Ooops! You Had An Accident…Now What?!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
“I jackknifed on the icy overpass and there’s damage to my truck…now what?!”
Accidents happen – some are caused by human error and others by human nature. When you are involved in an accident while on the road, don’t panic! Instead, follow these eight simple guidelines and you will find yourself on a smooth path toward a solution:
- Notify the authorities (i.e. police, highway patrol, etc.)
- Turn on your emergency blinkers and shut-down your vehicle to decrease the risk of a fuel leak. If the accident is minor, move to the closest place where you and the other motorist(s) can safely speak and exchange information. (See #4) If the accident is serious, leave the vehicles in place, allowing the scene to remain intact and the police to determine how the accident occurred and which motorist caused the accident.
- Place warning devises around your truck or the perimeter of the accident. In the case of an accident that result in bodily injury, assist but do not move the injured (except under life-threatening circumstances.)
- Exchange all insurance information with other parties involved in the accident:
- Named Insured
- Insurance Company
- Policy Number
If the accident involves another 18-wheeler, request the following additional information:
- Year, Make and Model of Truck
- VIN Number
- Name of Motor Carrier
- MC or DOT Numbers
- Any other information on the side of the truck
- Take pictures of any physical damage created by the accident, including damage to your truck, as well as, the other motor vehicle(s) and include pictures of other vehicle(s) license plates. Use discretion when taking pictures. Pictures including gory scenes and bodily injury are unnecessary. Do not take any pictures that you feel compelled to delete later, as it could be considered tampering with evidence. Remember that all pictures taken at the scene of an accident are subject to display in a courtroom.
- Immediately report any accident to your Motor Carrier and Insurance Company
- Stay on the scene and remain calm, polite and courteous. Remember to never admit guilt or express apologies, even if you believe you are “at-fault.” However, it is important to also remain empathetic to the situation, rather than cold and aloof.
- Do not sign any documents or make any statements to parties other than the police, your Motor Carrier or your Insurance Company.
It is important to remember to report all claims, big or small, at-fault or not-at-fault to your Insurance Company. Failure to report a claim in a timely manner may lead to denial of a claim by your Insurance Company, coverage issues or termination of your policy.
“I slipped on the steps while climbing out of my truck and sprained my ankle…now what?!
The trucking industry can be a dangerous business and drivers are subject to injuries cause by slips and falls and loading and unloading, to name a few. In the event of an on-the-job accident, stay calm! Follow these six simple steps and find yourself on a smooth path toward recovery:
- If your injury requires medical attention, seek it immediately!
- Immediately report your injury to your Motor Carrier and Insurance Company.
- Once a claim has been reported to your Insurance Company, request your claim number, as well as, a fax number or mailing address to send all copies of medical bills and expenses. If you can present this information to the medical facility, save yourself the headache and do so!
- Your Insurance Company will request a Written Notice of Claim or Proof of Loss. Complete and submit the form(s) in a timely manner to ensure your claim is processed as smoothly and quickly as possible.
- Provide your Insurance Company with current contact information in the event that further information is required or additional questions need to be answered.
- Keeps a file of all claim related information including claim numbers, Adjuster’s name and contact information and policy numbers in the event that you may need to call the Insurance Company for questions or more information.
Would you like more information on claims, reporting claims and claims processes? Contact your Mid South Truckers Group team members toll free at 888-321-1015.