You’re in the bunk, sound asleep when all of a sudden you get knocked to the floor. A new driver backed right into your truck. You can’t believe your truck got hit while parked. You’re okay, but your truck is a mess. The hood, front bumper and grill are seriously damaged.
What do you do now? Here are some tips on how to handle a parking lot accident.
Do These Things Immediately at the Scene Where Your Truck Got Hit to Preserve Evidence and Protect Your Rights
Call the police:
Some police departments won’t write a police report or give any tickets if the accident happens on private property. Strongly encourage the police to come out anyway to write an incident report. The report will have many important facts: location, date and time of the accident, parties involved (drivers and owners of equipment), fault, explanation of incident, etc.
Snap pictures with your phone of the other driver’s driver’s license, registration, insurance card and other identifying documents. Note: make sure the insurance card is current.
If possible, get a written note by the other driver admitting fault. Make sure they sign it.
Never agree to accept cash from the other driver rather than file a police report. If your truck has hidden damages, you may never get paid for these.
Talk to Witnesses:
Get their names, contact information and information as to what they saw. Did they take pictures or video?
Do not allow either truck to be moved until you have taken pictures and videos of the accident scene. Be sure to use various angles, some from a distance and some close-up. Check for evidence of the other truck’s paint on your truck and take close-up photos. Make sure it’s clear that your truck got hit while parked.
Contact your Motor Carrier:
Let them know what happened and get their advice as to next steps, like how to deliver the load you’re under, etc.
Contact the Other Driver’s Insurance Company:
Immediately set up a claim and verify insurance coverage. When it is possible to file under their insurance rather than yours, it may keep your insurance record cleaner.
You May Want to Notify Your Insurance Company:
If it is required or if you don’t believe the other driver’s insurance company is going to pay quickly, consider filing a claim with your insurance company. They will file subrogation against the other driver’s insurance company to get reimbursed.
Consult with a Lawyer:
Speak with an experienced truck accident attorney. Consultations are often free. An attorney will be able to guide you through the claims process to maximize the amount of money you recover.
For more information on downtime, listen to this interview on Land Line Now.
If you’d like to consult our firm, complete our online form or call 904-278-7688.