According to Pouted Magazine, around 457,000 accidents reported in 2017 involved large trucks and 18 wheelers. 18 wheeler accidents are different from the typical auto accidents witnessed daily.
Often, 18-wheeler accidents tend to be more complicated and costly. Also, the due process of compensation is usually higher than for normal accidents.
Many people tend to miss out on the critical fundamentals of handling 18-wheeler accidents. This leads to complicated cases and never-ending court battles. When involved in an 18-wheeler accident, you have to handle everything right.
Whether a semi-truck has hit you or your car, what should you do? Read on!
1. Seek Medical Attention
Your health comes second to nothing else. Even before thinking of contacting the local authorities, your health should come first. Don’t delay while seeking medical attention.
Whether hurt or unhurt, seeking medical assistance should be a priority. Never wait for the situation to get worse- there is no remedy for bad health.
18-wheeler accidents tend to be more damaging than for regular cars. This is why you should visit the nearest help within the shortest time possible. Motor vehicle experts and insurance companies require you to attend to your health first.
Failing to seek medical check-up leads to a more complicated situation. You might miss out on compensation is the jury determines you neglected to see a physician. Besides, you might end up spending more on treatments due to negligence.
2. Call 911
If you have encountered an accident, call the police immediately. Whenever truck collisions happen, there tend to be massive damages that should be attended to by the police. If you call 911, police will be dispatched to the scene of the accident immediately.
Calling for emergency services has numerous advantages. From protecting you from looter and thieves to preventing the aversion of justice, the work of the police is vital. Also, the police report is essential in a court of law since the jury considers it as the first evidence.
Some 18 wheeler drivers might look for ways to run away from the scene of the accident. With police around, that might not be possible. The police officers collect any possible evidence that might be applicable in law courts.
3. Collect Evidence From the Scene Of Accident
Before leaving the scene of evidence, it is necessary to collect as much evidence as possible. This might be your basis for legal action. Evidence can be got in various ways.
Take images and videos of the accident scene. Take as much visual evidence as possible. You can use this evidence while filing for compensation or lawsuit. If there are alterations or bad engagement at the scene, you can record audios.
The direct evidence collected at the scene of evidence gives a substantial opportunity to prove innocence. This evidence demonstrates that you weren’t on the wrong and that it wasn’t your fault.
Take photos of the damaged vehicle, skid marks, and injuries. Besides, you can collect evidence from people around the scene of accidents. Some of these people can act as your witnesses in a court of law.
4. Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer
It is essential to engage a truck accident lawyer. Whether you were on the wrong or right, the lawyer can advise you on what steps to take. A truck accident lawyer is different from any other type of lawyer.
Let an expert take up your case and help you during recovery. You will be fighting with big companies and institutions, and that’s why you need expertise on your side.
Never attempt to solve the case on your own- it’s like doing surgery on your own. Many people who tried to solve 18 wheeler accidents on their own failed miserably.
The attorney will help you in the following;
- Determining who is liable for the accident
- Gathering the essential evidence needed when filling claims
- Positioning your claim for maximum recovery
Find the right expert, and things will fall in place.
5. Gather As Much Info As Possible
Besides the physical evidence at hand, go ahead and look for as much information as possible. Gathering information might help you put up a reasonable claim. If capable, look for every detail on the accident.
Getting the information on the other parties is essential and can help you much. Get the name of the driver, contact information, car details, and name of the company that the truck belongs. Some drivers can flee the scene to avoid liability.
If you are incapacitated and injured, request someone else to do it for you. In serious accidents, many drivers try as much to withhold information that might be helpful to you.
6. Avoid Making Unnecessary Statements
Many people make a mistake of talking too much too often. However, some of them end up being victims of their statements. Things might backfire on your terribly.
Some people might lure you talk of making contradictory statements on their favor. Silence is one of the most useful weapons that you can use. Whenever on the wrong side, never talks about the accident unless when questioned by police.
Hold off your statements until when appropriate. Even when questioned by police don’t answer what you don’t know. In many instances, whatever you say is usually forced for you or against you.
If you have to make a statement, make sure it’s very confident and accurate. Never take chances in vulnerable situations.
7. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Let your insurance company know more about your situation. Your insurance agents will advise on the necessary steps to make. As said earlier, 18-wheeler accidents tend to be more complex and should handle with utmost care.
Share details of the accident with your insurance provider as soon as possible. Many insurance companies require you to report any accidents within 24 hours. Failure to report the accidents might put you in a disadvantaged situation.
18 Wheeler – The Bottom Line
With the complexity surrounding 18 wheeler accidents, the above guidelines will help you significantly. Never assume anything or take chances whenever such situations occur. Remember to involve a truck accident lawyer in case you encounter this situation.
If you have any questions, be sure to contact us.