The immediate aftermath of a wreck with an 18-wheeler can be crazy! You’ll be shocked, bewildered, and wondering what the heck just happened! Here are a few simple steps to remember and share with your family and friends.
Your first and highest priority is to make sure everyone is okay. Next, call the police and ambulance. Let the police officer secure the scene, take witness statements, and preserve critical evidence. Get medical attention for anyone who might need it, including yourself!
Once you and all passengers are safe, take as many pictures as possible of your car, the 18-wheeler, and the scene of the crash. Capture multiple angles of any damage the vehicles, plus any skid marks or damage to guardrails or highway barriers.
It’s also very important to either write down or photograph the company name on the side of both the tractor and the trailer, as well as the license plates on both those vehicles. Be sure to record the DOT number on the tractor too. There may be separate companies, and it will be important to identify both for purposes of making a claim later.
Of course, always follow the instructions of the police officers at the scene. Answer their questions completely and truthfully, and get as much information from them as you can too. For example, they may have the insurance information for the driver of the truck, which will make it easier to open a claim. And remember that it’s ok to get checked out at a hospital even if you’re not sure how badly you’re hurt. It’s better safe than sorry!
If this seems like a lot, remember that experienced lawyers and staff at Jim Adler & Associates are ready to help. Having us on your side helps smooth the chaos to start getting your life back to normal.
What not to do after a truck accident
Persons also should know what not to do after a truck accident. When hit by a truck, you should not try to move your vehicle unless you are compelled to do so for safety reasons. Instead, you should summon police and emergency assistance and then wait in a safe place.
When law enforcement authorities arrive and investigate, you should not admit driver error. If asked to sign a traffic ticket, you must sign it, but that is not an admission of guilt.
Later, when the time comes to seek an injury claim, you should not accept any settlement from an insurance company without consulting a skilled truck accident lawyer first. In fact, your lawyer should negotiate your settlement from the start. Your accident attorney knows about insurance company tricks and also knows from experience what your injury is worth in dollars and cents.
An insurance adjuster may call you and offer to give you a quick settlement, but probably it won’t be nearly enough for your injuries. And if you accept it, you won’t be able to claim more money later as your injury expenses mount. So do not accept any insurance offer on your own.
Also, you should refuse to make any written or recorded statements to an insurance company. Defer to your attorney upon receiving any such requests or settlement offers.
Finally, among the things not to do after a truck accident is this: Do not reveal any details of your accident on social media such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. In fact, refrain from sending any texts or emails about your accident, either.
Such information could be used against you at a later date by an attorney for the defendant in a truck accident lawsuit.
Soon after being hit by a trick, if you try to reassure your friends or family by saying “I’m doing OK” even if you aren’t, then that can be used to undercut your legal claim for damages. Try phoning or speaking to your family and friends in person instead.
As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind in terms of what to do and what not to do after a truck accident. We hope we’ve helped you see what to do after a truck accident — and the wisdom of engaging one of our experienced truck accident lawyers when hit by a truck. Let us help you to seek the maximum payments to which you are entitled.
What happens if the police find me partially at-fault for an 18-wheeler wreck?
If you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler and the investigating police find you partially at fault, it’s important to know that not all hope is lost. You may still be able to make a claim for your injuries or damage to your vehicle. Here’s what you need to know.
First, Texas has what’s called a “comparative fault” law. This means that you can be found up to 50% at fault for a wreck and still recover damages. Only at 51% or more are you barred from recovery.
Second, it’s ultimately a jury that decides what percentage of fault to assign in a wreck. The police officer does not have the final word, and a skilled attorney can show why the police officer may have been wrong in your case.
This is why it’s so important to contact a firm like Jim Adler & Associates after a 18-wheeler wreck. The trucker’s insurance company will try to treat the police officer’s report as the final word to get out of paying you what you’re owed. Our experienced attorneys can show that the law is truly on your side and protect your rights.