Accident Response Tips

Feb 21, 2024 | Articles

By Alyssa Adams

The moment an accident occurs is not the time to put your company’s accident response plan into place.  Having an accident response plan in place, including training your dispatchers on the policy, will allow you to act as soon as an accident occurs.  The faster you act, the better prepared you can be to prevent a lawsuit or claim, and the better prepared you will be to defend yourself in the event of a lawsuit.  Also, by acting fast and taking a proactive approach, you can potentially save money and litigation fees.  Even if a suit is filed, taking a proactive approach gives you the opportunity to collect evidence from the scene, surveillance, statements, or social media evidence to use in your favor at trial.  Below are the top 5 tips for you to keep in mind when preparing to respond to an accident.

  1. Act Fast and Be Prepared
  • The faster you act, the better you can respond.
  • To effectively respond, you must start well before an accident occurs.

o   The best place to start is by training your dispatchers on how to respond when an accident call comes in.  Train your dispatchers on:

  • What they should be asking the driver,
  • What information to obtain, and
  • What additional individuals, including attorneys or field adjusters, to contact to help with the response.
  1. Do not takes statements from your driver
  • Do not have your driver make any written or recorded statements regarding the accident.
  • Advise your driver not to give any statements to anyone or talk to anyone else about the accident.
  • One thing that you can do to completely protect your driver’s version of events, is to immediately have an attorney speak to the driver.

o   Everything said to the attorney would be confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege and could not be used later against the driver.

  1. Bring in outside help
  • You may want to have an attorney speak with your driver so that it is protected by attorney-client privilege.
  • You will want to hire an independent adjuster to help investigate the accident.

o   Hire an independent adjuster to call the other driver and witnesses to obtain their statement.

o   If you believe that there may be security cameras in the area, from other businesses or entities, you can have the adjuster go out to the scene to try to obtain any videos that have footage of the accident.

o   Hire an independent adjuster to go out to the scene and take photographs.

  • Hire an accident reconstructionist to inspect the vehicle, do a download of the black box of the vehicle, and to review the accident site for to determine how the accident happened.
  1. Social Media
  • Have you or your attorney’s office search for information concerning the accident.

o   Check Facebook and other social media.

  • Family members of the person hurt in the accident may comment on news articles or post about their loved one’s injuries.
  • Have your attorney or independent adjust run a public record search and a social media search for the claimant.

o   Make sure to keep checking on social media to see if they mention their injuries.

  • Usually once the claimant retains an attorney, they will be told to take their social media down, so it is important to find it immediately, if you think there could be future litigation.
  • Social media is very important and can sometimes be the piece of evidence that you need to prove the claimant is not injured. However, you must act fast on this.  If you wait until a lawsuit is filed, it may be too late.
  1. Preservation of evidence
  • Make sure to preserve any evidence from the accident.

o   This would include pulling the driver’s logs for the week before the accident.

  • If a preservation letter is received from the claimant’s attorney, make sure that you save anything that is included in the letter so that you are prepared in case of potential litigation.

o   If not saved, you can be accused of spoliation and may have sanctions issued by the Court.

o   If a preservation letter is received, have counsel send your own preservation letter to have the claimant preserve any evidence they have regarding the accident.

This is not an exhaustive list and assumes accident response measures are planned prior to the happening of the accident. We would be happy to provide accident response packets, forms, and checklists for free – just send an email to Alyssa Adams at .

About the Author


Research exposes alarming cybersecurity vulnerabilities of ELDs

Tyson Fisher New academic research reveals how vulnerable ELDs are to cyberattacks made by hacking into a truck’s system in seconds while driving alongside it. Jeremy Daily, associate professor of systems engineering at Colorado State University, is no stranger to...


Doug Marcello The prevalence of social media is indisputable. When there has been an accident, social media is an important litigation tool. Here are some key considerations: Check it early and often. Accidents grab attention, so claimants may post about them long...

Top 5 accident response tips for trucking companies

Allysa A. Adams The moment an accident occurs is not the time to put your company’s accident response plan into place. Having an accident response plan in place, including training your dispatchers on the policy, will allow you to act as soon as an accident occurs....

How to Get Control of Driver Log Falsification

Deborah Lockridge In the years since mandatory electronic logging devices for most U.S. truck drivers went fully into effect in late 2019, log falsification violations rank as one of the most common driver-related violations discovered by enforcement officials. Log...