Do You Know What to Do if Your Fleet Truck is Involved in an Accident?

Fleets have to prepare for a serious accident and should be ready for any event, right from top management down to dispatchers and drivers. The immediate actions of drivers and other personnel of a company following an accident can result to either losing or winning a lawsuit. The key is proper training and proper preparation. Here are the various steps drivers should take when they are involved in a truck accident.

  1. Relax and Remain Calm

The driver should take their time and relax before doing anything to ease tension. They should not think that their job has ended there and should understand that they are still on duty and representing the company.

Since there are high chances that the driver is the only professional person on the scene, the court and people on the scene will scrutinize and record their every move. They should not admit the fault to anyone and even a simple “I’m sorry” could lead to a guilty charge.

  1. Stop

Unless instructed by police or signs on the highway, do not move the unit from the crash scene. If you’re stopping to provide aid in an accident you are not involved in, do not park the truck right at the front of the accident for the safety of the people involved in the crash. If another vehicle hits your vehicle, the driver is the one at fault unless a police officer has instructed them to position their truck in that manner.

  1. Secure the Accident Scene

Major liability issues can arise because of failing to secure an accident scene properly. Put reflectors out as fast as you can. If you’re going to stop for a period exceeding 10 minutes then you must put reflectors out. One reflector should be approximately 10 feet behind the vehicle, second one 100 feet and the third reflector 100 feet in front for highways that are not divided.

  1. Look for Help

In most cases, you should call 911 immediately. However, if that doesn’t work, send many people in different directions for help. The driver should offer first aid to the injured parties. However, there is a risk that giving drivers first aid training could either help or harm the company in a lawsuit. But a good truck accident attorney could make the case that offering first aid training to drivers was a reasonable course of action, and that not doing so could put the company at fault.

  1. Obtain Witness Information

While you should not do it in an aggressive way, at least get the name, address, phone number, and license plate number of any witnesses. If that is not possible, snap a picture of their license plate. Don’t spend a lot of time with a witness, that could be seen in court as an attempt to influence them.

  1. Notify the Company

Drivers should give a neutral report, not one meant for self-defence. On the other end, ensure that when a driver calls in, the person taking it is trained and prepared for these kinds of incidents. Any message they send or anything they say can and will be used in court. Also, you should think twice about a Post-Accident driver statement, as it may end up helping the plaintiff.

Fleet accidents are no small affair and you should do everything in your power to prepare your drivers so you can minimize your chances of facing litigation. These steps should be well taught in orientation, practiced often and revised on an ongoing basis to minimize the company’s legal liability.