What to Do After a Truck Accident
Dec 8, 2020
Few things frighten drivers as much as being involved in a crash with a tractor trailer. Because they are so much bigger and heavier, they are much more capable of causing catastrophic injuries and death to the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles.
Texas has a high number of commercial truck accidents. Nationally, one in every seven truck accident fatalities will have occurred on Texas roadways.
If you are ever involved in an accident with an eighteen-wheeler or tractor trailer, you should take the following steps:
- SAFETY FIRST. Make sure you are in as safe a situation as possible. Often after a crash with a tractor trailer, vehicles move about violently and come to rest in very dangerous positions on the highway, exposing victims to further danger, including subsequent collisions.
- CALL THE POLICE. The police should come to the scene, conduct an investigation, and prepare a report. This will help in preserving critical evidence. Be honest and thorough with the investigating officer. This will aid them in making a true report, which, in turn will be critical to the case. Sometimes a truck driver will attempt to dissuade you from calling the police because they fear their job could be affected by the collision. Do not give in to this request, as it could end up depriving you of critical information, including a finding of fault against the truck driver.
- TAKE PICTURES. If you are able, take lots of photographs, including not only close-ups of the vehicular damage but also wider shots of the scene of the collision. This evidence could later become critical in determining the sequence of events and the cause of the collision.
- TAKE VIDEO OF THE SCENE. Take video of the scene of the Collision. Video can capture the spatial relationships between important structures and vehicles as they appeared fresh after the collision. Video has the added advantage of recording the sounds, lighting, and human behaviors of the post-collision scene. These could be important.
- TAKE VIDEO OF THE TRUCK DRIVER. The truck driver’s statements, demeanor, and behavior just after the collision can be vital to the investigation. Many times, truck drivers are overworked and are driving without having had sufficient sleep. Other times, they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The truck driver’s condition at the time of the collision can also relate to company-wide negligent practices, including negligent hiring, and negligent training.
- GATHER WITNESS INFORMATION. Record the names and contact information of witnesses and the license numbers and company insurance information of the truck driver. Be careful not to admit fault at the scene.
- SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. The forces involved in a collision with a tractor trailer often result in significant injuries. Even if you have no obvious broken bones or bruising, and even if you do not immediately feel pain at the scene of the collision, you may still be injured. Often, the symptoms of spinal and orthopedic injuries from a collision do not manifest themselves until the next day. Monitor your symptoms carefully and seek medical attention as soon as you notice any symptoms. Do not delay. Keep in mind that the severity of injuries resulting from a collision may not be fully known for days or even weeks.
- DON’T TALK TO THE TRUCKER’S INSURANCE ADJUSTER; HIRE A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER AND LET YOUR LAWYER DEAL WITH THEM. You might be contacted by an insurance company for the employer of the truck driver. Remember that these insurance companies are not acting with your best interests in mind. They often work very hard to pay injured people as little as possible and employ teams of attorneys who know exactly how to do that. Do not speak to any adjuster from the trucker’s insurance company. Hire a lawyer and let your lawyer deal with them. Speaking to an experienced Texas truck accident attorney as soon as possible is your best chance of being compensated fairly for your damages and injuries.
The team at The de la Garza Law Group is available to anyone who has been hurt in a truck accident and is committed to helping them obtain just compensation. For a free consultation call 713-784-1010 or toll free at 844-784-1010. Our attorneys will meet with you at the hospital if your injuries prevent you from coming to our office. There are no fees unless we win your case.