What Do You Do After a Semi-Truck Accident?
A truck accident is one of the scariest things a person can experience. In the immediate aftermath, your adrenaline is high, you’re likely afraid, and it can all be extremely overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what to do after a semi-truck accident; that way, should the situation arise, you can both keep yourself safe and set yourself up with a strong case.
The best way to be prepared after a semi-truck accident is to have an experienced truck accident lawyer by your side. At Giddens Law Firm, P.A., we have the experience and skills in truck accident litigation to ensure you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Seek medical care
In the aftermath of an accident, your physical health and safety are of the utmost importance. Assess yourself for any injuries, and seek medical care even if you believe yourself to be unharmed; adrenaline often masks even severe injuries. It’s important to remember as well that sometimes, injuries appear hours or days after an accident. Something like whiplash may take some time to develop, but can be excruciating once it does. Keep a record of any and all ailments caused by the accident that appear in the coming days.
Call the police
It’s always important to call 911 as soon as you can after the accident. In some cases, the semi-truck driver may try to persuade you not to place the call; they may be afraid of the repercussions of the police getting involved. But don’t be dissuaded. Once the police arrive, they will assess the scene and ultimately write up a report, which may include their assessment of who is at fault. Calling the police ensures there’s an accurate and official record of the accident, which can be extremely helpful as you navigate insurance down the road. This also encourages all parties to remain at the scene, as fleeing the scene once the police has been called is a crime.
Document the scene and gather evidence
You may think that because the police have arrived and are drafting a report, there’s no need for you to document the scene yourself. But this is incorrect. It’s, in fact, extremely wise to gather your own evidence and documentation. If you are physically able to walk and it’s safe to exit your vehicle, you should leave your car and take pictures of the accident scene. Take pictures of the semi-truck, your car, the damage to each, the way they’re placed, and your own injuries, if any are visible. You can also talk to witnesses to see if they have any helpful information to offer. If they’re willing to provide it, you should obtain their contact information so you can get in touch with them again if needed. Again, all of this will be crucial whether you’re working through insurance or pursuing a personal injury suit. The more information you can gather, the better.
Exchange information with the semi-truck driver
After your semi-truck accident, when it’s safe to do so, you should make your way over to the other driver so you can exchange information. Remember, this interaction should be brief and should strictly involve exchanging relevant information. Unfortunately, something as simple as “I’m sorry” — even if you’re just trying to be kind or polite — can be taken as an admission of fault and later used against you. The information you should exchange with the semi-truck driver includes:
- Their name, home address, phone number, and email address
- The name of their trucking company, and the company’s address and phone number
- Their driver’s license number and their license plate
- Their insurance information, including the insurance company and policy number
Contact your insurance company
You should report the semi-truck accident to your insurance company as soon as possible so that the claims process can begin. But remember: even your own insurance company is not always working in your best interest. They are a company looking to make a profit and spend as little as possible. Always choose your words carefully and avoid any unnecessary chatter, even if the person you’re speaking to comes off as friendly and personable. Stick to the facts.
If you’re contacted by the semi-truck driver’s insurance company, or the insurance company of any other liable party such as the trucking company, you are under no obligation to speak to them. They may attempt to have you admit some level of fault, or accept an offer that is far, far lower than the coverage you deserve. Again, choose your words wisely, as they may be twisted. If an insurance adjuster asks how you are and you say “I’m good,” they may use that as “proof” that your injuries are not severe and the accident has caused no real suffering. Even if they try to press you for information, hold your ground. You’re within your rights to simply say that you’re working with an attorney and going forward, all contact will pass through your lawyer.
Contact Giddens Law Firm, P.A.
Some car accidents can be navigated without an attorney. A simple fender bender between two passenger vehicles can, potentially, be worked out between the drivers and their insurance companies. But when a semi-truck is involved in an accident, things immediately become more complicated. Injuries and property damage tend to be far worse. The trucking company involved most likely has a powerful legal team and a great deal of resources at its disposal. All of this means that if you want justice and fair compensation, working with an experienced semi-truck accident attorney is your best option.
As soon as you hire an attorney, they will become the main point of contact between you and all other parties involved in the accident. What’s more, they will immediately begin working to build your case.
They’ll gather crucial evidence that’s difficult to obtain without the aid of an attorney, such as the truck driver’s driving records, vehicle maintenance records, phone records, CCTV footage from the scene, black box data from the truck, and more. They will also assess every way in which the accident has impacted you, from physical injuries to mental suffering, in order to show that you rightfully deserve compensation. They will work hard to win you a fair and appropriate settlement.
The majority of truck accident cases settle out of court, but in the event that your case requires a trial, your Giddens Law Firm attorney can continue fighting for you there as well. Unlike other personal injury law firms, we have the skills and resources to go to trial if necessary.
Work With Our Mississippi Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
At Giddens Law Firm, we believe that every truck accident victim has a right to justice and a right to compensation. It is our goal to guide you through the overwhelming nature of navigating the aftermath of an accident, and we always do so with compassion and care. We approach each with strength and diligence and will fight tirelessly to get you the best result. Visit our Verdicts and Settlements page to see the many, many truck accident cases we’ve handled, and the substantial settlements we have secured for our clients.
Don’t let yourself be intimidated by powerful trucking companies and insurance companies who don’t have your best interest at heart. They may try to take advantage of your vulnerable state to get you to accept a settlement or agree to a degree of fault that is entirely unfair. Contact us today for a free initial case review.
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