Truck Crash Witnesses: Do I Really Need to Get Their Contact Info After a Crash?
Picture this, you’re driving down the street minding your own business with your favorite music playing on the radio. It’s a beautiful day with few clouds in the sky. You stop at the red light and wait for it to turn green, but then out of nowhere a big truck behind you slams on their brakes but not before slamming into you.
The adrenaline is surging through your body as you ask yourself if you feel any pain, check on the other driver, and begin to make sense of the situation. As you survey the damage you see that a police officer has arrived on the scene and is interviewing witnesses of the crash. After taking a few photos of the cars and trucks, swapping insurance information with the other driver, talking to the police officer, and talking to EMS personnel it seems like you’re ready to get out of there.
But wait – there’s something you have forgotten to do. Did you get the contact information from the witnesses? Witnesses often tell police officers how the crash happened. Although the officer may have collected contact information of the witnesses, contrary to popular belief it’s unlikely that the responding police officer included it in the crash report. Why is this? Well, there may be a few reasons, but police officers are not required to include this information in the crash report. And police officers don’t always keep their notes after their shift. So, the chance of witness names and phone numbers appearing in any official report is slim. But it doesn’t have to be a lost cause.
What Should I Do After Getting into a Truck Crash?
Check to make sure that everyone is safe. If there are injuries call for help to ensure those injured get proper care.
Check to make sure you are not severely injured at the scene of the crash. It may take a few days to feel pain from the crash, but if you can’t move any of your body parts or have severe headaches at the scene of the crash, get checked out by EMS and get transported to the hospital.
Take photos of the scene including areas around the crash site – if you can.
Swap insurance and contact information with the other driver.
You’ve determined there’s no immediate severe injuries, you’ve taken photos, and you’ve swapped information. Now what? Look around for witnesses to the crash. Responding police officers will not help you find witnesses or gather their contact information. That responsibility is on you, but that’s ok because a witness can be the difference between the crash being ruled your fault versus the other driver’s fault. Truck crash witnesses can be crucial to the case and can help sway the jury in your favor should your crash end in court. Don’t delay in gathering this important information, and don’t assume others will do it for you.
If you did not go straight to the hospital after a crash, you should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Since it can take a few days to feel pain, try to get out ahead of that and see a doctor. You should consider consulting an attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for making it difficult to receive payments even if it’s clear that the other driver was at fault for the crash. When it comes to crashes involving big trucks, trucking companies and their insurance companies often send people out immediately to investigate and sometimes offer less money to injured people in exchange for promising not to ever sue. By working with an attorney who has your best interests in mind, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have someone fighting to protect you from trucking and insurance companies. Whatever you decide, it is not a good idea to give an insurance company a recorded statement without first consulting with an attorney.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tepperman Law. We’re here to take the pressure away from you, and make sure you are treated fairly. We have experience fighting trucking and insurance companies and will fight for your best interests.