An injury case involving a semi truck accident or big rig will present a variety of different issues. Knowing these 7 tips will ease your mind on your next road
When you’re on a summer road trip there’s nothing that’ll slow you down more than a semi truck accident. It’s the last thing you expect, but it’s a real danger when you spend a lot of time on the road. Many semi truck drivers are perfectly safe, but when a driver gets overtired, one split second mistake can cause a lifetime of hurt for everyone involved.
Being in a semi truck accident is a little different than being in a regular fender bender. There is extra information and evidence to collect as well as addition legal action you should pursue.
If you’re not sure what you should do if you’re ever in an accident with a semi truck, keep reading. We’re breaking down the steps so you can be prepared.
Right After the Trucking Accident
We’re going to break this down step by step, in order, so you know how you should handle yourself in the event of a semi truck accident. The actions that you take in the minutes after your crash are important and could change any winnings you might get in a legal case.
You should treat any and all collisions seriously, but this is especially true for semi truck accidents. Make sure you follow the law to the letter.
Call the Police
The first thing that you should do when you’re involved in a semi truck accident is to call the police. No matter how small or insignificant you think the accident may be, you should file a police report and have an officer there.
The law requires that you file an accident report in the event of an accident. It’s also great evidence in any legal case that could follow.
Gather Evidence Quietly
There are a number of things that you need to write down and document after a semi truck accident. Here are a few of the things you should gather about the truck driver before you leave the scene, if possible:
- Their name
- Contact information
- Company name
- Plate number
- All vehicle information
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license number
- Truck driver’s license number
- What they were hauling
From there, you should ask any people who may have witnessed the accident to stay on the scene until the police arrive. The police will be able to take their statements. Don’t attempt to take their statement yourself.
You should also take photos of the damages to both of the vehicles if you can. If you’re injured, get photos of that too. If there are outstanding conditions, like bad weather or traffic signals, get those on camera as well.
It’s important that you do all of this as quietly as you can. Don’t make small talk with the other driver or the witnesses. This can be seen as witness tampering or evidence tampering, and it can negatively impact any legal case you may have.
Seek Medical Attention
When it comes to an accident with a semi truck, the first thing many people worry about is serious injuries. It only makes sense: a semi truck is so much bigger and heavier than your standard sized car or SUV. The logic tracks, then, that injuries involving the two would be much more serious.
That’s why you need to seek medical attention right away, even if you feel like you’re not hurt. When adrenaline pumps through your body, the way it would after a crash, it masks any feeling of pain. You could have a latent back or neck injury that you won’t feel until you calm down later on.
Seeking medical attention also provides you with a document for any injuries you may have in case of a legal battle later on. If you don’t accept medical attention, you will have a hard time proving that an injury was caused by the accident.
Call the Insurance Company
As soon as you’re out of the hospital, it’s time to call the insurance company. Let them know what happened and what the extent of your damage was. Not contacting the insurance company can also negatively impact your case down the road.
In the Days That Follow
Now that we’ve discussed the steps you should take directly after your semi truck accident, let’s take a look at the things you should do in the following days and weeks after. Because accidents with semi trucks often involve lawsuits, there are a few more steps that you have to worry about when you’re involved in one.
Stick to the Facts
This is the most important tip we can give you when it comes to life after a semi truck accident. No matter who you’re talking to, you need to make sure that you stick with the facts 100% of the time.
You’ll probably get calls from your insurance company as well as the insurance company for the other driver or the company they work for. During these calls, make sure you keep emotion out of the equation entirely.
Say as little as possible, no matter what insurance company you’re talking to. Don’t go into details, just state the facts of what happened.
Get a Lawyer
If you think that the truck driver or their company was negligent in any way, or if you think that you aren’t going to get a fair insurance settlement, you will want to contact a trucking accident lawyer.
When you get a lawyer who is experienced in truck driving accidents, you’re getting someone who is familiar with the laws and will be able to tell you what to expect every step of the way.
An experienced lawyer is the best way to ensure that you’re getting treated fairly by all parties involved.
Be Prepared for a Semi Truck Accident
No one thinks they’re going to be a victim of a semi truck accident. But trucking is in high demand and during the summer months where families are out on the road, anything can happen. It’s best that you stay prepared for any emergency that can pop up.
Keep checking back for more tips on
how to keep your family safe on the road!