Being involved in a truck accident can turn your world upside down. Unfortunately, such accidents have become all too common. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there were more than 2,000 accidents involving large trucks on Colorado roads in 2022, resulting in 664 serious injuries and 96 fatalities.
No matter what precautions you take, there is always a chance that you could become involved in a truck accident. If this does happen, it’s essential to be prepared and know what steps to take. Keep reading to learn more about what to do after a truck accident in Colorado to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
What to Do After a Truck Accident: Step-by-Step Guide
The moments immediately after a truck accident can feel like a blur. Nevertheless, these are also highly crucial moments that can significantly impact your potential recovery if not handled appropriately.
You are not alone if you’re wondering what to do after a semi-truck accident. Below are eight steps to take to better preserve your rights and interests.
Pull Your Vehicle Over
An important but often overlooked step to take immediately after a truck accident is to pull your vehicle over to the shoulder of the road if feasible. Failure to move your car out of harm’s way can lead to additional damage and injuries from oncoming traffic.
Depending on the circumstances, your injuries may be too significant, or you may be unable to maneuver the vehicle safely without risking further injuries. Thus, use your best judgment and only pull your car over if you can do so.
Check for Injuries
Next, be sure to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Common types of injuries in a semi-truck accident include:
- Cuts and lacerations,
- Bone fractures,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Head injuries,
- Soft tissue injuries,
- Internal organ damage, and
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Not all types of injuries will be immediately visible. However, note any injuries or symptoms you do notice, so you can seek appropriate medical attention later on.
Call the Authorities
Once you’ve assessed and ensured the safety of yourself and your passengers, contact law enforcement to report the incident. It is a requirement under Colorado law to call law enforcement even if you don’t believe your injuries or property damage are significant.
Colorado Revised Statutes section 42-4-1606 states that any motor vehicle driver who is involved in an accident resulting in property damage, injury, or death has a duty to notify the nearest police authority of the incident. This step can also benefit your legal recovery moving forward.
When law enforcement arrives at the scene of an accident, they can help identify potential witnesses and obtain their statements. The police will also generate an accident report, which may be used later to help support your claims.
Exchange Information with the Other Party
Unless your injuries or other safety concerns prevent you from doing so, exchanging contact and insurance information with the truck driver and any other parties involved in the accident will be important. Below are some examples of information to request:
- Phone numbers,
- Driver’s license information,
- Insurance information, and
- Truck registration details.
You will need this information as you navigate the insurance claims process or if you must pursue a personal lawsuit in court.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
As you pursue compensation for your injuries, it will be imperative to have evidence to support your claims. Some of the best evidence will often be available in the minutes and hours immediately following the collision. Examples of evidence that may be available at the scene of the accident include:
- Photos of the accident scene,
- Security footage,
- Description of the road conditions, and
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the accident.
The more evidence you have, the better your chance of proving your injury claims successfully.
Seek Medical Attention
It is also imperative to seek immediate medical attention as soon as practicable after the accident. Even if you do not believe you have any severe injuries, consulting a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation is advisable.
Doing so can help identify injuries that may not be immediately apparent before they worsen. Additionally, a qualified professional’s medical assessment of your injuries is often necessary to prove your claims.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Next, don’t forget to report the incident to your insurance company promptly.
Even if you were not at fault, it is essential to contact your insurer and provide them with the basic details of this accident. This will allow them to help you pursue compensation from the at-fault truck driver.
Speak with a Colorado Truck Accident Lawyer
Lastly, consider consulting with an experienced Colorado truck accident lawyer. While this is not a required step, doing so is often one of the best things you can do for your case.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help you:
- Investigate and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
- Gather evidence to help support your claims;
- Identify potential witnesses who may testify on your behalf;
- Calculate your potential damages to determine what you may be entitled to recover;
- Negotiate with opposing parties and their insurance carriers; and
- File a lawsuit and pursue your claims in court when necessary.
A Colorado truck accident lawyer can help you protect and pursue your rights and fight to maximize your recovery.
Contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC Today
You will never have to follow the preceding steps in an ideal world. However, if you do, know you can contact our team to help you move forward.
At the Tenge Law Firm, we aim to achieve the best possible results for our clients as expeditiously as possible. In the past seven years, we have recovered over $50 million in valuable compensation for our clients, and we will strive to get you the results you need and deserve.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a Colorado truck accident, contact us today to discuss your case and start the pathway to recovery.