How to Report a Truck Accident: 7 Things to DoApril 20, 2020
When it’s time to report a truck accident, you’ll have to report it to the police and an insurance company. In both situations, here’s what you should do:
- Make your report as soon as possible.
- Stick to the facts of the accident.
- Never guess or make an assumption.
- Never admit fault or accept blame.
- Never assume the person you’re talking to is on your side.
- Record the name and contact information of the individual taking your report.
- Ask for a copy of the report.
Here’s how and why each of these steps matters when reporting truck accidents to police and insurers.
Make Your Report As Soon As Possible
Ideally, call police right after the truck wreck—while you and the other parties are still at the scene. This lets police help victims and investigate what happened. It also will result in a police report for the truck accident.
Report the crash to insurers as soon as you can after leaving the accident scene. Ideally, reports to insurance companies should be made between 48 and 72 hours after a crash. Some policies have terms requiring that crashes are reported within these time frames.
Stick to the Facts of the Truck Accident
As you speak to police and insurers after the truck accident, only talk about the facts you are absolutely certain of. That can be anything from what you were doing before the truck accident happened to where and when it occurred, who was involved, and/or what happened after.
Never Guess or Make an Assumption
Guesses, assumptions, and even false details provided in your reports to police and insurers can come back to bite you later. That’s because:
- Evidence may prove your assertions wrong later.
- Any information you provide that ends up being discredited can throw your whole statement into question.
- Damaged credibility may make it more challenging to resolve a claim.
Never Admit Fault or Accept Blame
Accepting blame in any way when reporting truck wrecks to police and insurers is a mistake you can and should avoid. It can result in you being partially or fully blamed for causing the truck accident—even if you weren’t at fault.
Here, it’s also important to note that apologies, like saying sorry to others involved in the crash, may be used as admissions of fault. So, don’t apologize after the crash either.
Never Assume the Person You’re Talking to Is on Your Side
Police are supposed to neutral, using the evidence to conduct their investigation. They may be compassionate and helpful, but they will also report on your statements, demeanor, and actions after a wreck. So, stay calm and keep your guard up.
Insurers are also not on your side after a truck wreck. They’re on their employer’s side, looking for ways to protect the company and its bottom line. They may be nice and polite, but they are commonly working to avoid paying claims—or minimize payments—whenever possible. And they’ll use your statements to do that whenever they can. So, again, keep your guard up when reporting a truck wreck to insurers. For truck drivers, the carriers often will look out for themselves before their drivers.
Record the Name & Contact Information of the Individual Taking Your Report
This includes getting the name(s) and contact information for police officers and the insurance adjusters you talk to. This can help you easily contact them in the future when you have additional information or you need answers.
Ask For a Copy of the Report
Police will tell you how to request a copy of the official report. If, for some reason, you forget to ask this at the accident scene, you can request a copy online via the TxDOT Crash Records Information System.
When speaking with insurers, ask them to mail you a copy of their report for the accident.
Having both reports in hand can be helpful to favorably resolving a truck accident case and securing the compensation you may deserve.
How to Get Experienced Help Navigating the Road to Recovery
The Amaro Law Firm can set you on the right path when it’s time to recover from a truck wreck. We’re proud to be allies and advocates for those injured in 18-wheeler accidents, and we’ll work relentlessly to help them seek the financial recoveries they’re entitled to.
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We understand that compensation cannot change the permanent losses caused by truck accidents. We do know, however, that the recoveries from trucking wreck cases can help restore lives.
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