Preliminary Legal Steps for a Commercial Truck Driver Following an Accident

January 3, 2013

Commercial truck drivers should be trained to take a few initial steps to support their legal case following an accident. These steps are possible only if the driver is not injured, or not involved in helping other injured individuals at the scene of the accident.

Obeying the Authorities

From a legal perspective, the first thing on the driver's mind should be to call up the police, even if no one is injured in the accident. Secondly, the driver must remember to stay at the scene of accident until the police arrive, and leave the scene only when the police so directs.

File a Comprehensive Report

Commercial truck drivers should be trained to make a comprehensive accident report that includes even minute information related to the accident. The report should be completed as early as possible so that the driver can recollect maximum details of the accident. The report should include detailed information about the physical injuries or property damage caused in the accident. The cause of the accident and the role played by each involved party should be recorded as accurately as possible.

If possible, the driver should ask for and note down the contact details, vehicle registration, and driver's license number of the other driver involved in the accident. The details about the other driver's insurance company and the insurance policy number should also be recorded. Thereafter, the driver should try to identify any eyewitnesses or third parties that may be related to the accident.

Their contact information should be noted for future reference. The time, date, and location of the accident, the position of the colliding vehicles, weather, and traffic conditions, and any other factors pertinent to the accident should also be recorded as a part of the accident report. A comprehensive report will serve as crucial piece of information and evidence later on when the case is examined under the law.

Tips for the Driver

If the commercial truck driver is carrying a mobile phone with a camera, it may be a good idea to photograph the scene of accident and the original position of the vehicles involved in the accident. This can prove to be the most crucial physical evidence in many personal injury cases involving a commercial truck.

The drivers should also be trained against making any unnecessary statements or remarks that may go against their own defense later on. Careless argumentation and recklessly accusing the other parties should be avoided. The driver should refrain from admitting fault because he or she may not know whose fault it may actually be under the state laws. The driver should also refuse to sign any document or statement except for what the police may officially require.

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