You can witness a truck accident either as a bystander or a driver. When you witness a truck accident, though it might be traumatic, you should try to keep a cool, calm, and collected response because what you have witnessed might be vital in the upcoming dispute.
Sometimes the fight over liability could be apparent; for instance, a truck beat the red light and slammed into another vehicle. In other cases, the liability could be contested, with each driver accusing the other.
As a witness, you could be called to testify in a deposition or at a trial and tell everyone what you saw. However, you would have to tell your story at least to the insurance company in compensation cases in truck accidents.
Your course of action will depend on the severity of the accident. However, there are some general actions that you should keep in mind. They are:
Be safe then call the police
You might be driving or walking while you witnessed the accident. The first thing you should do is ensure your safety in case of leaked fuels, broken glasses, or flames.
The next step is to place a call to the police. Even if the truck accident is not serious, you should notify the police. Tell the call operator that you witnessed a truck accident.
Give the operator various information such as the number of people involved, the location, the time, and other vital details. You can also place a call to truck accident lawyers who want to help.
When the officer comes to the accident scene to speak to the victims, as a witness, you can talk with the officer. You can let the police officers take down your contact information, and let your name appear in the police report.
Both parties involved in the truck accident would also get a copy of the report to reach out to you.
Accidents often happen very fast, and things might seem like a blur. Therefore, it would be best if you recorded the events you witnessed as soon as possible. Of course, you could forget some things, but while your memory is still fresh, you should quickly put something down.
If you are not with a note, you can use your phone to perform a voice recording and get every vital information recorded. Your recorded information should be detailed and contain pieces of information such as how fast was the truck going? How fast was the other vehicle involved in the accident going?
Ensure the victims are okay
After ensuring that you can approach the accident scene, you can inspect the truck accident victims to ensure that they are okay. If it is feasible to offer help, then you can. However, you should know that this is not a time to point fingers or find out who is at fault.
Also, note that you should not move any injured person in any circumstance, except if the vehicles are about to catch fire. This is because irrespective of your best intentions, you could worsen the injuries of the injured persons. Therefore, you should wait for qualified medical practitioners to tend to the injured.
Provide pieces of information
As a witness to a truck accident, you should provide important information to the police when they arrive. Also, you should provide relevant contact pieces of information and facts.
In subsequent days and weeks after the truck accident, you might be contacted by the insurance company, legal authorities, and medical authorities. Therefore, you should endeavor to be factual, honest, and consistent with your statements.
Truck accidents are usually upsetting for the witness and the victims. A good course of action is to remain on the scene and report what you have witnessed. If you are in a vehicle, you should only exit it to render aid if possible.
Pay a visit to a medical professional
It can be pretty traumatic to witness a tragic or gruesome truck accident. Sometimes, the result could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Depending on the severity of the situation, you might suffer from loss of interest in life, nightmares, depression, paralyzing fear, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
When you face such situations, you should consider paying a visit to a psychiatrist who would help you with your witness process. This would enable you to move forward in the future.
Witnessing a truck accident can sometimes be alarming. You must know what actions to take in such a situation so that you can make a difference in the victim’s outcome. Ensure that you remain calm and prevent yourself from getting into danger.