There are over 15 million trucks traveling on the roads in the US. Many truck drivers have to travel for long periods of time, carrying anywhere from heavy metals to hazardous waste. These truck operators are often tired, and that makes it more likely for them to swerve or make mistakes, causing serious accidents. With so many trucks on the road, it’s not surprising that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year. Passengers in smaller cars often get the greatest amount of harm due to their extreme vulnerability. Large 18-wheeler trucks can weigh up to 20-30 times more than a car.
If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, your family or friends, and your best interests.
Steps to Take After an 18 Wheeler Hits Your Car
Get out of Danger
The first thing to do after a truck accident is make sure you’re out of danger. Get yourself and any other passengers away from the scene of the incident as soon as possible. If you’re able to do so, call 911 immediately. Make sure that you don’t linger too closely to the scene, especially if you see smoke coming from the vehicle.
Get Ready to Document the Damages
When you’re sure you and any other involved parties are safe, attempt to document the damages that occurred during the accident.
It’s important to keep two things in mind as you prepare to document the wreck.
Do not provide a verbal or written statement to the other party’s insurance company. If asked, politely refuse.
Do not admit fault or responsibility, even if you think you’ve done something wrong.
You should only speak about the truck accident with emergency medical professionals and police at the scene of the wreck, and your insurance company after you leave the scene.
We also suggest that after you provide your insurance representative with a statement, you speak with a lawyer to help you with your insurance claim. You can contact the team at Sloan Firm for a free and private consultation.
While still at the scene of the crash, you should collect any information that you can while still remaining safe and out of the way of police and medical professionals.
You will need specific information to document the incident when you file a claim. If you can’t collect the information yourself, have someone else do it for you.
Collect Scene Information
You will need the following details:
- What happened
- Details about the driver
- Insurance Information
You may ask to see the truck driver’s license and proof of insurance to gain access to this information.
After receiving it, make sure to write down their name and phone number. Be sure to also take down the make, model, color, and license plate number of the vehicle, as well as its registration number. Get the insurance company’s name and the driver’s insurance company policy number. Use your phone or someone else’s phone to take notes if you don’t have paper readily available.
Take pictures of both of the cars as well, for your own records.
While documenting, make sure to include as much of the following as possible:
- Date and Time of the Accident
- Address of the accident
- The direction you were traveling in
- The direction the other car was traveling in
- Take photos of the crash scene from multiple angles
- A detailed description of what happened. We advise that you write and record this.
- Information regarding the driving conditions, weather, etc
- Any witnesses’ names and contact information
- The name, badge number, and contact information for any police officer at the scene of the accident
Report the incident to your insurance company
Do not discuss the accident with the other party or their insurance company. Contact your insurance company to start the process of filing your claim after leaving the scene.
Get help from an experienced car wreck attorney
After an accident with an 18-wheeler or any other big truck, it’s essential to get a good lawyer on your side. The team at Sloan Firm has experienced many of these cases, and we can help you get the justice you deserve. Additionally, we will handle all upfront costs, and we won’t charge you anything for our legal services unless we obtain a truck accident settlement or verdict that benefits you. Contact us today for a free consultation.