Getting into an accident with a semi-truck can be a life-altering experience. If you have never been in an accident before, you may not know what your next steps should be. But what you do immediately after a semi-truck accident impacts any future personal injury claim you may file.
Depending on the severity of the accident, your first actions after a semi-truck accident may differ. If you or a loved one have just been in a truck accident, these recommendations will help you protect your legal rights and keep you and your passengers safe.
You just got into a truck accident. You may be hurting, confused, and angry. Take a deep breath, try to get a clear head, then follow these steps as we explain what to do after a semi truck accident:
First and foremost, the safety of you and your passengers is the number one concern after a truck accident. Before calling 911, take a moment to check if everyone is ok. Call 911 and tell the dispatcher your location, the number of passengers involved in the crash, and the injuries sustained. The dispatcher will send emergency services to the scene of your accident, including police and paramedics. The sooner you call emergency services, the safer you will be.
After a semi-truck accident, your car will most likely be in a vulnerable position on the roadway. Depending on the severity of the accident and your best judgment, moving to safety may prevent you from getting further injured in another accident.
If possible, immediately move your car to the side of the highway and wait for emergency personnel. If the damage is too severe on your vehicle, walking to the furthest side of the roadway may be best for safety purposes. If you cannot move to a safe location after your crash, turn on your hazard lights and stay buckled in. Stay at the scene, even if the other driver leaves.
Immediately after an accident, your body releases an instant surge of adrenaline. Your body is protecting you from this sudden trauma, and adrenaline aids in your “fight or flight” response when it feels that it is in a dangerous situation. Oftentimes, passengers do not even know they are hurt or feel the effects of the collision until hours or days after because of this. This is why it is best to seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you feel that you were uninjured. Common injuries that may be delayed after an accident include whiplash, blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, memory problems, stiffness in limbs, or swelling of limbs.
Additionally, you may suffer psychological trauma after a serious semi-truck accident. Semi-truck accident injuries are often catastrophic and require immediate medical attention, and getting medical care immediately is your best course of action.
Document the evidence at the scene if you feel that you are in a safe position and are well enough to do so. If you are in the middle of a busy roadway with cars speeding alongside, wait for the police to redirect or stop traffic before you get out of your vehicle. To document the crash scene, take photos of your car’s damage, the semi-truck, and any other vehicles that were damaged during the accident. If weather or bad road conditions played a role in the semi-truck accident, take photos of the area’s conditions, as well. The purpose of these pictures is to show your personal injury lawyer and insurance company the facts of the accident, exactly as it happened.
It’s also in your best interest to take a video of the scene. You’ll also want to take note of any video cameras that may be in the area that could have captured the accident. This evidence can be obtained later by your truck accident lawyer.
This includes contact information, license plate numbers, insurance information, and the company that the semi-truck driver works for. If there is more than one car or semi-truck involved in the collision, ask for their contact information, too.
Other evidence that will help build your case and prove negligence is witness testimonies from the scene. If there are bystanders around who witnessed the semi-truck crash, ask them for their contact information. You do not need a statement from them right now, but their insight may be useful down the road in proving your case. Their information can be given to the police at the scene and/or to your personal injury lawyer.
Once the police arrive at the scene, you’ll need to give them a statement about what happened and what injuries you sustained. Keep your statement brief and stick to the facts. Whatever you do, don’t admit fault and watch what you say. Chances are you’re feeling a lot of emotions at this time but you need to keep an eye on what you say because it can be used against you later on.
Remember, the police will make their own determination of what happened and who may be held responsible for the accident. You will want to get a copy of the police report once it’s complete to check for accuracy and to use as evidence.
If you are seriously hurt after the accident, chances are you were probably taken to the hospital right away. But if you’re still at the scene after giving your statement to the police, make sure you go seek medical attention. You will need to know the extent of your injuries. Not only is this important for your own well-being but you will need to let your insurance company know the extent of your injuries so you can receive proper compensation.
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, but again you’ll want to monitor what you say. The goal of the insurance company is to pay as little as possible toward your accident, so hiring a personal injury attorney that personally speaks to your insurance company is the best thing to do.
Finally, contact the personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC after you’ve been in a semi-truck accident. The sooner you reach out to our truck accident lawyers, the quicker we can get to work on your claim. Remember, the truck accident company has already dispatched a response team to the site of the accident to collect the evidence needed to fight your claim.
Not only will our accident attorneys work with your insurance company so you don’t have to, but will advocate on behalf of you or a loved one during your semi-truck accident case to get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (202)-960-4596 to schedule your free consultation with our semi truck accident lawyers.