Being involved in a truck accident is something we hope to never experience–however, knowing what to do if you are a victim of a truck accident is critical to your health and safety immediately following the collision.
In the immediate aftermath of a truck crash, you should move to a safe location. If possible, this includes moving your vehicle off the roadway where the accident occurred.
In 2019, studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that there were more than 5,000 deaths in crashes involving large trucks. Seventy-one percent of people killed in large-truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles. Often, truck accidents occur on busy roadways, and when the vehicles involved cannot or were not moved away from the road.
If you cannot move your vehicle to a safe location, turn on your hazard lights so other drivers see you. If you can get out of the vehicle, get to a place of safety.
Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene of the accident, even if the other driver flees the scene. Chasing the other driver after the crash could hurt your claim.
Once you are in a safe location, be sure to check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries. Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, you and other involved parties should seek immediate medical attention either on the scene or at a hospital.
In the case of minor injuries, you may opt to visit your personal physician instead of going to the hospital. Know that if you refuse medical care on scene, this will be documented.
It is always best to keep a record of any and all medical expenses, and medical treatment received even if you do not seek medical care immediately. Not all semi accidents result in catastrophic injuries and not all injuries are obvious. Always consult with a medical professional following an accident.
After you have assessed your health and safety, be sure to call the police to the accident scene. If you do not have a working cell phone or if it has been ejected and destroyed, a witness or another person involved in the accident should call the authorities.
Once a police officer arrives, he or she will make a statement of the events. Do not admit fault, but rather present the facts as you can recall them. If you cannot remember the timeline of events, do not try to make something up. Tell the officer what you remember and what injuries you sustained.
The police will also gather information from any witnesses, get a statement from the other driver and passengers, and document any obvious vehicle damage to your car and the semi-truck.
Even though this is an official account of what happened, you do not have to provide a recorded or written statement accepting fault. You simply must provide the information asked of you by the authorities.
While the police take their information, you will also want the contact information of the truck driver and their insurance company including the driver’s license number, phone number, and the trucking company’s information.
It will important for you to have the name and contact information of any witnesses who may not have been directly involved, but were there when it occurred.
Once you have gathered all insurance information and contact details, you will be able to begin the legal process.
If you are involved in an accident involving a semi truck, you need to collect evidence at the scene. This includes photos, videos, testimonies, etc.
You may even be able to secure traffic footage. Your personal injury attorney will tell you what information is needed but gather everything you can at the scene.
In the days following the truck accident, you may be more concerned about recovering than what happens next. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
If you do not visit the hospital immediately after the accident, make sure you go as soon as you can. That way you will know what injuries you sustained, how severe they are, and what your treatment plan will be.
You should contact the insurance company as soon as you can to start the claims process. Many insurance providers do require that you contact them after a motor vehicle accident, regardless of whether you are at fault or not. Make sure you tell your insurer what happened, the details of your injuries, and provide any photos or videos of the property damage.
You will also want to get a copy of the accident report from the police. The accident report will include information about who was involved, as well as the contact information of all who were part of the accident involving the large truck. If there are any discrepancies in the report, contact the police officer as soon as possible to get the information changed.
Keep a record of any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred following the accident. You will also want to keep a log of all medical procedures and time away from work.
What’s most important is that you do not speak with the semi-truck company’s insurance company until you first speak with your truck accident attorney. You are not required to speak with the truck company’s insurance company. However, if you do speak with the adjuster, remember to stick to the facts. Do not let them record the conversation and keep your remarks as general as possible. Don’t go into detail about your injuries or what treatment you’ve had; instead, just say that you were injured in the accident.
If you were in a truck collision with a commercial vehicle and suffered injuries, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to provide you with legal advice. You need to contact a law firm as soon as possible to begin the insurance claim and recoup your lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.
By establishing the attorney-client relationship, you can take on the trucking company and the trucking company’s insurance carrier to seek the compensation you deserve.
The truck accident attorneys of Regan Zambri Long will fight the insurance companies, the truck drivers, and the truck driver’s employer to ensure that you can hold the parties involved accountable.
Before you accept a settlement from your insurance provider, contact us for a free case evaluation by calling (202) 960-4746 or sending us an email.