What to Do After Being Hit By a Semi-Truck
CALL (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a semi-truck lawyer to learn what to do after being hit
An unloaded semi-truck can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 35,000 pounds; the average car weighs only about 4,000 pounds. The sheer size of semi-trucks means that accidents involving them can be especially devastating; your car might be totaled, and you can suffer serious, even life-threatening injuries. If you were hit by a semi-truck, you may be left with large medical and repair bills and wondering whom you can hold responsible for them.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a semi-truck, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a semi-truck attorney. Zinda Law Group can help guide you through the legal process and seek the compensation you deserve.
Why are semi-truck accidents so dangerous?
Semi-truck accidents are especially dangerous for a few reasons. First, because semi-trucks are significantly heavier and larger than cars, semi-truck accidents cause greater damage to the vehicles and passengers involved. Semi-truck drivers may also not be following the rules of the road carefully.
Often, 18-wheel truck drivers have strict deadlines for deliveries, pressuring them to speed or drive long distances with little sleep. Distracted driving is as dangerous as drowsy driving, and when your car is hit by a semi-truck driver who is doing either of these things, the damage done to you and your vehicle can be deadly. A lawyer can help you determine what the cause of your semi-truck accident was, and how to best develop your case to seek compensation.
five things to do after being hit by a semi-truck
Semi-truck accidents can be terrible and the aftermath just as scary. After an accident with a semi-truck, you may be wondering what to do next. Following these five steps can help you not only recover more quickly from the accident but also find the people responsible for your injuries and hold them accountable.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Semi-truck accidents can be especially devastating, causing life-threatening injuries that may take months or even years to heal.
If you were involved in a severe semi-truck accident, you may be transported from the scene to the hospital by ambulance. The ambulance will take you to the emergency room, where doctors will examine you and treat you for any injuries. If your injuries are life-threatening, you may have to remain in the hospital for a few days so the doctors can monitor your recovery.
Not all semi-truck injuries are life threatening. Some common injuries from semi-truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Muscle sprains or tears
It is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident to determine what kinds of injuries you may be suffering from. Some injuries may not present themselves immediately, and a doctor will be able to determine what treatment, if any, you need. The doctor will perform a physical exam, checking various parts of your body for bruising or other injuries; they may also order additional tests, such as x-rays or MRIs, to be performed to determine whether you suffer from any internal injuries.
When the doctor determines what injuries you are suffering from, he or she will establish a treatment plan. This may include taking prescribed medicine, wearing a cast or sling, going to physical therapy, or following up with other specialists or doctors. It is important you follow your doctor’s treatment plan so that you recover from your injuries.
After a semi-truck accident, you may also experience emotional injury such as guilt, anxiety, fear of driving, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of emotional injuries include:
- Racing heartbeat
- Being easily startled
- Difficulty concentrating
- Being easily agitated
- Aches or pains
- Muscle tension
If you experience these symptoms, see a psychologist who can help you overcome these emotional injuries. You may also want to see a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication to relieve some of your emotional anguish.
2. Report the Accident
As soon as possible, report the accident to the police; the police will come to the scene and examine the circumstances of the accident. They will ask you, the other driver, and any witnesses questions about what happened. They will also collect the contact and insurance information of you and the other drivers involved; any information the police collects will be included in their accident report.
If the police do not come to the scene, you can file an accident report by going to your nearest police station. Some states also allow you to create an accident report online. If you are unsure of how to file an accident report, you can contact a semi-truck attorney near you to help you through the process.
Accident reports are public records, and you can request a copy of the report online. You may have to pay a small fee to obtain a copy of the report, depending on the laws of the state where the report was filed.
3. Document the Accident
Documenting the accident for your own records can help you build a case against the person responsible for your injuries. You can document the accident by taking photographs at the scene. Some important things to photograph include:
- Damage done to the interior and exterior of your vehicle
- Damage to the semi-truck
- Location of the accident
- Injuries you suffered
- License plates
- Insurance information
You can also document the accident by writing down information in your cell phone or on paper. You should be sure to write down as much as you can remember about how the accident occurred, when, and where it occurred. Some examples of what to write down include:
- Time, date, and location of the accident
- What happened just before the accident
- Whether it was light or dark outside
- Any defining characteristics of the semi-truck
- The semi-truck driver’s contact and insurance information
- Any witnesses contact information
If you were hit by a truck, an attorney can help evaluate your case and determine the best course of action. Documenting the accident will provide your attorney with the necessary information to help you seek compensation for your damages.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
File a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company can cover your medical bills or bills incurred to repair damage to your vehicle. When communicating with your insurance company, keep track of each time you communicate with an agent so you know the status of your claim; you can do this by writing down the date, time, and what you discussed with the agent each time you speak with someone.
When communicating with your insurance company, be sure to only give them the facts of the accident; do not reveal any emotions or frustrations to the insurance agent, and avoid discussing fault. While your insurance company is on your side, it also has hundreds of claims to pay out. Anything you say can be used against you to minimize your payout, leaving you to cover some of the costs out of pocket.
5. Contact a Semi-Truck Attorney
If you were hit by a truck, a lawyer can help you find those responsible and hold them accountable. Talking with an 18-wheeler lawyer is different than talking with your insurance company; tell your lawyer as many details about the accident as you can remember, or even provide them with the information you documented.
After a semi-truck accident, you may be able to hold the driver and the company they work for responsible for your damages. An 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer can also help you determine what kind of damages you should seek. Then they will help you through the legal process to seek maximum compensation.
One kind of damages a lawyer can help you recover is economic damages. Economic damages are damages that can be given a monetary value. Economic damages include medical bills, lost earnings, child care expenses, ambulance bills, and other calculable losses.
You can also seek non-economic damages. These are monetary amounts that may be awarded to you due to any emotional injuries you suffer from the accident, such as pain and suffering. These are especially awarded when the accident is severe, and can be as high as six-figures.
Punitive damages are damages aimed at punishing the responsible party; it is hoped that the responsible party will be impacted by these damages enough that they won’t engage in that certain, destructive behavior again. For example, if the semi-truck driver was speeding, punitive damages may be awarded in hopes of teaching the driver she should never speed again.
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to begin pursuing your personal injury claim. The longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the more likely your memory about the accident will become fuzzy. Even worse, if you wait too long, you may not be able to pursue a personal injury claim at all.
Call zinda law group today
If you were in a truck accident and need help, call Zinda Law Group to speak with one of our experienced semi-truck lawyers. Our lawyers have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
At Zinda Law Group, we understand how traumatizing a semi-truck accident can be and how an accident involving a semi-truck can cause huge financial burden on you or your family. That is why we have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee, so you do not have to pay us anything unless we receive a favorable verdict, judgment, or settlement in your case. If you or a loved one has been hit by a semi-truck, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.