Car accidents are scary enough on their own, but when a large commercial truck is involved, it’s even worse. It’s understandable if you are disoriented after a truck accident, and you’re not sure what to do next.
At Stewart + Harmonson, we’ve had decades of experience helping clients deal with traumatic truck accidents. To help make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together this checklist for immediately after the accident.
From our dedicated truck accident attorneys, here’s 5 things to do after a truck accident in New Mexico.
1. Call New Mexico emergency services
The most important first step to take is to make sure everyone is safe and out of harm’s way:
- If possible, pull your car to the side of the road, out of the way of traffic.
- Check to see if anyone in your car is injured, and call for emergency medical services if necessary. Once your car is secure, check on the passengers of any other vehicles involved.
- If there are no immediately apparent injuries, make sure to visit a doctor later for a check-up.
Once that’s taken care of, you also need to call the police and file a police report. They will likely come to the scene as soon as possible, and you will need to tell them everything you remember about the accident.
Police reports are important documents for insurance purposes, and for personal injury lawyers, so it’s important to let the police know as much information as you can remember.
2. Exchange insurance information with the other driver
Once you’ve called the police and emergency medical services if necessary, it’s time to exchange insurance information with the other driver. Take a picture of their insurance card and drivers’ license, or if you don’t have a phone, write down the pertinent information on a scrap of paper.
It’s crucial that you don’t say anything else to the passengers of the other vehicles. Any apologies or regret could be interpreted as an admission of fault, and in the case of a commercial truck accident, the trucking company will likely have a lot of lawyers on their side looking for any way to avoid liability.
Just make sure that the driver is okay, exchange information, and then go back to your car and wait for New Mexico police to arrive.
3. Collect evidence at the scene
The next important step to take is to collect evidence at the scene of the accident.
Here’s some examples of the types of evidence you can record by yourself:
- Write notes of everything that you remember about the accident.
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene.
- Write down the contact information of any witnesses.
This evidence will help your attorney with their investigation of the accident down the line.
4. Contact your insurance agency
You should always consult your attorney before signing any official documents with any insurance agency. However, it is a good idea to call your insurance and open a claim as soon as possible after your accident.
Most insurance companies have rules about how quickly you need to report your accident after it happens. Some may even be as short as 24 hours. So it’s important to call your insurance agency right away.
5. Visit a doctor
Once all is said and done, it’s important to visit a doctor even if you don’t have any immediately apparent symptoms after your accident. Some injuries that you can suffer from a truck accident might not become apparent until weeks or even months later.
In addition, it will be important to show the court you have done your due diligence in mitigating your damages. In other words, if you have performed regular check-ups with your doctor, a jury is more willing to believe that your injuries are real and that you’ve suffered serious damages because of them.
The last thing to do after a truck accident: hire a dedicated New Mexico accident attorney
Once you’ve filed a police report, taken down all the necessary information at the scene, and given your insurance agency a call, there’s one more important step to take: contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in truck accidents.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will work with you to file your insurance claim, and if necessary, file a personal injury claim in civil court against the driver or trucking company responsible for your accident.
In truck accident cases, there are specific types of evidence that can prove whether a driver or company acted negligently and caused your accident. Here are some examples:
- Event data recorders
- Dashboard cameras
- Company records
- Truck inspection and maintenance reports
- On-site drug and alcohol testing
With experienced truck accident lawyers like Stephen Stewart and Clark Harmonson, you can rest assured that all aspects of the accident are being investigated, and that the at-fault party will be held liable for your damages.
Contact Stewart + Harmonson today
At our Las Cruces, New Mexico-based firm Stewart + Harmonson, we know what it’s like for clients after they experience a traumatic truck accident. That’s why we’re available to help you navigate every step of the insurance, legal, and medical process for recovery. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation and talk about your case.