5-Point Checklist: What to Do After a Semi Truck Accident
Accidents that involve semi-trucks usually result in fatalities and some of the most serious injuries. According to statistics, over 100,000 Americans suffer injuries in accidents involving semi-trucks. These serious injuries are caused by the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks. Here is a comprehensive semi accident checklist you need to take care of if you are injured.
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing that should appear in a semi accident checklist is medical intervention. Check to see if you and other people involved in the accident are injured. Call the emergency service immediately if there are any injuries. Remember time is of utmost importance here. The longer you take to seek medical attention the worse the injury will get, even if it seems less significant. Never attempt to treat people at the accident scene unless the circumstances are dire. Do not forget to keep track of all the medical bills that you incur while at the hospital. You will need the documents for your truck accident claim.
Report the Accident
The next step in your semi accident checklist is to report the incident to relevant authorities. Call 911 if you are physically capable of reaching out for the phone. If you are seriously injured and unable to make a call, let someone nearby report the accident for you so that the police officers and emergency service attendants can come to the scene right away. The police will gather information about the accident and file a report. Make sure you give accurate information and avoid statements that make you look guilty of the accident.
You will also need to report the accident to your insurance company. Stick to the facts and avoid speculations when reporting. Some insurance companies can use any wrong information against you and force you to settle for a lower amount during compensation.
Document Everything at the Scene
Forgetting to document everything at the scene is one of the most common mistakes you should avoid in a personal injury case. Documenting the scene will help you prove all the facts about the accident when filing your claim. Take notes to capture all the facts before you forget them. Note down the following details;
• What led to the accident?
• Your initial speed before the accident occurred.
• The road conditions at the time of the accident.
• The witnesses.
• Whether there were any distractions.
• The truck driver’s name and insurance information.
You should also document the extent of damage with photos. Use a camera or smartphone to capture the exterior damage of all vehicles involved and their positions at the crash scene. Capture the vehicles’ license plates and include all landmarks, such as the embankments, street lights and road signs.
Know When to Speak
Some insurance agents may come to the scene and try to get information from you. It is advisable you refrain from making any statements without legal counsel in such scenarios. You are only allowed to speak to the agents from your insurance company. Most of all, do not sign anything that is not presented by your lawyer or insurance provider.
Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury cases cover a wide range of complex processes that are difficult to decipher on your own. You need someone with enough experience and knowledge to help you present your arguments articulately and get a fair compensation for your injuries. An attorney will analyze all the facts presented and determine whether you have a viable claim. He will also help reveal crucial evidence that can help you get a higher compensation. For instance, he can reveal that a truck was not maintained properly or that the driver had been working for too many hours without a break. This information can be used to convince the jury to rule the case in your favor.
The semi accident checklist discussed above will help you avoid many problems that crop up after a truck accident. Follow them, and you will have yourself to thank later.