You need to know what to do after an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident in Texas if you were injured or lost a loved one in one of these collisions. These crashes tend to cause severe injuries or fatalities, and dealing with the consequences of these events can be overwhelming.
It helps to understand the basic steps to protect your right to compensation. However, it is just as important to know what not to do as what you should do.
Notify the Police of Your Accident With an 18-Wheeler Truck
The first step is to call the police. The police report should include a description of the accident scene, the cause, any citations issued, and damage to the vehicles. Also, the report will include the names, contact information, and insurance company of each of the drivers.
A police report is essential evidence for a claim from a semi-truck accident. Police officers know the rules that truckers must follow. In addition, the officer might uncover information that shows violations of the law that could be vital to your truck accident claim.
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Should I Capture Evidence of the Truck Accident Scene?
If you can do so safely, you will want to take photos of the scene before any vehicles get moved. Try to document how each vehicle looked after the accident, on all four sides, whether there was damage or not. Photos of skid marks and other telling evidence can be quite useful.
It will be a few days before a copy of the police report is available for you. You will want to contact your insurance carrier right away, so be sure to get the names, contact information, and insurance company information of all drivers and the contact information for any witnesses.
Also, be sure to get the name and phone number of the contact person for the trucking company.
Why Medical Attention Is So Important
In the moments after a collision involving a large truck, your adrenaline will be pumping much more than usual. That adrenaline rush could cause you not to feel pain. As a result, you might have injuries you do not notice right away.
Emergency room medical personnel know how to look for injuries that have not developed symptoms. It is best to get a prompt diagnosis before you have a medical crisis.
Your truck accident attorney will use your medical records to connect your injuries to the accident. If you delay seeking medical attention, the at-fault driver could claim that your injuries were from some other cause and not the collision. Your medical records will also help show the extent of your injuries.
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Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Even if you did not cause the crash, you should immediately notify your insurance company. Your coverage could pay for some of your losses, like medical coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You risk losing these benefits if you do not notify your insurer, preferably the same day.
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Should I Speak to a Lawyer About My Accident With a Semi Truck?
You should not have to battle a multi-billion-dollar insurance company to get your losses paid when you need to devote your energy to healing. Instead, a truck accident lawyer can talk to you, investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the defendant’s insurance carrier for you.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), you might be able to pursue damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Be sure to contact a lawyer right away. Our state limits the time you have to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. However, the ABA says that you will lose the right to get compensation if you miss the deadline.
Actions to Avoid So That You Don’t Damage Your Claim
The value of your claim is not set in stone at the moment of the collision. Things can happen after the semi-truck accident that decreases the amount of compensation you may recover. For example:
- Social media. It is best to take a complete break from social media after getting hurt in an accident. The negligent driver’s insurance company could access your social media accounts and take your photographs and postings out of context. You might want to ask your family and close friends not to post anything about the accident, your injuries, or you while your claim is pending.
- Do not apologize. Many people apologize because they feel compassion for the other people involved in the accident. These kind words do not mean that the polite person confessed to causing the collision, but another person in the accident might twist your words into something you did not intend.
- Recorded statements. The claims adjuster might ask you to give a recorded statement. You can tell the adjuster to talk to your lawyer if this happens instead. Recorded statements only benefit the defendant and his insurance company, not you. Your attorney can provide all the information the insurance company needs.
Contact a Texas Truck Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Case Today
A truck accident lawyer at Loncar Lyon Jenkins could advocate for you if you were injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Texas. We have helped thousands of families after they were injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of others. Call us today or contact us online for a free initial consultation.