What To Do After a Truck Accident in the D.C. Metro Area

By Julie H. Heiden

In 2022, 113 crashes involving large trucks in the District of Columbia produced 95 injuries. In Maryland, 3,629 truck crashes caused 55 fatalities and 1,605 injuries, while Virginia saw 5,150 crashes, 1,998 injuries, and 132 fatalities during the same year.

With so many collisions occurring yearly, you should learn what to do after a truck accident if you find yourself involved in one.

what to do after a truck accident

Truck accidents are often serious, causing catastrophic injuries and property damage. Semi-trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds fully loaded and average 72 feet long, 13.5 feet tall, and 8.5 feet wide. Even the largest passenger vehicles are small in comparison. When the two collide, cars are at a distinct disadvantage. 

What Should I Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident?

Immediately after a truck accident, your health and medical condition are a priority, but taking these steps also helps protect your claim for compensation. Accomplish as many of these steps as possible if your injuries permit:

1. Dial 911: Don’t assume someone else has reported your accident. Call the police and give them as many details as possible, including the location, number of vehicles involved, and severity of any injuries.

2. Exchange contact information: You must exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. You should also obtain contact information for any witnesses because your attorney will likely want to speak with them when investigating your accident.

3. Gather evidence: Use your phone to take pictures and make videos of relevant information, such as:

  • Vehicle placement and damage
  • Injuries
  • Potholes, skid marks, and other roadway damage or obstructions
  • Witnesses and their statements
  • Time of day, weather and lighting conditions, and the entire accident scene

4. Accept or seek medical attention: Injuries aren’t always visible, and taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do. If paramedics don’t come to the accident scene, seek an evaluation as soon as you leave. The medical professionals who examine you will create an official record that documents your condition; your attorney will use this as evidence in your truck accident claim.

5. Contact a truck accident attorney: Calling a competent lawyer immediately after your truck accident lets us get to work right away. We can file all case-related paperwork, give you invaluable advice, and begin investigating your crash before memories start to blur.

One of the most important things to avoid doing after a truck accident is anything that could imply admitting fault. Even a simple statement like “I’m sorry” can be used against you. In D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, you can’t obtain compensation as a driver if you share any responsibility for causing your accident.

Do You Know What To Do After a Truck Accident? Koonz, McKenney, Johnson and DePaolis, LLP, Can Help

A trucker calls his lawyer after a truck accident.

This list detailing what to do after a truck accident is an invaluable start, but pay close attention to #5. Every accident is different, and case-specific advice is often necessary.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson and DePaolis, LLP, has focused on personal injury cases for over 40 years, and we would like to assist you as well. Contact us today for a free consultation, and remember that we won’t charge fees unless we recover compensation for you.

About the Author
Ms. Heiden is a Virginia injury attorney who represents injured individuals in personal injury, product liability, social security, and workers compensation cases. In 2009, she was recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership, and excellence in legal services.