Getting into an accident with any kind of vehicle is upsetting. But if you are in an accident with an 18-wheeler or commercial truck that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, you won’t just be upset—you just might come unglued.
Big rigs wreak enormous havoc when they are involved in an accident with a passenger car. The injuries to the people in the car can be catastrophic or can result in someone’s death. Recovering from injuries received in a crash with a big rig can take months or years; if you recover at all.
Accidents involving big rigs are governed by different rules than those involving only passenger cars. Commercial trucks and commercial truck drivers are regulated by federal, state, and local law: which means that accidents involving big rigs can get complicated.
Because of this, there are certain steps you should take if you are involved in an accident with a big rig. Taking these steps at the scene of the accident can influence you’re the effectiveness of any legal claim you may later bring to recover for your injuries or damage.
Here are 3 critical steps you should take (assuming you are in a condition to do so) after an accident with a commercial vehicle.
- Stay Put and Call 911.
The very first thing you should do is call 911. As noted above, accidents involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other big rigs often result in severe injuries or death. So the first thing you need to do is to get help.
In most circumstances, this will also alert the police to the situation, but if that is not the case, call the police as well.
You need to remain at the scene (assuming you are not taken in an ambulance to the hospital) until the police tell you you can leave. In many states, including Louisiana, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident.
Don’t forget to get a copy of the police report.
- Take Names and Photographs.
It goes without saying that after calling 911 and the police, your first priority is to get anyone—including yourself—any needed medical attention. (More on that below.) However, if you are not seriously injured, there are some things that you can do to strengthen the claim for injuries and damage that you are very likely going to bring after the accident.
First, get the names and contact information of anyone (witnesses) who may have seen what happened.
Next, take pictures of the scene. Take pictures of the damage to all vehicles, as well as of the intersections or significant landmarks. Pay attention to skid marks, and any other details that tell the story of what happened. If you can take a video of all of these details, that’s even better.
Because the scene of the accident provides you with the strongest evidence you can later present regarding the other driver’s (i.e., the truck driver) negligence.
- Get Medical Attention at the Scene and Later.
We mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating. Get medical attention immediately—either from paramedics or emergency medical technicians (“EMT”) at the scene or at the hospital if you need to. Then, follow up with your medical doctor.
Getting medical attention after an 18-wheeler crash is critical not only for your health but because it provides records of your injuries. This can be used as proof of your injuries and it can prevent insurance companies from asserting that your injuries were caused by something other than the truck crash.
Truck Accident Attorneys in Baton Rouge. We Fight For You.
At the Day Law Group, we help injured Louisiana residents get the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash with a commercial truck, call us. We offer free consultations and in most cases, we do not get paid unless you win your case. Contact us ToDay or call (225) 465-1232.