The Truck Accident Law Firm is the best to answer this question. Each of our attorneys has an extensive background in Truck Accidents from taking cases to trial and winning, going to truck driving school, writing a book on truck accident litigation, to nationwide guest lecture seminars on teaching other lawyers on how to win a truck accident lawsuit.
No motor vehicle accident is a pleasant experience, but truck and tractor-trailer wrecks are particularly bad. The sheer size of semitrailers increases the danger of these crashes, which kill 4,000 people in the U.S. each year.
Truck accidents occur for a number of reasons. First, there is an epidemic of trucking companies pushing their drivers to work longer hours, despite federal safety mandates. They incentivize drivers with bonuses or threaten their jobs, and drivers find it difficult to say no in the face of those threats and promises. These overworked drivers are inattentive and fall asleep at the wheel, which leads to deadly consequences.
Drug use also contributes to accident rates, as does poor driving. Truck drivers will often work even when their vehicles need maintenance, or they will make illegal and unsafe maneuvers. The tragic result is those innocent victims suffer for their negligence, and many endure burns, brain injuries, broken bones, and other forms of trauma.
The Truck Accident Attorneys are here to help. Here is our guide on how to protect yourself or your loved ones after an accident involving a semi-truck occurs.
Stay at the scene of the accident: If necessary, move your vehicle to a safe area. However, if possible, it is best to keep your vehicle where it is to better maintain evidence. Do your best to make sure that all other drivers involved in the accident remain at the scene as well to provide their statements for the accident report as well as their contact information. Kindly ask any possible witnesses to stay as a witness testimony can be crucial in a future legal case. It is not always possible for a witness to stay so at the minimum request they give you their contact information. Before you leave the scene obtain a “drivers exchange” which is usually provided by the police, however, make sure you obtain the following from all that were involved in the accident:
- All names and phone numbers of parties involved including passengers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Vehicle license plate number
- The license number of the truck’s cabin
- Name, address, and contact information of the cabin’s owner, if not owned by the driver
- Driver’s insurance information
- The Company that owns or hired the truck
- Cargo being held in the truck
Call 911: This will not only get the medical attention that might be needed but also will provide you the opportunity to file a police report. It is most important for you and your claim to have an accident report generated and filed, even if you did not sustain much damage to your vehicle. This gives you an objective account of the facts on record that you can refer to later. This police report can be invaluable if you must pursue an insurance or legal claim. The report contains the bulk of information that the Truck Accident Law Firm or any attorney of your choice will need in the future because it can preserve the details, protect your rights, and help authorities make roads safer in the future. Never let anyone talk you out of contacting the police and reporting the accident. Equally important is getting you or anyone involved in the accident the medical care that is needed. Frequently with these types of accidents, an ambulance is required to receive immediate treatment. If this is not the case for you contact a medical examiner immediately following the accident because the symptoms of these types of injuries are sometimes obvious right after an accident. Other times, they may take a while to appear. Remember time is of the essence to obtain medical care, due to negligence, or their representatives may attempt to claim your injuries were not as serious as you claim and this will work against you in the future if you have a claim.
Take photos of the scene: Photos and videos are incredibly useful forms of evidence in insurance and legal pursuits. If you are able, take photos of the points of impact on your vehicle and on the truck. Be sure to capture any damage done to the surrounding area, skid marks on the road, the condition of the road, and any other details you can think of. Keep these photos in a safe place and create multiple copies.
Contact your insurance company: As soon as you have the opportunity, contact your auto insurance company, and obtain a claim number and the adjuster who is assigned to your claim. Never describe what you think happened in the accident on a recorded line (of which they all are) to your adjuster or any other persons’ that might be inquiring. This is not a time to convince anyone.
As you are obtaining information regarding the accident, during the conversation do not admit any fault for the crash. We do understand at times you are going to attempt to “figure out” what happened, however, you do not need to and furthermore do not respond to any correspondence from the insurance company representing the truck driver or trucking company without consulting with an attorney. Even if you feel you may be responsible in some ways.
The Truck Accident Law Firm has the experience and expertise in tractor-trailer accidents and works hard to ensure that victims recover to the fullest extent possible under Florida law. With over 80 years of combined experience representing truck accident victims across the nation, we are the preeminent law firm. Call and speak with one of our attorneys for a consultation to review your potential case at no charge to you. 888-511-8782 or you can contact us through our website.