In 2016, there were 475,000 reported trucking accidents in the U.S. Of those accidents, 0.8% resulted in a fatality, and 22% involved severe injuries. While millions of people commute across the country every day without incident, a sizeable number of people will experience the tragedy of a vehicle accident. If a truck is involved, the resulting crash will therefore typically result in more severe damages.
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a big-rig, 18-wheeler, or a bus, you will need the assistance of a team of skilled truck accident lawyers in Houston. Not only will you have to heal from your injuries, but you’ll also be dealing with medical bills and insurance companies. So, what should you do after a trucking accident, and how can a lawyer help you? We’ll explore in the following article.
What to do after a trucking crash
1. Don’t Move
If you’ve come to a complete stop and you aren’t in any danger, stay put. If you move your car after a trucking accident, one of several things could happen:
- You could experience more severe injuries
- You could be charged with a hit-and-run
In some states, if you move or leave the crash scene, it’s considered a hit-and-run, which is a serious charge. And it won’t make you look favorable in the eyes of law enforcement or the insurance companies. As long as you have a reasonable expectation of safety, don’t try to move your car after a trucking accident.
After an accident, adrenaline is in overdrive. When this happens, your pain responses become numbed. If you try to move after a crash, you might injure yourself further. It’s best to stay put until emergency personnel arrives if you don’t know the extent of your injuries.
2. Call 9-1-1
Always call the police after a trucking accident. The police can make reports, gather evidence and eyewitness testimony, and keep you safe. The police reports are some of the most crucial evidence your accident lawyer will use throughout your personal injury claim settlement or trial.
3. Look for Other Injury Victims
Trucking accidents often involve several vehicles. After attending to your own injuries, if possible, try to help other accident victims. Most states require that you render aid to an injured party.
4. Gather Evidence
If possible, gather your own evidence at the crash scene. As time goes on, you’ll forget important details about the accident that could help your case. Take photos, and video or audio recordings if at all possible.
What type of evidence should you gather?
- Photos of damaged vehicles
- Pictures of landmarks
- Pictures of intersections
- Photos of the crash site
- If it’s nighttime, you may want to narrate a video
Having an accurate and concrete representation of the facts is critical for getting the compensation you deserve after an accident. As long as it is reasonably safe to do so, try to gather your own evidence at the accident scene.
5. Don’t Make Statements or Admissions of Guilt
If you have an inkling that you were responsible, or at least partially responsible for the accident, don’t say that to the police. Don’t even make any statements like that to other people at the accident scene. Try to stay as calm as possible and refrain from making any incriminating statements. The opposing insurance company will use any and all tools at their disposal to discredit your claims. They’ll even use your own words to do it. Don’t give them any ammunition.
Experiencing the aftermath of a trucking accident is a stressful and scary ordeal. While you’re trying to recuperate from your injuries, you’ll have to deal with the insurance companies. An experienced team of trucking accident lawyers can act as your shield and your advocates. If you’ve been involved in a crash, contact a personal injury attorney today and get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.