Sharing the road with 18-wheelers is a hair-raising experience. We trust the professionals behind the wheel of a semi-truck to drive safely. Still, we grab the steering wheel with white knuckles and pray that truckers will do their job correctly to avoid an 18-wheeler truck accident.
When riding alongside a semi-truck in a standard passenger car, you immediately understand why federal and state governments passed strict safety regulations concerning commercial motor vehicles. A semi-trailer, without the cab, can be 53 feet long and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Comparatively, the average weight of a passenger car in the United States is slightly over 4,000 pounds. A semi-truck crash with another auto weighing much less can be devastating for the people in the smaller vehicle.
If you or a loved one was hit by an 18-wheeler, you have legal rights. Contact a personal injury firm with a track record of success in truck accident claims, like Young Wooldridge, LLP, for help with your 18-wheeler truck accident claim. Our dedicated and experienced personal injury trial lawyers will fight for your rights and help you win just compensation for your 18-wheeler truck accident.
Steps You Should Take to Protect Your Rights After an 18-Wheeler Accident
The steps you need to take to protect your rights after a truck accident depend on the collision circumstances. However, we suggest that you follow as many of the following suggestions as you can to protect yourself and your family.
Call for Help
Call 911 immediately if you are able. If not, ask someone else to contact the police. You should give out enough information to inform the dispatcher of the accident’s location. You should also indicate if anyone needs medical help. Avoid saying any more than that. The police will arrive as fast as possible and begin to investigate. They will figure out what happened.
Ask for Medical Assistance
Semi-truck accidents are often devastating, and injuries are practically inevitable. Take care of yourself and anyone else with you in your car that is hurt.
You must seek treatment for any injuries that you suffer in an 18-wheeler truck accident, even if you think you are not hurt badly. Some severe injuries might not surface right away, like muscle injuries or even fractures, because adrenaline masks the pain. You might experience only a dull ache at first. Seek medical attention to prevent further damage.
Seeking medical assistance at the 18-wheeler accident scene or shortly after helps protect your legal rights. Insurance adjusters might deny your claim or discredit the severity of your injury if you wait too long after you were hit by an 18-wheeler to see a doctor.
Preserve Information from the Accident Scene
You might not have a chance to take photos or exchange insurance information at the accident scene if you suffered an injury. You should take photographs, identify witnesses, and obtain the truck driver’s information. Ask someone to do this for you if injuries prevent you from doing so yourself.
The investigating law enforcement officers will document the scene so they can write a crash report. The officer might take photos of the scene. They will collect drivers’ identification, registration, license, and insurance information. They will interview witnesses too. We know how to get copies of the police reports and any pictures they took.
If the police do not respond to the accident for some reason, you should collect this information yourself. Capture as many details as possible. You should ask for the witnesses’ contact information. We will speak to them during our investigation.
You should also note the location of any businesses in the area of the semi-truck crash. These businesses might have surveillance cameras that captured the collision. We need to work quickly so that we can preserve surveillance video and use it to help strengthen your case.
Avoid Talking to the Trucking Company’s Insurance Company
You should limit the number of people you talk to about the crash after a truck accident. Any statement you give, especially to insurance companies, is another piece of evidence that they could use against you.
Insurance companies representing the trucking industry will investigate your 18-wheeler truck accident and look for all possible avenues to limit your financial award. They will record your statement and use it to discredit you if you say something inconsistent later on. They will also use your words to open their investigation into the accident. You give them a head start if you talk with them.
If an insurance adjuster contacts you about your 18-wheeler accident, you should politely but firmly refer them to your attorneys.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer for Help
Seek representation right away from experienced and dedicated truck accident lawyers if you or a loved one sustained injuries in an 18-wheeler truck accident. At Young Wooldridge, LLP, we use our client-centered approach to help you receive fair and just compensation for your injuries. Our personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and case analysis. Remember that the time you have to file a claim is short. Call Young Wooldridge, LLP, today at 661-327-9661 to protect your rights.