What to Do After a Truck Accident
Whether you call them 18-wheelers, big rigs, semi-trucks, or tractor-trailers, these massive machines can do a lot of damage in a truck accident. They’re tall, long, and heavy. In fact, most trucks can weigh in at up to 80,000 pounds which, unfortunately, means that if they are involved in an accident with your average 5,000-pound passenger car, the results can be catastrophic.
If you’ve ever driven, chances are you’ve had a scary encounter with a truck. They are difficult to turn and hard to maneuver in poor weather conditions, making them dangerous to be around as the driver of a passenger vehicle. Even something as small as a truck driving past you can cause a powerful blast of wind, making it hard to control your own vehicle for a moment.
Truck accidents are scary and can easily result in injuries and even death. If you’re involved in a tractor-trailer accident in North Carolina, it’s important to know what steps to take afterward.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
After any kind of accident, you’re likely to be scared and in shock. Even though it’s hard, it’s important to try to remain calm so that you can think clearly and make the right decisions. Remember these tips that are designed to keep you safe and help protect your best interests should you decide to open a personal injury case:
- Check for any injuries. Look over yourself first, and then check others who may have been involved in the accident, to make sure everyone is ok. If there are serious or life-threatening injuries, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Collect evidence. In a case like this, proving fault is often essential, so you’ll want to gather as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of every vehicle involved, any injuries, street signs, intersections, and the road surface. Take as many photos as you can of these things from multiple angles. You can never have too many photos. You should also take notes about the accident, including the date, time, location, weather conditions, and your recollection of what happened.
- Move vehicles if possible. If it is safe to do so, and the vehicles involved are able to be moved, it is best to get them out of the way of traffic, preferably on the side of the road. Make sure you take pictures first though!
- Contact the police. If you haven’t already called 9-1-1 due to injuries, now is the time to call the police as they can appropriately document the accident.
- Get contact and insurance information for anyone else who was involved. Make sure you write down the name and phone number for every other person who was in the accident, as well as their insurance details.
- Look for witnesses. If anyone else was around at the time of the accident, you’ll want to get their name and contact info, in case witnesses are needed in court.
- Get a copy of the police report. Once the police are done, ask them for either a copy of the report or a way that you can get a copy. You should also write down the report number as well as the officer’s name and badge number.
- Let your insurance company know. Talking to insurance after an accident can be tricky. You want to let them know that you were in an accident so that a claim can be filed, but you don’t want to answer questions regarding details of the accident without a lawyer present. In this situation, it’s best to provide basic info like when and where the accident happened, but avoid questions – especially questions that could be seen as you admitting fault.
Finally, your last step should be to call the truck accident lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys. Depending on what caused the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries from the trucking company, their insurer, or even a manufacturer. However, you need to be able to prove that the driver or another party acted negligently and that this negligence is what resulted in the accident. This can be a very long and challenging process, and it’s one that’s best handled by an experienced truck accident attorney. If you or someone you know has been in a truck accident, schedule your free consultation with Mulligan Attorneys by clicking here or by calling 910-763-1100.