If you’re involved in an accident with a large truck, call 911 and wait where you are for emergency personnel to respond. You shouldn’t move unless you’re sure you are capable of doing so or it is necessary to get to safety. Moving after suffering injuries like broken bones can aggravate the situation.
Getting into an accident with a semi-truck that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds is terrifying. Even if the incident causes relatively minor property damage or physical injuries, you still have to live with the memory of such an accident. Many truck-related crashes cause severe damage to vehicles as well as serious injuries and fatal truck accidents. If you were hurt in a trucking accident, contact a semi truck accident lawyer at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. They will explain your rights and help you navigate the legal system to recover.
When you’ve been in a crash with a truck and you’re physically able to tackle the next steps, you should:
- Get to safety: Get as far away from traffic as possible to avoid another collision. If you must move your car, move it to the side of the road when the situation is safe.
- Call 911: You need to report the accident as soon as possible, especially if you and others need medical attention. Call 911 and calmly tell them what happened and where you are. Once the police arrive, ask the officer how you can get a copy of the police report when it’s complete.
- Take photos: If you’re well enough, start to gather evidence of the incident. Smart phones can take high quality pictures and video. Take pictures from various angles and distances to ensure your attorney, the insurance companies, or a potential jury has a full view of the damage caused in the accident. Also, take pictures of any skid marks on the pavement or property damage from the accident.
- Exchange information: When you’re in an accident with a big rig, you should exchange personal information with the truck driver and any other drivers who were involved in the accident. Obtain driver’s license numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and license plate numbers. Also obtain the truck driver’s employer name and phone number. A smart phone can be handy while gathering information, as well. Simply take pictures of documentation necessary.
- Gather witness information: In addition to obtaining information from all drivers, you will want to gather the names, phone numbers, and addresses of witnesses to the accident.
- Don’t admit fault: Many people are tempted to discuss what or who caused the accident right after it happened. Don’t do this. It is better to refrain from talk about why the accident happened, otherwise you could inadvertently admit to doing something wrong. Don’t ever admit to the other drivers or passengers that it was your fault. The police, insurance adjusters, and a court of law will determine who is legally at fault for the accident and liable for the damages it caused.
- Call your insurance: Despite your coverage, your insurance company will need to know that you and your vehicle were involved in an accident. If you have comprehensive coverage, you may be able to initially make a claim through your own insurance company. They will contact other parties to begin investigating the truck accident.
- Call the business’s insurer: Once you have the information for the truck’s auto insurance, call the company to notify it of a potential third-party claim. Do not answer questions at this time. You aren’t required to go into detail when you provide initial notice; however, the insurer will want an interview later. Keep in mind anything you say during this first phone call can be used in approving or denying your claim.
Ask an Alabama Truck Injury Lawyer for Help
Getting into a crash with a commercial truck is more complicated than if it were with another personal vehicle. Truckers and trucking companies must follow federal regulations. If any of those were violated, the company or driver may be additionally liable. You need to work with a truck injury lawyer who understands insurance and trucking law in order to prove the other party’s negligence in court.
For more information on how to handle a truck-related collision, call the attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. at 205-933-1500 for a free consultation. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call our Alabama semi truck injury lawyers with Belt, Bruner & Barnett right away. We will travel to see accident victims in Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, Birmingham, and in surrounding Alabama cities.