An auto accident with a semi-truck can obviously be much more dangerous. Trucks weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars. Trucks can also have a difficult time braking when something starts to go wrong. In fact, a loaded tractor-trailer can take up to 40% longer to stop than an automobile.
If you’re involved in a semi-truck auto accident, it can be scary and dangerous. You need to know what to do in the moment.
Read on to learn the 7 things you should do if you’re involved in this type of accident.
1. Call the Police and Emergency Services
While your instinct might be to get out of your car or even to navigate the accident scene on your own, you shouldn’t. The first thing you should do is call 911.
If you’re on a highway, where trucks often travel, the 911 operator will get the local police to the scene. The 911 operator can also send emergency services like an ambulance. Even if the accident seems minor, you should still call 911. Even if the other drivers encourage you not to call the police.
However, you always want to call the police, no matter the magnitude of the accident. Police can help manage the accident scene and will write a police report, which you’ll need later on for insurance purposes. They can also get those involved off the road to safety if possible.
2. Document the Accident Scene
While the police report which will be used for insurance purposes, when auto accident lawyers get involved, extra information is helpful.
You should only attempt to document the scene if it’s safe to get out of your vehicle and if you’re not injured. If you can document the following things, they will be helpful:
- Photos of the scene from a variety of angles
- Contact information for witnesses
- Contact information for others involved in the crash
- Notes about road or weather conditions
- Other factors that might have affected the accident
It also makes sense to take notes about what you recall about the accident. This in-the-moment documentation can be helpful to your auto accident attorney later on.
3. Gather Witness Information
An accident scene can be a swarm of activity as first responders arrive. While the police will interview those involved in the crash, sometimes witnesses won’t hang around that long.
Get the name, phone number, and email of any witness or bystander. Sometimes their vantage point in an accident can make a big difference in a case.
Of course, keep in mind that once bystanders leave, you might never find them again. So, it’s important to at least get their name and contact information if possible.
4. Get Medical Attention
If your injuries are severe, then you’ll likely be transported by ambulance for medical care.
Often while in shock from an accident, those involved in the accident want to wave off medical attention. You should never do this.
Even if you feel like you have no injuries or minor injuries, you should be checked out. Whether you’re injured or not, it needs to be documented that a medical professional evaluated you and checked you out for injuries. If there is no documentation of you seeking medical treatment, regardless of injuries being present, it can make pursuing a claim later on difficult.
5. Make an Insurance Claim
At some point, whether you’re at fault or not, your insurance company will need to get involved. Following the accident, you will need to call them and make a claim. Provide the basic accident information. After that, it makes sense to let your auto accident lawyer deal with the insurance companies involved.
6. Call an Auto Accident Attorney
Whether you’re the person involved in a semi-truck auto accident or a family member, you’re going to need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer.
It’s also quite possible that because of the magnitude of the accident, you weren’t able to do some of the things already suggested. Accidents can get messy and complicated when there are many parties and many insurance companies involved. It becomes even more complicated if there are injuries.
Truck accidents have another layer of complexity because the driver may not own the truck. The trucking company or even manufacturer of the goods on the truck may end up involved in the case.
An auto accident attorney is experienced in sorting out the details that matter and protecting your interests.
7. Avoid Discussing Your Accident
While this can be hard to do, especially in the moment of the accident, you should always avoid discussing the accident.
At the scene of an accident, people want to be nice. They want to say things that will be comforting and calming. But be careful because things you say in the moment or off-handedly can come back and be used against you.
Avoid posting things about your accident on social media. It’s likely following the accident, there will be many insurance adjusters and/or attorneys involved in the case. You don’t want any of the words that you said or wrote without thinking to be used against you later.
Semi-Truck Auto Accident, What You Should Do
An auto accident with a semi-truck can have significant consequences. It can be scary and overwhelming following the accident as you try to navigate injuries and claims.
If you’ve been in an accident, you need a Nashville car accident lawyer who is prepared to work on your behalf. Contact us today to get your free case evaluation done today.