Semi-trucks are enormous and have much more momentum when driving than other vehicles. Consequently, when semi-trucks collide with cars, it can be disastrous. A good deal of accidents involving a semi-truck result in at least one death. If you get in an accident with a semi, you know how much power the 18-wheeler possesses and how frightening and confusing the first few moments after the crash can be.
If you’ve been hurt by a semi-truck, you may have extensive injuries, not to mention the damage to your car. You’ll need financial compensation to cover your medical bills and time off to heal. Knowing exactly what to do after you get in an accident with a semi is critical to protect yourself and your financial future. Here are four steps you need to take if you are ever involved in an automobile accident with a semi-truck.
Call the Authorities
The first step you need to take after the accident is to call 9-1-1. If you are injured or do not have immediate access to the cellphone, flag down a driver and ask them to contact the police and an ambulance, if necessary. It is never prudent to leave the scene of the crash. You need the authorities to have an accurate report of what happened, which means you need to stay where you are until they get there.
Additionally, do not try to move your car off the road, and if the driver of the semi-truck moves their vehicle, make sure to tell the authorities that when they arrive. The police will want to create an accurate account of the accident. Leaving the vehicles in the original location will also allow you to document the accident, which is critical if you file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Check for Injuries
Now that you’ve called the authorities, make sure that you and anyone else involved in the crash is alright. You or another person in your car may have serious injuries that require immediate help, but even if you feel okay now, you should still see a doctor later.
Remember, even a minor injury can become more serious if you do not see a doctor right away. You may not be able to tell at the time of the accident just how badly hurt you are, so get a medical professional’s help when you can. If you are hurt, you may need your doctor’s notes on your condition later when you pursue getting compensation from the person at fault for the accident.
If you discover that another person involved in the accident is injured, do not try to move them out of their vehicle or off the road. Wait for an ambulance to arrive. While speaking to other drivers involved in the accident, do not admit fault by apologizing. Instead, calmly ask if they need medical attention.
Know What to Say to the Police
Once the police arrive, they will ask you several questions about the accident – including whether you are at fault. You should answer the officer’s questions truthfully, but don’t take on any responsibility for the accident that you don’t deserve. Some people feel the need to apologize, even when they know that they didn’t cause the accident – don’t do this, since it may hurt your case later.
Instead, provide your side of the story using as many details as possible. Remember, the other driver will also be telling the police their side of the story, so you must make sure to be thorough. If you seek compensation from the driver of the semi-truck or the company they represent later, your case will partially rely on the police report from this scene, so you need to make sure you tell the authorities as much as you can.
Speak to an Attorney
Now that you are able to leave the scene of the accident, and after you sought medical attention for your injuries, it is time to take the next critical step: contact an attorney. If you’re seriously hurt because of this accident, you probably need help to pay the staggering cost of your medical bills. An attorney can help you determine if you have a case against the other driver and how to proceed with your lawsuit.
The driver of the semi-truck, the company they represent, and their insurance company have a vested interest in not paying you the compensation you need. While some companies will be helpful, many will try to give you as little compensation as possible, if any. Working with a lawyer from the beginning will help you get a fair amount of compensation as soon as you can.
If you are ever involved in an accident with a semi-truck, you’ll need expert guidance to make sure you get the compensation you need to recover from this devastating event. Contact the experts at Shay & Associates for help today.