These days, getting hit by a box truck isn’t that unlikely. They’re used by big delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Individuals rent them for short-range moves, and small businesses use them to get their products to local customers. Their box-like shape makes them easy to spot on the roads in cities and towns from coast to coast.
Their ubiquity also means that the odds of getting into a commercial truck accident is quite high. If you get hit by a box truck, you can suffer very serious injuries, more than a regular car accident. Because they’re not personal vehicles, what you need to do in the aftermath is a bit different.
What to do After Being Hit by a Box Truck
If you’re unfortunate enough to get hit by a box truck, don’t panic. Try to remain calm and keep your wits about you. You’ll need to remember everything you can to handle the situation. In order, you should:
Call an Ambulance
The impact of a box truck might cause you serious injuries. There’s a good chance you’ll need immediate medical attention. Your health should be your first concern in any accident. Take the time to call for an ambulance so that qualified medical personnel can make sure you’re okay. They’ll establish a record of any injuries you’ve suffered. A record of injuries will be helpful if you end up needing to file a claim for damages.
If You Are Hit By A Box Truck, Make Sure to Get a Police Report
No matter the severity of the accident, you should insist on having the police come to the scene and that they provide you with a report of the incident. In many locations, failing to report an accident is itself a punishable offense – so don’t let anyone dissuade you from calling. This will also eliminate any uncertainty later on and record critical information about the accident. The police report should include:
- The date and time when the accident occurred
- The name of the other driver
- The company or entity that owns the vehicle
- The precise location of the accident
- A list of any witnesses the police interviewed at the scene
The police officer on the scene may even state who they believe to be at fault for the accident – but their opinion isn’t binding.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Just as you would in any other accident, you should exchange information with the other driver. Some of the information you need will also be on the police report, but you should make an effort to collect it yourself, as well. You’ll want to know:
- The driver’s full name and license number
- The license plate number of the box truck
- Any ID number assigned to the truck by its owner
- The name of the driver’s employer and/or the owner of the truck
- The business’s insurance carrier
You should be as cooperative as you can with the box truck driver. Give them the information they require from you. If there were any other vehicles involved in the accident, gather information from them, also.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
In the case of a commercial truck accident, a final determination of fault will eventually be made by a court or by the insurers involved. And that means you must document the scene of the accident as thoroughly as possible. Once the vehicles at the scene move from their initial post-accident positions, you may lose critical evidence of what happened.
You should take as many photos of the involved box truck and any other vehicles on the scene. Try to capture them from as many angles and distances as you can without endangering your safety. If there were any other conditions at the scene that you believe contributed to the crash, make sure to take photos that depict them as clearly as possible. The better the quality of the pictures you take, the more useful they’ll be when it comes time to reconstruct the accident.
Collect Witness Information
Although the police might look for witnesses at the scene, their primary job there is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and get traffic moving again as fast as possible. So you should take some time to track down any eyewitnesses at the scene and collect their contact information.
You might also wish to take photos or write down the name of any businesses in sight of the crash. They may have security cameras that captured the moment when you were hit by a box truck and can provide it to you for reference. And even if they don’t, there may be other witnesses there that you will be able to contact later on if necessary.
Get Proper Medical Attention
Even if the ambulance at the scene tended to your obvious wounds, you may still have injuries that aren’t obvious. If you don’t discover them in the immediate aftermath of your commercial truck accident, the attorneys for the business involved might try to claim you suffered them at another time. That could leave you liable for costly medical treatment that isn’t your responsibility.
Make certain to tell the doctors that examine you exactly what happened, in as much detail as possible. That will let them know where to look for possible injuries. You may be surprised that they find damage that you hadn’t noticed yet. The shock of getting hit by a box truck can cause your body to ignore any pain it’s feeling to help you get through the incident.
Do I Need a Lawyer After Being Hit By A Box Truck?
Even if you believe a commercial truck accident you’ve been involved in is too minor to involve a lawyer, there’s a good chance that the commercial insurance provider that covers the truck won’t. Retaining a lawyer is a good idea even if only to safeguard your rights and make sure you receive just compensation for any injuries you sustained in the accident. If nothing else, an experienced lawyer can let you know what, if any, liability you have. They can also let you know if you have grounds to seek damages from the other driver or the owner of the box truck that hit you.
If You’ve Been Hit By A Box Truck, Call Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a box truck or any other commercial vehicle, don’t hesitate to call us. The experienced attorneys here at AP Law Group are committed to seeking justice for injured Texans. We’ll make sure you receive the compensation you deserve and that nobody deprives you of your rights.