Semi Trucks compose a significant number of vehicles on the road, and an equally significant number of accidents are related to or caused by large trucks on the road. Trucks are heavy, large, and have issues with stopping quickly and visibility, so crashes are unfortunately common, and deadly. While we hope you are never in any kind of accident, we have compiled a list of what to do if you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a semi truck.
Step One: Assess Injuries and Get to Safety
- Step one is to asses your injuries, and those of others involved. If someone is injured, do not move them unless they are imminent danger. Call 911 immediately and wait for first responders. If you yourself are injured, remain calm and dial 911 if you are able to do so. If you are able to move your vehicle, move to a safe location away from traffic. If your vehicle is not driveable, wait for a tow truck to move your car.
Step Two: Contact Authorities
- If you have called 911 to report injuries, they will normally send out officers as well to take your statement and make a police report. If you are not sure if authorities were notified, it is always a good idea to call. A police report is always a big help if you end up needing to fight to be reimbursed for medical bills or property damage after the accident. When authorities arrive, give them a statement based on facts, not emotions. Take a few deep breaths before speaking. Do not attempt to hide anything, but do not tell them your opinions or emotions, simply the facts of what happened.
Step Three: Exchange Information
- Get the contact information from every driver involved in the collision. When you are asking the truck driver for information, make sure you obtain information of the tractor (the cab of the truck), the trailer, and the cargo the trailer was towing. Sometimes, all three can have different insurance policies or responsible parties.
Step Four: Document the Scene of the Accident
- Get pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident, from all angles. Take pictures of skid marks on the road if there are any, take close up pictures of the tires on the semi truck and their condition, and make sure to get pictures of anything else that was damaged in the accident like guardrails, embankments, or property. It is also a good idea to get pictures of the road itself and any signs, both from the perspective of your vehicle, the perspective of the truck, and of anyone or anything else involved.
Step Five: Obtain Medical Attention
- Always obtain medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel pain after the accident. A semi tuck can weigh dozens of tons and any impact, no matter how small, can jar your body and create injuries that may not present themselves immediately. It is always wise to get yourself checked out after an accident.
Step Six: Don’t be Chatty with the Insurance Company or Trucking Company
- The job of an insurance representative is to save their company money. To that end, they may try to avoid paying you the full amount of what you are truly due for your accident. If an insurance company or a trucking company attempts to contact you directly, you can refuse to answer questions and instead direct them to your official statement or better yet, your attorney.
Step Seven: Contact an Attorney
- It is always a good idea to contact an attorney after you were involved in an accident with a semi truck. Some law firms such as ours offer free consultations, which means you can speak to an experienced representative with no cost to you. Our firm also works on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing out of pocket, and we only get paid when we win your case. An attorney firm like ours that deals with semi truck accidents is experienced at navigating the insurance companies and medical fields, to ensure that you obtain the best possible care, and the true value of your accident instead of what the insurance company may try to offer you. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your accident, or that of a loved one.