5 Steps to Take After a Commercial Vehicle Accident

By David Hammond

Being involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle can be an overwhelming experience. The shock of the collision and the complexity of the situation may leave you unsure who bears ultimate liability for the crash, your injuries, and any damage your property may have suffered. However, by taking the proper steps after a collision—including consulting with an experienced Syracuse & Central New York truck accident attorney—you can develop a clear path toward recovering the compensation you deserve. Here is what to do to protect yourself and your claim.

1. Ensure Your Safety and Alert Authorities

The first priority after a commercial vehicle accident is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the shoulder of the road or a nearby parking lot. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries, and call 911 if anyone requires immediate medical attention. 

Once you are in a safe location, contact the police to report the accident. The responding officer will create an official accident report, which can serve as a critical piece of evidence in your case.

2. Report the Accident and Gather Information

While at the scene, gather as much information as possible about the commercial vehicle and its driver. Get the driver’s name, contact information, the name of their employer, and their insurance details. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact information as well. Their statements can help corroborate your version of events and strengthen your claim.

3. Document the Accident Scene

The more details you can preserve about the accident scene, the better for your eventual claim. Use your smartphone to take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved, making sure to capture the commercial vehicle’s license plate and any company logos or identifying information. If you have visible injuries, photograph those as well. 

Make detailed notes about the accident location, time, weather conditions, and any other relevant details while they are still fresh in your mind. This documentation can be crucial when negotiating with insurance companies or presenting your case in court.

4. Seek Medical Attention

Get medical help, even if your injuries seem minor. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent, yet they can have severe consequences if left untreated. Seeing a doctor also creates a record of your injuries, which can be valuable evidence for your claim.

5. Consult with a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the complex legal issues surrounding a commercial vehicle accident is a task best left to an experienced personal injury lawyer. The skilled legal team at CDH Law PLLC has the track record you can trust when results matter most. We know how federal and state regulations can affect a claim, how to uncover every party that might be liable for your injuries, and how to counteract the tactics that trucking companies and their insurers might employ to fight your claim. We will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and advocate tirelessly on your behalf as we fight for the maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. What’s more, we won’t charge you a fee unless we win your case, so there’s no risk in standing up for your rights.

Contact Our Attorneys at CDH Law PLLC Today

The aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident can be a time of anxiety and confusion. However, if you take the above steps to keep yourself safe and protect your claim, you can minimize the stress and maximize your chances of recovering fair compensation. Right now, the best thing you can do is speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer about your rights and options. So contact CDH Law PLLC today for a free consultation, and let’s explore your options for pursuing justice together.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.