In the blink of an eye, life can take an unexpected turn. One moment you’re cruising along, the open road stretched out before you. Next, your world is turned upside down as your vehicle collides with a semi-truck. Amid the chaos, fear, and confusion that follows, it’s crucial to know the right steps to take to protect yourself physically and financially.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the aftermath of a semi-truck accident and provide you with the information you need to secure your well-being. Read on to learn how to navigate the complex legal landscape that lies ahead.
Steps To Take After an Accident With a Semi-Truck
There are a few steps you should take to ensure the best outcome in the event of an accident with a semi-truck. It’s best to familiarize yourself with these steps and have them ready in case of an emergency. Here’s what you should do:
In the moments following a collision, it’s natural for emotions to run high. You might be feeling scared or confused. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you might even feel angry. However, it’s important to stay as calm as possible in order to think clearly and make rational decisions.
Take a few deep breaths, and try to keep a level head as you assess the situation.
Do not approach the other driver or engage in a discussion regarding who is at fault.
Your well-being and that of your passengers should be your top priority. Check for any injuries and assess their severity. Start with yourself and then work your way to any passengers in the vehicle. You can assess injuries with the following criteria:
- Is there a loss of consciousness?
- Is there any bleeding?
- Are any limbs twisted unnaturally?
Note that injuries are not always visible. Some may not show up until hours or days after the accident. Emotional distress is another consideration and can warrant medical attention. Someone in shock may have cold or clammy skin, difficulty breathing, or a rapid heart rate.
Call For Help
As soon as it’s safe to do so, call 911 to report the accident. Let them know if you need any medical assistance or if there are any hazards present. The dispatcher will send emergency personnel, including police officers and medical teams, to the scene. Cooperate with the authorities and provide them with accurate information about the accident.
Having an official report documenting the incident is vital for future reference. The police will ask for statements from those involved and witnesses. Answer their questions as accurately as possible, but do not admit fault.
While waiting for the authorities to arrive, exchange contact and insurance information with the semi-truck driver. Make sure to collect the following details:
- Driver’s name, address, and phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company name and policy number
- Trucking company name and contact information
- License plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the semi-truck
Remember to remain polite and professional during this interaction. Do not discuss fault, and avoid making any statements that could be used against you. If the other driver refuses to provide information or flees the scene, report this to the police immediately.
Collect Available Evidence
Gathering evidence is essential for building a strong case in the event of a personal injury claim. If possible, take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant traffic signs or signals. Skid marks, broken glass, and other debris can also be useful in establishing the cause of the accident.
Additionally, collect the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident unfold. Their testimony could prove invaluable in supporting your claim.
Contact a lawyer
Once you’ve taken care of the immediate concerns and received medical attention, it’s time to seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contacting VHD Law Firm is a crucial step in ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, property damage, and any ongoing medical expenses.
Our team of skilled attorneys will guide you through the legal process, handling the complexities of your case while you focus on your recovery.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
If you’re injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be eligible for various forms of compensation.
Medical costs include hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, and any necessary medication. Be sure to keep all of your receipts, as they can be used to prove the costs associated with your treatments. As a parent, you may also have to pay for any additional support or care your children require due to the accident.
If the injuries from your accident prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for lost wages. This includes any income that you would have earned had it not been for the crash. For example, a dentist who can no longer practice due to a neck injury may be able to receive compensation for lost wages.
Vehicle repair or replacement costs
You likely have insurance that covers vehicle repair or replacement costs. However, you don’t want your premium to increase due to the accident. That’s why it’s important to work with an car accident lawyer dealing with semi-truck accidents. You’ll have to prove negligence by the truck driver or their employer, and an attorney can help.
In Wisconsin, auto accidents operate under a “modified comparative negligence” rule. When an accident occurs, the fault is apportioned between the parties involved, and each driver can recover damages based on their degree of fault, as long as they are not more than 50% at fault.
Pain and suffering damages
In addition to medical costs and lost wages, you may be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries. These damages can include compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, depression, anxiety, scarring or disfigurement, and any other physical or emotional harm caused by an accident.
A semi-truck accident can be a life-altering event, and navigating the aftermath can be overwhelming. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can take control of the situation and safeguard your physical and financial well-being.
Remember, VHD Law Firm is here to help you every step of the way, providing the expertise and support you need to overcome the challenges and secure the compensation you deserve. When the road ahead seems uncertain, trust in VHD Law Firm to help you get back on track.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation, and rest assured that your case is in the best of hands. We look forward to helping you get the justice you deserve.