The trucking industry is an important part of our economy. Without trucks, we wouldn’t be able to transport vital goods and commodities. However, with more and more trucks on the road, safety becomes a challenge. Accidents involving large trucks tend to lead to more serious injuries.
That’s because a loaded truck can reach a weight of 80,000 pounds while the average car weighs somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds. Trucks also can’t slow down as easily as cars, so they collide into other vehicles at greater speeds. Even at lower speeds, since cars are much lower to the ground than large trucks, they can slide under them, resulting in severe injuries.
For these reasons, commercial trucking companies have a responsibility to prioritize road safety when managing their fleets. They need to make sure their drivers get proper training and reasonable delivery schedules. They must also inspect their trucks and trailers to prevent faulty equipment from causing accidents. Unfortunately, although the trucking industry is governed by many laws and regulations both at the federal and state level, commercial truck accidents are still widespread, which is why you need to know what to do after a truck accident.
The first thing you should do after an accident involving a commercial truck is to call 911. You might need medical attention even if you’re not yet aware of your injuries. You are also obligated by law to report any motor vehicle accident that leads to injury or property damage. Do not leave the scene of the accident as this can result in criminal charges. If your car is still drivable and you need to move it for safety reasons, pull over by the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
It’s very important that the police come to the scene of the accident to conduct an investigation and file an official accident report that you should make sure you get a copy of because it can help strengthen your case if you intend to hold the trucking company responsible for damages.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Your health and safety are what matters most. Anyone who has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck should get immediate medical attention. You may not be aware of your injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding. The only way to know for sure is to get a thorough consultation.
Some people refuse medical attention because they’re concerned about the cost, but you should be aware that this can be used against you later on if you file an injury claim. Your medical records are a critical piece of evidence if the insurance company tries to challenge the cause of your injuries. For more information, you search for personal injury lawyer New Orleans and ask for a free case evaluation since many of them work on a contingency fee basis.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
After a truck accident, you’ll probably feel shaken up and have a lot on your mind. If it’s possible, try to gather information such as the truck’s license plate number, the driver’s name, license number, and insurance information, as well as the contact information of any witnesses.
If you can, you should also take a few pictures of the accident with your smartphone. Don’t make any repairs to your vehicle until it has been appraised since the repair estimate can be part of your claim for damages.
Also, note that you will probably speak to the other side’s insurance company. It’s best to say as little as possible and contact an experienced truck accident attorney. Big trucking companies work with their own defense attorneys and insurance adjusters. It can be a nightmare to try to deal with them on your own since it’s their job to do anything in their power to shift the blame on you so they can deny your claim.