If you’ve ever been driving on the interstate and found yourself surrounded by 18 wheelers, you know how frightening these behemoths can be. An 18 wheeler accident can be deadly. In fact, they cause some 5,000 deaths each year in the United States.
What should you do in the wake of an 18 wheeler accident? Read on to find out what steps to take.
Steps to Take If You’ve Been Involved in an 18 Wheeler Accident
It’s important to remember that 18 wheeler accidents are more complicated—and potentially much more damaging—than an ordinary accident involving two passenger vehicles. For that reason, secure the services of an attorney who specializes is semi-truck accidents to help you every step of the way.
1. Assess Your Injuries and Seek Medical Attention
In the immediate aftermath of an accident with an 18 wheeler, call 911. You’ll need the police to come so that they can file an accident report, but it’s also a good idea to have emergency medical personnel check you out.
Even if you don’t think you’ve sustained any injuries as a result of the accident, see your primary care physician as soon as possible. Some injuries aren’t readily apparent or symptomatic immediately following an accident. Getting yourself checked out will help you down the road if you take legal action, however.
2. Document All the Information You Can
Now that cell phone cameras are nearly ubiquitous, it’s easy to capture photographs or even video of the accident. Make sure to document the vehicles’ positions, any damage to your car, and any road or weather conditions that may have impacted the accident.
It’s also smart to photograph or jot down the following:
- License plate numbers of all involved vehicles
- Vehicle identification numbers of all vehicles
- Insurance information of all drivers
- Witnesses’ contact information
3. Speak to Police
When officers arrive on the scene to make an accident report, you should certainly answer their questions truthfully. However, don’t volunteer any information, especially if it might damage your case in court. Admitting fault is particularly advised against.
4. Do Not Speak to Adjusters or Other Parties
You are under no obligation to speak to other drivers or individuals who have been involved in the accident. Simply exchange information and do not discuss the accident, whose fault it may have been, or what caused it.
If the other party’s insurance adjuster arrives on the scene, do not grant their request for an interview or statement. Tell them that your attorney will contact them, and do not write or sign anything. They may attempt to pressure you into making a statement or speaking to them, but you are not obligated to do so.
5. Contact an Attorney
As mentioned above, you’ll want to contact a law firm that has proven experience with 18 wheeler accidents. Even if you don’t anticipate taking the case to court, it won’t hurt to speak with an attorney and discuss your options. Personal injury lawyers will usually offer a free, no-obligation consultation to review your accident and consider next steps.
It’s never fun to get involved in an accident, and 18 wheeler accidents can be particularly scary. If you keep your head, remain calm, and follow these steps, it will benefit you in the long run.
Have you been in an 18 wheeler accident? Contact us today to find out about your options!