When you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the stakes are high. These vehicles are much larger and heavier than your average car, so the potential for serious injury and loss is much greater. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s important to know what to do to protect yourself and receive accurate compensation. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know.
Cost of Commercial Truck Accidents
A commercial truck accident is never something drivers and vehicle owners want to face. The commercial trucking industry operates on a big scale, which means that accidents are much more common than among smaller motor vehicles. They also have the potential to be extremely costly — not just for the drivers, but for companies who employ them.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks involved in both fatal and non-fatal crash events in 2021 was over 100,000, with around 2,700 resulting in fatalities and over 43,000 in injuries.
The agency estimates that crashes that involve two- or three-trailers cost around $289,000 per crash, while accidents involving straight trucks (no trailers) could reach $57,000. Crashes that lead to fatalities cost the most, with the average expense reaching over $3.6 million per crash. Notably, these estimates do not yet include cargo delays, mental health care costs for victims, loss of wages by caregivers for the injured, roadside furniture repairs, and loss of schoolwork.
With the high expenses and risks associated with a commercial truck accident, it’s important to know the steps you should immediately take following an incident.
Steps to Take After An Accident With a Commercial Truck
After a work truck accident, what should you do? While commercial truck accidents are not like other crashes, they still call for the same list of next steps as being in a car crash. Here’s what you need to do after a truck accident.
1. Call 911
If you are involved in a commercial truck accident that results in injury or fatality, call 911 immediately. This will enable the quick dispatch of medical professionals to the site. It will also alert law enforcement officials to come, so you can file an accident report.
2. Call your insurance provider and/or your lawyer.
Some commercial truck insurance providers require you to notify them within 24 hours after an accident. If you do not report it on time, you may miss out on certain coverages and benefits. If you are not at fault in the accident, having your lawyer present will also help clear your liability and increase your damages claim.
3. Get your early warning signals out.
Secure the scene by turning on emergency flashers or flares, if needed, so nothing can further hit the commercial vehicle. Then get out of the way of traffic so that no one else pulls into your accident site while you are waiting for help.
4. Get the commercial truck accident report number from your commercial insurance representative.
If you cannot find him or her, a police officer will be able to provide an accident report number for you which can be used to file a commercial truck claim with your commercial insurer.
5. Seek medical treatment right away.
This is important especially if you are not sure whether something is wrong with you at the time of the accident. The cost of commercial truck accident injuries can add up fast and finding out early on how severe it is can prevent the amount of overall damage from escalating over time.
6. Take pictures or videos of the property damage.
Doing this will allow your commercial insurance company to visualize better what happened. Make sure that the photos are of your commercial vehicle, not of the other party or person (if you were involved in a commercial truck crash with someone else).
7. Keep communication lines open.
If you have already started an insurance claim yourself for the commercial truck accident damage by talking to the other driver’s insurer, do not cut off communications. Keep your claim open until your commercial insurance company tells you otherwise.
8. Evaluate next prospects.
Determine how long it will take before getting back into service. For instance, if it is going to be longer than expected, look ahead at your schedule and see what kinds of options are available to get more time on the road when needed.
9. Keep your insurer updated.
Contact your commercial truck insurance provider if any changes happen that could affect your claim. Take notes about your claim throughout the process. This will allow for more accurate reporting, which can help you get all of the work truck accident damages you are entitled to receive.
Will A Commercial Truck Accident Affect My CDL?
An accident with a commercial truck will not automatically cause any commercial driving license (CDL) suspensions or commercial driver’s license revocations. However, road violations might be added to your commercial driving record.
Common reasons that would lead to CDL loss include using the commercial truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using the vehicle to commit a felony, fleeing the scene of the accident, and vehicular manslaughter. If you are found driving with a revoked CDL, you will be disqualified from getting another CDL in the future.
In most cases, drivers need to worry more about commercial truck insurance than they do about their commercial licenses when it comes to accidents. The insurance representative will tell you if your accident will affect your commercial license or commercial driving record.
Secure Your Commercial Truck Investment With InsurA
Commercial truck insurance is the driver or vehicle owner’s way of protecting themselves from accidents that can result in commercial truck parts damage, injury claims, and other losses and liabilities. Commercial trucks are often required by state laws to have commercial auto insurance.
InsurA’s commercial truck insurance will cover commercial trucks involved in accidents, damage by other vehicles, drivers’ injuries, lost wages, towing costs, emergency road service (if you are stranded on the side of the road), rental car coverage, business interruption coverage (in case you cannot work because of an accident), and much more.
Contact InsurA to learn more about your entitlements after a commercial truck accident and determine the best commercial truck insurance product for your business today.