4 Steps to Take After an Accident with a Delivery Truck
With 76% of Americans shopping online, we are bound to encounter delivery trucks and vans nearly every time we are on the road. Add this to the number of delivery vehicles servicing retail businesses and medical facilities, and the number of times we share the road with a delivery truck grows dramatically.
Delivery truck drivers for companies like Amazon, FedEx, and UPS are on tight schedules. While most drivers, most days, are conscientious and careful, a delivery truck accident can still happen to you.
What To Do After a Delivery Truck Accident
1. Seek medical attention
Delivery vehicles are typically large and can potentially cause catastrophic injuries and extensive property damage to those involved in accidents with them. After a truck accident, your top priority should be seeking medical attention. Don’t wait, because untreated injuries can cause more severe problems in the future. Visit the emergency room and let the doctors there assess your injuries.
You may not be in pain, but that does not mean you are not injured. You’ve had an accident. You may be in shock or experiencing an adrenaline spike. This could camouflage the pain you would typically experience from such an injury. It is also possible that the damage could show up later.
2.It is best if you do not admit blame.
In the heat of the moment, there is often an urge to apologize or accept responsibility. Do not do this. Law enforcement will investigate the accident with a delivery truck and assign fault. It could damage your case in the future if accidentally you take responsibility without knowing all the details.
Avoid statements about your injuries. Simple, benign statements such as, “I’m fine,” can be held against you later. So, no commentary or opinions about your injuries. Leave that to the medical professionals.
3. Gather electronic, digital, and witness evidence
Similar to the black boxes used on airplanes, electronic logging devices are required in most delivery trucks and vans. You may need a personal injury attorney to help you seek out and obtain that data, but it will likely provide important information about the crash.
Collect electronic logs. Understanding what the driver was responsible for and within what timeframe will give you essential information about the driver’s state of mind. Was the truck driver rushed, overworked, or distracted?
The details could be robust evidence if the accident were caught on camera. It is essential to check for traffic cameras in the area. Photograph everything. Take pictures of your vehicle, the other vehicle, any damage to the surrounding property, and the accident scene. These will ensure an accurate account of what happened.
Another critical factor is determining whether the delivery truck was in good repair. If it was not adequately maintained and serviced, the owner and/or operator could be held responsible for the accident.
If there were witnesses, it is vital to record their statements. The sooner, the better. They will remember what happened better if it is fresh in their minds. Have the police reports in hand so that the information they have on file corroborates the other evidence from the accident. It is beneficial to gather contact information for those involved in the accident, including witnesses.
Exploring information – such as police reports, witness statements, medical reports, photographs, traffic camera videos, driver’s logs, electronic logging devices, vehicle maintenance reports, and evidence that the driver may have been using alcohol, prescription, or over-the-counter medications – will help determine who is liable for damages.
4. Say less, not more
Do not discuss your injuries. Often, at the scene of the accident, you’ll be asked how you are doing and/or if you are hurt. Until you have been assessed by a medical professional, you can’t accurately describe your injuries. And because of the adrenaline spike or shock, you may not immediately realize the extent of your injuries. Anything you say could harm your case. So, it is in your best interest not to say anything about your injuries, the same way you should refrain from taking responsibility for the accident. All of this information is better when gleaned from healthcare professionals.
It is crucial to accurately assess your injuries and damages to calculate the settlement to which you are entitled. The circumstances of the accident with a delivery truck and all of the evidence will inform this estimate. Determining who is at fault, including but not limited to the driver, the business that employs them, and/or the truck owner and/or operator, will dictate who is liable. To navigate the legal system and ensure you are treated fairly, it is in your best interest to seek counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the intricacies of the laws surrounding accidents with delivery vehicles.