What to Do When You’ve Been Hit by a Commercial Truck
Collision with a Truck: A Driver’s Worst Nightmare
With a typical semi truck weighing 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger car, a collision with a large commercial vehicle ranks among the average driver’s worst-case scenarios on the road. Unfortunately, it’s also more common than you might guess: About 1 in 10 highway deaths in 2013 resulted from a crash involving a large truck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
If you’ve been involved in a crash with a large truck, you’ll likely feel shocked and shaken up. And if you know what steps to take at the scene, you can do a number of things that will prove invaluable later on if you decide to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.
Steps to Take at the Scene and Afterward
- Call 911 and report the accident immediately, or have someone else call if you’re unable. Do not try to move anyone who is injured unless there is a threat of fire or other immediate emergency.
- Leave your damaged vehicle where it is. Experts can reconstruct the accident scene using the position of the damaged vehicles, skid marks, tire tracks, and other evidence at the scene, but moving your vehicle can interfere with this work.
- Cooperate fully with the police when they arrive: stick to the facts of what happened, and do not divulge unnecessary details or speculate about who was at fault. Never lie to the police, but choose your words carefully—telling police that you “didn’t see the other vehicle,” for instance, could indicate that you are at fault for the accident.
- Take down the truck driver’s insurance information, as well as their name and address. The other driver will want this information from you as well, so it’s important to have your own insurance information at the ready.
- If any insurance adjusters or trucking company personnel arrive at the scene, do not speak with them. Never give any statement in writing or sign anything until you consult with an experienced trucking accident attorney.
- Take down both license plate numbers and vehicle identification numbers (VINs) for all vehicles involved in the truck accident. Also take down contact information for any witnesses at the scene.
- Be proactive and take as many photos as you can rather than relying on police and insurance adjusters to document everything accurately. Your smartphone is a great asset at the scene of an accident—you can use it to take pictures of the accident scene and all the vehicles involved. If you don’t have a smartphone, you may want to consider keeping a digital camera, disposable camera, or dash cam in your car in case an accident does occur.
- Obtain a copy of the police report from the officer or officers at the scene, or ask them how you can get a copy once it has been completed. Keep the report in your records to share it with your insurance company or attorney as needed.
- Visit a doctor as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured, you will want to get treatment for your injuries, but you should schedule a thorough medical examination even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt. A physical exam can rule out any internal injuries or other complications that may not be apparent right away.
- Consult with an experienced trucking accident lawyer like the ones at Hossley & Embry as soon as possible after the accident. Representatives for the insurance company and trucking company will be moving as quickly as possible to manage the situation, but an experienced personal injury attorney will launch their own immediate investigation to prevent the insurers from gaining an advantage. The process of pursuing a trucking accident claim can be complex due to the number of parties involved, and a qualified attorney will provide invaluable expertise and advice to guide you through this challenging process.
Call Hossley & Embry If You’ve Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured—whether in a commercial truck crash or otherwise—please call Hossley & Embry at (866) 522-9265 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill out our convenient online form, and we will get in touch promptly. We offer free consultations, and we have the resources available (including charter aircraft) to travel throughout Texas and the United States on short notice to investigate your potential claim.
Fatality facts: Large trucks. (2013). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved from http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks