Being in a collision with a semi-truck is a life-altering event. Tractor trailers are so large and carry so much weight that most passenger cars don’t stand a chance of holding up against one in an accident.
So, how do you get your life back on track after having it derailed by a collision with a semi? Continue reading to learn what to do after a semi-truck accident.
1. Check to see if anyone in your vehicle is injured
Whenever you’re in an auto accident, your main priority must be your own safety and that of everyone else in your vehicle. The first thing you need to do, if you’re able to move, is to check to see if anyone in your vehicle is injured.
If you or anyone else in your vehicle is hurt, remain still and call for emergency medical assistance. You don’t know the extent of the injuries, and moving someone after a car accident could make things exponentially worse. The best thing to do is call for help and try to remain calm until it arrives.
2. Call the police
After you’ve seen to it that everyone in your vehicle is okay, the next step after a collision with a semi-truck is to call the police. Sometimes people like to exchange insurance information and move along without calling the authorities when there are no injuries. However, it’s always best to call the police to the scene to file a full report of the truck accident.
3. Take pictures of the damage
It’s also a great idea to take pictures of the scene of the semi-truck accident. Those pictures could help you prove your claim to the insurance company — or the court if your case should go to trial. Following an accident, you should take pictures of the following:
- Your vehicle and the damage it sustained
- The semi-truck
- Skid marks, shattered glass, and car parts on the ground
- Injuries you sustained
- Street signs and landmarks
4. Get the info of everyone involved
It’s also vital to get the information of everyone involved in the accident. The more information you have, the easier it will be to fill in all the proper details when filing a personal injury claim. Remember, everyone at the scene is a witness, so get the information of any bystanders or motorists present who might’ve seen the collision.
5. Seek medical attention
Anytime you’re in an automobile accident, you should seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel any pain immediately following the collision. Sometimes, neck and back pain become more present in the weeks or months afterward. You could have an injury to your back and not have any noticeable symptoms until it’s too late to file a personal injury claim.
The best thing to do after an accident, even if you feel no pain, is to go to the emergency room and get x-rayed. It’s better to be safe now than to be sorry months later.
Be sure to keep track of any medical bills you accrue as a result of the truck accident. If the semi-truck driver is at fault, you’ll be compensated for your medical costs, and possibly more.
Call a semi-truck accident lawyer
The goal of any auto insurance company is to save money. If you talk to them alone after a truck accident, they’ll likely try to get you to settle for much less than you deserve. You should at least consult with a semi-truck lawyer in your area to get a better idea of the compensation owed to you.
Even though you can deal with the insurance companies on your own, it’s wise to let an experienced personal injury attorney deal with them. The insurer may try to trick you into admitting fault or questioning your own account of events. And even worse, the entire conversation is recorded for their purposes.
Insurance companies are slower to try the tactics on semi-truck attorneys than they do on semi-truck accident victims. Having the right personal injury lawyer handling your claim will help things go much more smoothly for you and will likely also significantly increase the amount of compensation you receive.
What is the average settlement for a semi-truck accident?
The average settlement for a semi-truck accident is upwards of $40,000. However, the amount of compensation you get for your claim is based on several factors, such as the severity of the injury, loss of wages, loss of earning potential, etc.
How many accidents are caused by semi-trucks?
It may surprise you to learn that semi-trucks are only responsible for about 3.5% of the accidents on the road. However, because of their massive size, semi-truck accidents are more catastrophic and have higher mortality rates and more debilitating injuries. In fact, semi-truck accidents are responsible for nearly 10% of fatal auto crashes.
What causes most semi-truck accidents?
There are several causes behind semi-truck accidents. Some of the most common causes are:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while tired
- Driving recklessly
- Failing to adjust to road and weather conditions
Recovering physically and mentally from a semi-truck accident takes time. Your only concern during that period should be healing. The committed and talented lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, won’t rest until we make sure you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovery.
Gill, L. How to Lower Your Medical Bills (2019).
Newton, J. Why do people take pictures at crash scenes? (2019).
Simon, S. Neck Pain After A Car Accident: Causes & Common Injuries (2022).