Getting into any car accident can be scary and stressful, but a crash with a truck poses additional risks and challenges. There were 523,796 accidents involving large trucks in 2021, a significant increase on the 415,444 accidents the previous year. Most—310,000—only led to property damage, but 4,444 caused fatalities.
Regardless of the nature of the crash or the injuries you sustain after crashing with a truck, if any, the accident will likely leave you reeling. Your business operations could be interrupted, too, especially if you’re a solopreneur or you use your car as your office.
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Truck crashes are more likely to cause serious injuries and deaths due to the massive size and weight of these vehicles. Knowing what actions to take after a truck collision can help you protect yourself and establish important legal evidence.
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Take the First Steps
Thankfully, hazardous materials are a factor in fewer than 1% of truck accidents, but you must still take steps after a crash with a truck to make sure you are safe immediately after an accident. First and foremost, assess the situation. Pull over to the side of the road and get out of harm’s way if your vehicle is still drivable. Turn on your hazard lights and set up road flares or warning triangles behind your car to alert other motorists. However, do not exit your vehicle if it is disabled in unsafe roadway conditions. Call 911 and stay buckled up inside until help arrives.
Identify the Truck and Driver
When speaking to the authorities, be sure to identify the truck and its driver if possible. Key details to note are the trucking company name, license plate number, and descriptions of the vehicle and driver. Law enforcement will document these in their accident report, which can support an insurance claim or lawsuit later. Photographing the truck, license plate, driver, and overall scene of the crash from a safe distance can also capture valuable proof.
Seek Medical Attention If You Crash with a Truck
Another critical step is to get medical attention even if you believe you have no injuries. The adrenaline rush after collisions often masks symptoms that show up hours or days later. Insist that emergency responders examine you or go immediately to the hospital, and follow up with your doctor for continued monitoring. Thoroughly document all crash-related healthcare with records and bills.
Consult a Truck Accident Attorney After the Crash
According to Houston truck accident attorney Brian White, trucking companies and insurers quickly work to limit compensation payouts after crashes. A personal injury lawyer experienced with federal trucking regulations can determine all liable parties and ensure you receive full damages. Most of these truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so they won’t ask you for money upfront to secure legal representation.
Gather Important Evidence
Be sure to gather and preserve all evidence relevant to your truck crash. In addition to medical records, this includes vehicle damage estimates, crash scene photos, police reports, eyewitness statements, video footage if available, and records of lost income from missed work. An attorney can guide you in collecting and documenting the appropriate evidence.
Getting hit by a truck can produce injuries that impose lifelong effects. Their enormous scale and commercial purpose also involve more complex insurance claims and lawsuits. Taking the right steps after truck crashes creates a foundation for obtaining fair compensation so you can heal and get your life back on track. With the proper navigation, you will achieve justice even under such difficult circumstances on the road.
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