Tractor trailer accidents can be some of the most devastating and life-altering events to occur on the roads. As a driver, it’s essential to know what to do in the event of a tractor trailer accident, whether you’re the one involved or just a witness. With the right steps and actions, you can best protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road. This blog post will outline the crucial steps you need to take when a tractor trailer accident occurs, including how to handle the aftermath and get the help you need.
Assess the Situation and Call for Help
The first thing you should do in any accident is to assess the situation and call for help. Check if anyone involved is injured and call 911 immediately. Even if the accident seems minor, it’s still crucial to have the police and other emergency responders on site, as they can help both with the safety of those involved and give solid documentation of what occurred.
Exchange Information and Record the Accident
If possible, exchange information with the driver(s) of the tractor trailer involved. Get as much information as necessary for your accident claim or lawsuit: the names and contact information of anyone involved, their insurance information, and the license plate number of the truck. If you’re unable to take notes, consider asking a witness or a law enforcement officer to help record the data. Beyond exchanging information, spend some time documenting the scene of the accident, including taking pictures and noting the time and weather conditions.
Seek Medical Treatment and Legal Help
Regardless of whether you are hurt or not, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away if you’re involved in a tractor trailer accident. Sometimes injury symptoms appear long after the accident, and getting early medical attention can help catch hidden injuries and ensure they don’t worsen over time. Beyond medical attention, do not hesitate to seek legal help. Accident cases related to trucks can be some of the most complicated, and the trucking company and its insurance carriers can have highly skilled lawyers working to minimize damages paid to victims. Consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible who can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.
Stay Quiet about the Accident
Keep information about the accident to yourself after it occurs. Don’t speak with anyone other than your lawyer and doctor. The trucking company or its insurance carriers may reach out to you to get more information from you about the accident. No matter how innocent your conversation is, they will likely twist it to minimize their responsibility. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help manage and limit conversations with the trucking company and its insurance providers and make sure they don’t take advantage of you when you’re down.
Gather Your Important Documentation
As soon as you’ve been involved in a tractor trailer accident, start gathering your essential documents, including medical records, the police report, insurance information related to the accident, and any wage statements you need to help prove your losses and damages. Save any out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, including prescriptions, hospital copays, and transportation expenses to and from medical treatment.
Tractor trailer accidents can be some of the most damaging and devastating events we can experience. But, as noted in this blog post, there are steps you can follow and things you can do to help protect yourself and others when accidents happen. If you’ve suffered injuries or losses as a result of a tractor trailer accident, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights. Remember that you’re not alone, and that there is help and support available.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.