Semi-truck accidents are much different than typical car accidents. 18-wheelers crowd the Texas highways and interstates. While these trucks serve a vital service, they can also pose a substantial danger to other drivers. In 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s, a total of 4,119 people died in large truck crashes. 67% of those people were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. Truck accidents are unexpected, but if you are ever in one, it is a good idea to keep a few safety tips in mind after being in a large truck accident.
- Stop and Report the Crash
Make sure you are safe and away from the road from oncoming traffic. Anyone who was involved in the crash must remain at the scene. It is important to turn on your hazard lights to help other drivers see your car. If someone is injured or unresponsive, call 911 immediately.
You should also call the police or state highway patrol. They will help assess the situation, have you fill out an accident report, and instruct you on what steps to take next. Finally, don’t forget to request a copy of the accident report. It’s important to keep a copy for your records, and in case you need to present them, as evidence in court.
- Medical Treatment
Seek medical attention immediately after an accident even if you show no signs of an injury. Your body‘s adrenaline could be preventing you from feeling any pain or noticing an injury right away. Even if it’s not possible to obtain medical attention at the scene of your accident, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as you can. No medical attention could bring complications to your ability to seek compensation for injuries later.
- Identify All Parties Involved
Look for identification marks or signs on the semi-truck and other vehicles involved in the accident. Although the truck driver may be at fault, the trucking company could also be liable for your injuries and damage to your vehicle. It is important to make sure all potentially liable parties are held responsible for their role in causing the accident.
- Exchange Information
While at the scene of the crash, be sure to exchange information with everyone involved in the accident. This step is crucial – once the other parties leave the scene, it may be very difficult to track them down. Getting their contact information will make it easier if you choose to seek compensation.
A few items to write down include:
- Driver’s name, address, phone number, and email address
- Driver’s insurance company
- Driver’s license number of the semi-truck
- Name and contact information of the truck driver’s employer
- Check For Witnesses
Always check for witnesses at or near the scene of your accident. You can collect a witness statement yourself or ask them for their contact information in case you need to reach out later for more details. Witnesses to the accident may be able to testify in your case. It’s also a good idea to check the accident report to see if there were any witnesses you may have missed that were interviewed by the responding officer.
- Document Your Accident
Make sure to take photos of the accident. These photos can help you prove who was at fault for the accident, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of damage done to your vehicle. Photographic evidence is hard to argue against and it helps others see how severe your accident was. This evidence will help you determine the amount of compensation you receive.
- Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Before speaking to your insurance company, it is best to contact an attorney. An insurance adjuster can use anything you say against you, so it is important to avoid saying something that might hurt your case. If you are asked by an insurance adjuster for a recorded or written statement, it is a good idea to decline until you have spoken with an attorney. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries by a semi-truck accident, contact a Hilliard Martinez & Gonzales Law Firm attorney at (361) 882-1612.
A semi-truck is one of the largest vehicles that drive through our highways and interstates. To put in perspective, a fully loaded semi may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds or 40 tons. In contrast, an average passenger vehicle weighs around 4,100 pounds or 2 tons. A crash between the two vehicles can be quite tragic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s, an estimated one in three truck drivers have experienced a severe truck crash at some point during their careers. Semi-truck fatality accidents have also been increasing. From 2009 to 2019, the number of people who died in a large truck crash increased by 31%.
If you or a loved one have sustained injuries by a semi-truck accident, contact a Hilliard Martinez & Gonzales Law Firm attorney at (361) 882-1612.