Have you been in an accident with a semi-truck?
Driving a truck is one of the more difficult jobs out there. On top of being able to drive a massive and complex vehicle in all sorts of tight scenarios, they’re responsible for transporting valuable cargo and hitting tight deadlines.
That doesn’t excuse anyone from unsafe driving, however. An accident involving a semi-truck greatly increases your risk of serious injury or death. For this reason, the aftermath can be overwhelming.
Today, we’re going to tell you what to do after a semi-truck accident. Whether you escaped the accident with minor injuries or you’re helping someone that suffered more serious injuries, it’s important to understand what to expect from the legal proceedings.
Follow this guide and you’ll be able to navigate this process, so you can focus on healing and getting what you deserve.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Semi Truck Crash
What you do in the aftermath of a semi-truck accident will depend on how bad the accident is. If you’re able, you can try to pull your car over to the side of the road. If you can’t, get your hazards on so other cars can see and avoid you.
Immediately after that, you need to call 911 to get emergency services there as soon as possible. This is especially important if there are any serious injuries to report.
Under no circumstances should you leave the scene of the accident or permit the other party to leave. Even if the accident is minor, the police need to file a report and help you figure out how to move forward.
Having said that, cooperate with the police officers that arrive on the scene, giving them all of the pertinent details relating to the accident. Be truthful and tell them what you remember about what you did and what the other driver did leading to the accident. Trust the legal process and focus on getting medical attention and talking to your insurer.
Getting Medical Attention
Whether you’ve got obvious injuries or seemingly no injuries, you have to seek medical attention. Most likely, an ambulance will appear on the scene after you’ve called 911. But if for some reason one doesn’t, go to a hospital or your doctor as soon as you can.
If you don’t need immediate attention, it’s still important to see a doctor because your adrenaline from the accident could be preventing you from feeling pain. Also, if the symptoms of an injury show up days or weeks later, it’ll be harder to point to the accident as the cause if you don’t see a doctor quickly.
Getting a full medical evaluation will help you in more ways than one.
Dealing With the Scene
If you’re able, make sure to document the scene of the accident. Take pictures of all vehicles, paying special attention to the damage both to the exterior and interior. You can take pictures of your injuries before they’ve been treated as well.
The more evidence of damage that you have, the easier it is to deal with insurance. If you end up in court, pictures work really well as evidence because you can’t really argue with first-hand proof of what happened.
You can also get the contact information of any witnesses that stick around after the accident. Again, this is going to be useful for any insurance claims, not to mention helping you with the police.
Exchanging Info With the Other Driver
Talking to the other driver — in this case, a commercial truck driver — can be difficult. They may have sustained significant injuries as well because, despite having a much larger, safer vehicle, it could potentially topple over due to its size.
If you’re both relatively uninjured, you need to exchange information because you don’t know when you’ll see each other again. Here’s what to ask for:
- The driver’s name and contact information (phone, email address, home address)
- The name and contact information of their employer
- The driver’s license number and insurance policy info
When you go through the legal and insurance proceedings afterward, you’ll want as much detailed information as possible.
Talking to Your Insurer, But Not Theirs
Take any information to your insurer after you’ve dealt with all of the practical details and gotten the proper medical attention. Do this as soon as you can because things can get a little murky when you’re dealing with a company instead of an individual.
Trucking companies know that there’s potentially a lot of money at stake after an accident, so they’ll be looking to deny liability. Their insurer may try to contact you, but be careful what you say because it could be used against you to ruin your case.
Even when discussing the accident with your own insurer, you should only provide the details you discussed with the police and the details of your medical situation.
The insurance process might go smoothly, but if it doesn’t, it’s time to find yourself a semi-truck accident attorney.
Find a Good Accident Attorney
Now that you know what to do if you’ve been in a semi-truck crash, you can prepare yourself. It starts with the overwhelming events of the accident and the aftermath, but it doesn’t stop there.
In many ways, it’s just beginning. Once you start on an insurance claim, you enter a potentially long and confusing process. Having a good semi-truck accident attorney by your side can be invaluable in helping you through any legal matters.
Eames Law Group is an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation firm serving Illinois residents. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your accident so you can focus on recovering and getting back on your feet. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay a fee.
To learn more about who we are and what we do, contact us to discuss your semi-truck accident and how we can help.