I Was Just in an Accident with a Semi-Truck: What Should I Do?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, there are almost 100,000 accidents involving trucks or large buses each year. These types of accidents are extremely dangerous, especially for the occupants of the passenger vehicle involved. If you are involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, there are several important steps you need to take to make sure you’re protected moving forward.
At the Scene of the Accident
The very first thing you should do if you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck is to make sure you’re okay. Because the health and safety of everyone involved is the foremost priority, you should call for medical help if there’s any reason to believe you or someone else involved has been injured. At the same time, it’s also important to contact the police so you can report the accident. If you’re able, exchange all relevant information with the truck driver as well as anyone else who may have been involved. Gather names, contact information, license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers, and any other identifying information from everyone involved. If there are any witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their contact information and encourage them to stay on the scene to speak with the proper authorities. If you can, try to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. When law enforcement officers arrive, provide your statement about what occurred to the best of your ability without admitting any fault if you’re not sure about what happened. The police will record all the necessary and relevant information in their report.
After the Accident
Once you’ve filed an official report and collected all the information and pictures for your records, it’s a good idea to go see a medical professional as soon as possible, assuming you weren’t taken to one from the scene. Injuries resulting from accidents with semi-trucks can be very serious and they can also manifest once the initial shock of the accident wears off. Even if you were examined by emergency medical technicians on the scene, you should go to your doctor and inform them about what took place soon after the accident. Your doctor will be able to assess any potential injuries you may have sustained in the accident. In addition, if you pursue damages related to the accident, you’ll want to have proper medical documentation that will prevent the truck driver’s insurance company from challenging your claims. In the short term, it’s best to protect your own health and well-being. In the long term, it’s best to protect your potential legal case in the event that such a case becomes necessary.
The next thing you’ll want to do is contact your insurance company. Make sure that your insurance company has all the relevant information as soon as possible as you have a legal obligation to do so. If you’re contacted by a representative or claims adjuster representing the truck driver or the truck driving company that employs him or her, be very careful. Claims adjusters representing truck companies have been trained to elicit admissions of fault as well as admissions which minimize the severity of your injuries. If these adjusters attempt to contact you, request their contact info and then consult with an experienced semi-truck accident attorney. Dealing with insurance companies can be unpleasant, but the attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are here to help.
For some situations, it’s necessary to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Nelson MacNeil Rayfield, we specialize in assisting personal injury victims by holding wrongdoers responsible for their actions. Our experienced attorneys can work to ensure that important evidence is preserved, and can assist with necessary communications and interviews with insurance adjusters involved in the case. If you’re not sure about what you should say or what you should sign, feel free to contact one of the experienced truck accident attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield for a free consultation.