John Maher sits down with Rob Mazow and Robert Hartigan of the law firm Mazow McCullough, and they talk about what to do after a truck accident. They give advice on what to do at the scene of a truck accident and how to document the accident. They also talk about the importance of seeking medical attention and contacting an attorney.
John Maher: Hey. I’m John Maher. And I’m here today with Rob Mazow and Robert Hartigan of the law firm Mazow McCullough, a personal injury law firm with offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. And today, we’re going to be talking about what to do after a truck accident. Rob and Robert, welcome.
Rob Mazow: Thanks, John.
Robert Hartigan: Hey, John.
What to Do First After a Truck Accident
John: So Robert, if you’re the driver of a car that has been involved in an accident with a truck, what are some of the first things that you should do?
Robert: The first thing you need to do is call 911. You definitely want to have the police arrive on the scene so everything can be documented. You’re going to want to get the license from the truck driver.
And one big, important piece of information you’re going to want to get is which trucking company that truck driver works for. It can be really difficult to find out where the company is located and who the company is. It could be a subcontractor. So you definitely want to get that information. And that’s why it’s also important to have the police show up on scene.
And if medical treatment is offered, that’s something that you should definitely consider, seeing that trucking accidents often result in catastrophic injuries.
Rob: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. But it’s easy for us to talk about it in the abstract. But we’ve all passed by these truck accidents when we’re on the highway, and it is terrifying, it’s chaotic, there’s usually big injuries. So without question, 911 has to get onto that scene, because people who’ve been in a situation like that are in shock and there’s a lot going on. And they need to make sure that they get the proper information, because once the scene is cleared, you were perhaps taken to a hospital. You might not be able to get that information. So it’s critical that you’re able to get that information at the scene.
Why You Should Call the Police After a Truck Accident
John: Are there cases too, where, Robert, as you mentioned, you want to have the police there to help you get that information about what the name of the trucking company is and things like that? Are there cases where the truck driver may not be very forthcoming in terms of giving out that information, and then that’s why it’s really helpful to have the police there?
Robert: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it could be a situation where the truck driver didn’t get enough sleep. He’s under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So that’s a reason why the truck driver is not going to give you the information that you’re looking for. Again, this is a heavily regulated industry, so they have a lot of rules that they need to follow. And if they break one or more of those rules, they’re going to be held liable.
Info to Collect After a Truck Accident
John: Right. So you’ve sought medical treatment, you’ve called 911, the police are there. You make sure that you get the name of the driver and the name of the trucking company. You’ve done all of that kind of thing, and then you leave the scene. Actually, what are some of the things that you should do before you leave the scene other than that to really make sure that you’ve done everything that you can and gotten all of the information that you possibly can before you leave?
Rob: Well, I think that, if the police are there, they’re hopefully going to get the kind of information that you need. They’re going to get witness statements. They’re going to get a video dash cam if there is any. They’re going to be able to get certainly the name of the truck driver, the name of the trucking company. So if everything’s done properly, you’re going to have enough information that you’re going to need later on if you’re going to be making a claim.
With truck accidents, though, let’s say Massachusetts, for instance, that truck driver could be coming from California, could be coming from Pennsylvania, coming from anywhere in the country. So trying to get a hold of that person’s insurance company or that person’s company later on is going to be a challenge.
What we see happen is when a person comes to us, they’ll hopefully have the police report. And then we can begin our investigation to find out what happened, to find out who that company was, who that driver was driving for, where they were coming from, where they were going to, did they have a load that they were carrying, was it an empty, had they picked it up at a grocery store, is the grocery store responsible somehow. So there is a lot that goes into these kinds of cases.
Taking Photographs After a Truck Accident
Robert: Yeah. And if you can, take photographs of where the vehicles are right after the collision happens, because often we show up, vehicles move to the side of the road, and you want to be able to capture where the vehicles were when the crash happened.
Why You Should Call a Lawyer After a Truck Accident
John: Right. Yeah. Good point. So then what happens then after you’ve left the scene of a truck accident? Are there any other things that you need to do and follow up with in order to maybe increase your chances of a favorable outcome if you end up going to a trial or in this case?
Robert: Yep. Again, because truck accidents often result in major injuries, you want to call a lawyer right away. You want that lawyer to reach out to the insurance companies, the truck driving company. You want to make sure that evidence is preserved, such as any logs, any sort of electronic data. And that is what’s going to help you strengthen your case and build the liability piece against any defendants that might be involved.
Establishing Negligence After a Truck Accident
Rob: Yeah. And as Robert has talked about, there are federal requirements for these truck drivers to follow. So if it turns out that they have not stopped at a weigh station or they have not slept and logged their sleeping, I think they can be on the road for eight hours before they have to rest. And this stuff all has to be documented.
And if it turns out that it’s not documented or it wasn’t done at all, this is going to add to the negligence claim that we’re eventually going to be able to bring against the trucker and the trucking company. So there’s just building blocks that need to be put into place for these cases. So that’s why it’s critical to talk to somebody with experience in these kinds of cases, so we can try to help them out.
Document Medical Bills After Truck Accidents
John: Right. You mentioned before getting medical treatment as well. How important is it to really follow up on that and to really document all of your medical treatments that you receive after the accident?
Rob: Well, it’s critical. Somebody who’s been hit in a truck accident is likely going to have some significant injuries that are going to require medical care. And you need to get the proper medical treatment in order to not only get yourself better, but in order for us to make a claim on your behalf to the insurance company or the trucking company that caused the accident.
So if you’re going to, let’s say, a physical therapist or a chiropractor or a massage therapist or an orthopedic doctor, they’re going to have proper documentation that we’re going to get from them to be able to use to build either a demand for settlement or to prepare for trial to use those documents, present them to a jury.
Contact Mazow McCullough If You’ve Been in a Truck Accident
John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Rob and Robert. Thanks very much.
Rob: Thank you, John.
Robert: Thank you.
John: And for more information, visit the firm’s website at HelpingInjured.com or call 855-693-9084.