Semi-trucks, also called tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers, are a vital part of the Texas economy. These trucks haul goods around the country and allow Texans to buy produce from California and sell their goods to people in Maine and Vermont.
Because of their size, semi-trucks can cause horrific accidents when they collide with a passenger vehicle. If you have been involved in a collision, you need to take certain steps immediately to protect your right to compensation.
CALL FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES
After the crash, you might be in a state of shock. However, you quickly need to assess whether anyone in your vehicle is injured and if their injuries require immediate attention from emergency services. If you believe an ambulance is required, there’s no reason to hesitate. Remember that you and your passengers’ well-being is paramount. Call 911 or ask someone else to call if you are too injured.
If your injuries are relatively minor, you might wait to go to the hospital until after the police arrive. It is, however, important to see your primary care physician or an urgent care medical professional to give you a check-up as soon as you can. The shock of a semi-truck crash can disguise injuries that may become more apparent days or weeks down the road.
CALL THE POLICE
You need an officer to come out to the scene of the accident and file a police report. This report will contain helpful information, such as the date, time, and location of the crash, as well as identify the parties involved. If you don’t call the police, then it can be hard to establish later when the accident occurred.
Someone might have seen the collision, such as a pedestrian or a passing motorist. Get their names and contact information. Your attorney might need to contact them later to ask what they saw. Witness accounts can help prove your account when liability is disputed by the trucking company or insurance adjusters.
TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ACCIDENT SCENE
Semi-truck accidents can be particularly devastating. You might be shocked at the damage to your vehicle. If possible, walk around and take pictures.
If someone is injured and still in the car, you can show discretion and not photograph them while they are waiting for help. However, if you have time later, take pictures of the truck and your vehicle from different angles.
You can use your smartphone to take pictures or ask someone else to take pictures for you. These will prove helpful when establishing fault for the accident and the severity of the crash.
AVOID GIVING STATEMENTS ABOUT THE CRASH
Anything you say can be used against you by the trucking company and their insurance providers, and unfortunately many people say things when disorientated or scared that they quickly come to regret. Keep conversation to a minimum and don’t accept responsibility for the crash.
REACH OUT TO AN ATTORNEY
Apart from getting medical care, you might be unsure of what to do after a semi- truck accident. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you build your case for compensation and assist you throughout the recovery process. Remember that the trucking company will probably have an investigator on the scene soon after the crash, collecting evidence for the company. The sooner you contact an attorney on your behalf, the quicker they can collect evidence and bolster your personal injury case.