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Truck Collisions--What to Do
Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC
If you are involved in a collision with a large, commercial truck in Maryland, you may be confused or unsure what to do next. Here's what to do after a collision with a truck:
Make sure everyone is out of immediate danger. Move vehicles from traffic when possible.
Call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance whenever anyone is injured.
Give a statement to the police that is concise and factual, noting what you saw and what you did, but avoiding what you were thinking, what you thought others might be thinking, and any emotions you might be feeling about any of the participants in the accident.
Make sure you have a copy of the police report. Write down the report number and the name of the investigating officer in case you lose your copy.
Gather information about the truck and truck driver, including:
- License plate number for the truck
- License plate number for the trailer
- Names or identification on the cab and trailer
- Driver information, including his name, license number, insurance information, and contact information
- Insurance information for the owners of the truck and trailer
- Note (and, if possible, take pictures of) any visible skid marks, condition of the truck's tires, and other important equipment like reflectors and underride guards. Did cargo shift or come loose? Note how the cargo was secured and if securement seems to have failed.
Get names and contact information of any witnesses and all drivers.
Get names and contact information of others gathering information or taking pictures.
See a doctor for evaluation of injuries, even if you think you're just a little stiff.
Here's what not to do:
Do not put yourself or others at risk.
Unless otherwise instructed, do not leave the scene of the accident until police arrive.
Do not give a statement to anyone other than the police without first consulting an attorney.
Do not sign anything other than the police report, after carefully reading it.
Being in a collision is not an everyday occurrence for you. But for many trucking companies, being involved in a wreck actually is an everyday occurrence, and they have employees who specialize in visiting accident sites to perform damage control, and they will do everything possible to shift blame off their drivers and onto others, maybe even you.
To protect your rights, contact a truck accident lawyer with experience handling complex truck accident cases in Maryland, like the lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. We have experience with complex truck accident cases and are prepared to help you. Call or email us today for a free consultation.