Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

10 Tips On What To Do At The Accident Scene

Accidents are upsetting, even without terrible injuries.  It is difficult to consider all things you may need to do after a New York truck accident.  Here are tips for the accident scene:

1. Be sure you and others are out of harm’s way.

Too often people are badly injured, sometimes killed in second collisions or pile-ups after the first crash.  In a traffic lane or even on the shoulder you may be in danger.  If possible move the vehicles far out of traffic.  The commercial truck driver is required to keep warning triangles or flairs.  They should be put out a distance before the crash scene to warn other drivers, protect the scene and those at the accident scene.

2. Stay calm and assist the injured.

If there are injuries call an ambulance and be cautious moving injured people at the scene of the accident unless it is necessary to get them out of harm’s way.

3. Call the police.

The truck crash may appear to be minor, however, it’s important to call the police to file a report.

4. If giving a history of injuries describe all of your injuries, pains or sensations such as numbness or tightness you are experiencing even though they may seem minor at the accident scene.

Frequently what may feel minor at the crash scene may be the beginning of a very serious injury.  The insurance company may claim the injury was not caused by the truck crash if the injury was not listed in first aid records, the emergency room record or on your New York no-fault form.

5. Get names of witnesses

It’s important to write down the names of witnesses because it is likely within a short time you will forget the name or contact information.  It is not unusual for a driver who caused an accident to change his or her story.  There may be errors in descriptions of the accident given to the police and recorded in the police report.

6. Some or all of the following information will be important later:

  • The exact location of the accident including mile markers if on a highway such as the I-90
  • Weather conditions
  • Damage to each vehicle that is visible.  Note:  often damage may be internal and not visible.
  • Statements made by other drivers.
  • Witnesses
  • Police information whether it’s a local agency or the New York State Police and name of officers.
  • Name, address, phone number and driver’s license number of the truck driver.
  • Name, address and phone number of company the person is driving for.
  • Name, address and phone number of insurance company.
  • Name, address and phone number listed on registration of tractor.
  • Identifying information on tractors including numbers.
  • Identifying information on trailer if applicable.
  • Whether you observed any contributing factors to the truck accident.
  • Whether any traffic tickets have been issued.
  • A description of how the truck accident occurred.

7. Photograph the scene

If possible, take pictures of the scene including roadway, damage to the truck, damage to your vehicle, skid marks, road marks, take pictures from multiple angles of the roadway and vehicles.

8. Avoid confrontation

The accident will be upsetting.  Loved ones may be injured, the actions of the other driver may seem reckless and unnecessary.  The other driver may yell.  You may want to yell.  It is not productive.

9. Explain only the facts.

Cooperate with the local or New York State police and explain what happened.  Do not speculate on the cause.  Causes of truck accidents are not always obvious.

10. If you have questions call an experienced truck accident lawyer

Don’t be in the dark.  If you have other questions complete our form or call the truck accident attorneys for a free no obligation consultation at (716) 854-0700.  You should talk to an injury attorney as soon as possible.