One minute you are cruising down the road, the next thing you know you are struck by an 18-wheeler and are being violently thrown about inside your vehicle. You may be dazed and confused when you finally come to a stop. You may have no idea where you are. You might wonder what you should do next. Knowing what to do after a semi-truck accident is extremely important, and if you take the appropriate steps, it could save you in the long run.
What are some of the first things you should do after you get hit by a semi-truck?
The first and most important thing is to make sure that you are safe and healthy. Asceses the situation. Make sure you are not bleeding or in any immediate life-threatening situation. If things appear to be in order and you have no life-threatening injuries, you should begin to think about next steps. The first call you should make is to the police. Get them on scene as soon as possible to document what happened. Tell the officer how the accident happened and give them any relevant details they may need.
Should I get examined by the paramedics following a semi-truck accident?
Yes, always. Immediately after the impact, dispatch will typically send paramedics to your aid. As soon as they get there, let them examine you. Even if you don’t feel sore, there may be physical injuries you are still unaware of because of the amount of adrenaline pumping through your system. A paramedic will be able to examine you immediately and tell you whether or not you need further care or need to be transported to the emergency room.
Should I take photos at the scene?
Photos should be taken if you have the availability to do so. They help document what happened and will be useful at a later date if you decide to pursue a claim. Photos taken at the scene right after an accident happens show the damage in real time. These are not photos taken weeks or months later, they show the damage immediately after it occurred. You should always document the damage to your vehicle and the damage to the semi-truck. Take any photos of marks on the road, such as skid marks from braking or impacts with guard rails or telephone poles etc. If you have physical injuries which are visible, take photographs of those as well. Over time, physical injuries and the visible marks fade. Getting photos of those at the scene or soon thereafter show the seriousness of the injuries immediately after they surfaced.
Should you communicate with the insurance companies if they call you after the crash?
You should never speak with an insurance adjuster if you plan on pursuing a claim for your semi-truck accident. Insurance adjusters often will try to speak with you about a potential settlement or try to get you on the phone for a recorded statement. You should not speak to them until you have talked with an attorney about your rights. If the insurance company wants to do a recorded statement after you have hired an attorney, the attorney you hire will be on that call with you to make sure that the adjusters do not ask anything they shouldn’t. Once you have an attorney, an insurance company will typically get a letter of representation from them fairly quickly, and once the insurance company gets that, they should cease all contact with you and only go through your attorney.
Should you consult with an attorney for your semi-truck accident injuries?
If you feel as though you were injured as the result of a semi-truck accident, yes, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney. An attorney will be able to look at the strengths and weaknesses of your case and can take many steps on your behalf to get you the kind of settlement you deserve. From obtaining all of the necessary documentation, both police and medical, finding all insurance policies which may hold coverage, hiring experts if they are needed, and inspecting the semi-truck and speaking with the witnesses, the attorney can greatly enhance your chances of a potential recovery.
The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group stand ready and willing to assist you if you have been the victim of a semi-truck accident. If you suffered injuries and want the compensation you deserve, we are standing by to speak to you today about your potential case. Every consultation on semi-truck accidents is done free of charge. We can be reached at 727-933-0015. Our attorney will walk you through the legal process and will be with you every step of the way. The sooner you retain an attorney the better. Contact us today!