Educating Family and Friends in Post Accident Procedures
December 6, 2012 | By Navigator |
Recently one of our local news stations posted a breaking news story to their website warning that a crash between a tractor-trailer and car had shut down a major highway. The details were tragic. The car’s passenger had passed away and nearly everyone else involved in the accident suffered injuries. While the facts were not yet clear, there was no indication that the semi driver was at fault.
Near the bottom of the page a “comments” section appeared and one comment in particular caught my attention. It had apparently been made by a child of the truck driver involved in the accident and read something to the effect of, “My father was the driver of the semi involved in this accident. He feels terrible that he caused someone’s death and hopes the family will forgive him.”
I have no doubt that comment was left by the driver’s son or daughter with the very best of intentions in a moment of shock. But, I couldn’t help but wonder whether its existence might inadvertently incriminate their father. Would these two lines impact the handling of the claim?
I called a few claims adjustors to discuss this specific example and get their opinions. During our conversations I learned that the harmful impact of comments made by third parties not directly involved in an incident may be limited, but still exists. While the statements themselves may not be admissible as evidence, there is anecdotal support to suggest that once permanently etched on the wall of the virtual world, comments such as these could land themselves in the hands of a judge or jury member, ultimately influencing his or her opinion of the driver.
While we may be unable to control the behaviors of others, perhaps we can influence them. As a company owner and professional driver, it is important that you are proactive in training your staff, family and friends on proper post accident procedures. Before your drivers find themselves involved in a crash, coach them on the “dos and don’ts” after a crash. Remind them that neither they, nor their family or friends, should discuss the situation online in any capacity. Reminders can be provided to employees in many ways, such as through an employee handbook, a paycheck stuffer, email or during a safety meeting, all of which we would be glad to help you to develop. If you would like assistance, please contact our office at (800) 596-TRUCK (8782). All of us at the Navigator Truck Insurance Agency work hard to be accessible, helpful and result oriented.