Since your vehicle is bigger than passenger vehicles, doing these things is important to alert the other drivers on the road and reduce the incoming traffic in the area.
- Remain Calm
Being involved in a commercial vehicle collision can be very frightening. More often than not, you may be confused about what to do at the accident scene. Not only that, but you may also end up panicking, which may affect your sense of judgment.
You can best handle the situation if you know how to keep calm until the ambulance and police authorities arrive at the area. Instead of jeopardizing your safety, you need to compose yourself and take a deep breath before doing any actions.
- Call For Immediate Medical Attention
Regardless of the impact, a commercial vehicular accident may cause injuries to any person involved, including you. That being said, it’s essential to call the local emergency service to seek prompt medical attention.
In doing so, make sure to provide the exact location of the collision, the people you think were injured, and some relevant information about the injuries. That way, you can ensure everyone’s health is taken care of, including yours.
- Secure Photos For Documentation
When it comes to commercial vehicle accidents, you can handle these situations better if you take photos for documentation and evidence. This is especially true in case your employer or the other parties involved file an insurance claim to recover compensation for the injuries.
For example, if your company is filing an insurance claim to obtain financial resources to fund some truck repairs, it’s important to have mid-range and close-up shots of the damaged commercial vehicles from all angles. These photos can also be used to notify the repair company of the damages that should be fixed following the accident.
Aside from the vehicle damage, it’s also crucial to take photos of the vehicles’ position before they’re moved, the vehicles’ license number, road layout, skid marks and debris, and the signals and signage. This type of documentation can also be used to support your insurance claim and increase your chances of getting it approved.
- Cooperate With Your Employer For The Insurance Claim
When you’re involved in a collision, make sure to notify your employer about what happened. They can help you handle commercial vehicle collisions properly by giving you instructions to make the whole process less stressful for you and everyone involved. Further, notifying your employer about the incident is crucial when filing for an insurance claim.
Typically, your employer would need to pursue a claim with the insurance company to recover compensation that’d answer for some vehicle fixes, including trailer repairs and more. Thus, to ensure a successful claims process, be sure to cooperate with your employer to make the commercial vehicle insurance filing process as smooth as possible. To give your full cooperation, the following things should be considered:
- Submitting all the necessary documentation and evidence to your employer to help you with the claim;
- Providing all the essential details of the accident to the insurance company and lawyer to speed up the claims process;
- Talking to a lawyer in the event the case needs to be brought to court to obtain compensation for what happened.
- List Down Essential Information
If you weren’t injured in a collision, another effective way of handling commercial vehicle accidents is to write down all the essential information about the incident. These details are crucial when you decide to file an accident report and insurance claim.
The following are the list of information you need to document right from the beginning:
- Date and exact location of the accident;
- Commercial vehicle driver’s employer and company;
- Personal information of all passengers involved, including their names, addresses, and contact information;
- Insurance information of all parties involved in the collision;
- Specific details of the damages sustained by the vehicles;
- Contact information of the witnesses involved and the police officers who responded to the accident scene;
- Brief description of the lighting condition, road quality, and other circumstances, such as whether one of the drivers is intoxicated while driving.
- Don’t Admit Fault At The Accident Scene
To protect your rights and those of your employer, you need to make sure you don’t admit fault while being questioned by police authorities. Doing otherwise can be one of the mistakes to avoid after an accident because it can lead to complicated and confusing issues with the other parties involved.
So to better take care of the situation, it’s best to maintain a professional demeanor while talking to the authorities and never show signs you’re sorry. Also, make sure to keep calm and stay polite even if the other parties are playing the blame game throughout the conversation. That way, you can ensure nothing you say or do may be used against you, which, in turn, is crucial in getting a successful insurance claim for the accident.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, dealing with commercial vehicle accidents can be a tedious ordeal, especially if you have no idea what steps to take from start to finish. Therefore, if you’ve been involved in such kind of collision, keep the information mentioned above in mind. And surely, you’d be able to handle the situation more effectively. Remember, knowing what to do after an accident can save you time and reduce the anxiety associated with situations like this.