Although semi-trucks are an integral part of our nation’s transportation system, accidents involving them can be devastating. It is not uncommon for a semi-truck accident to cause severe injuries or death due to its sheer size and power. After all, they weigh at least 10,000 pounds, making them a formidable force in traffic.
As a result, when a semi-truck is involved in an accident, certain steps should be taken to protect your safety and legal rights. This blog post will discuss those steps and why hiring a personal injury lawyer is vital after being involved in a semi-truck accident.
About Semi-Truck Accidents
According to the Institute for Highway Safety, roughly 160,000 semi-truck accidents occur annually in the United States. Of those, more than 2,700 resulted in fatalities. Unfortunately, due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, the occupants in smaller vehicles are more likely to suffer severe injury or death.
The trucking industry is notorious for its tight deadlines and high-pressure environment. This can lead to overworked and fatigued truck drivers, making them more prone to distraction and errors on the road. When driving near a semi-truck, it is essential to drive defensively and remain alert.
Steps To Take After A Semi-Truck Accident
If you’re the victim of a semi-truck accident in Wisconsin, you have every right to demand justice. And to do that, you need to take the proper steps from when the accident occurs.
Remain Calm And Assess Injuries
The first step is ensuring everyone involved in the accident is safe and not suffering from severe physical injuries. Check yourself for signs of trauma, such as cuts or bruises. Localized pain could indicate internal injury, so don’t dismiss it. Sometimes, confusion and dizziness can be a sign of head trauma.
After you assess your injuries, check on any passengers or other drivers involved in the accident. It’s also best to remain calm and not become angry or aggressive with the other driver, as this could lead to further complications.
Call For Help
Once you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to call for help. Contact both the police and an ambulance if necessary. Make sure to inform the operator of the accident location and any details of the incident.
The police officer who responds to the scene will take down the contact information of all involved parties and may also take photographs of the accident site. They will then write up a police report which can be used as evidence in court.
Even if the police respond to the scene of the accident, it’s always a good idea to take photographs and videos of both vehicles and any physical evidence that could be used in court. This includes skid marks, broken glass, tire tracks, etc.
If there were witnesses present during the accident, try to get their contact information, as they may be able to provide valuable testimony. After the accident, maintain records of any medical bills or lost wages related to the incident.
Exchange Information With The Truck Driver
In the event of an accident involving a semi-truck, it is important to exchange information with the driver as soon as possible. Make sure to get their name, contact information, and the insurance company’s name.
It will most likely be a company truck, so you might also need the name and contact info of the trucking company that employs them. Having this information on hand will be essential if you decide to pursue a claim against them for damages.
When conversing with a semi-truck driver, one crucial thing to remember is not to admit fault or sign any paperwork. Doing so could be detrimental to your case.
Contact a Lawyer
Once the smoke has cleared, and the dust has settled, it’s time to contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a claim for damages against the party responsible for the accident.
Our lawyer will fight for your rights, gather evidence, negotiate with insurers, manage paperwork, and ensure you get the best possible outcome. They will be your advocate throughout the whole process and ensure that you are fully compensated for any losses related to the accident.
If the trucking company decides to drag its feet and refuse to accept liability, a personal injury lawyer will be prepared to take the case to court.
What Causes a Semi-Truck Accident?
How will knowing the cause of a semi-truck accident help you? Knowing the cause of a semi-truck accident can be incredibly helpful when determining who is responsible for the crash. In Wisconsin, the most common causes of semi-truck accidents are:
- Gross Negligence
- Unsecured cargo
- Unfit Vehicles
- Hazardous Materials
- Poor Road Conditions
- Impaired Driver
Any of these reasons could be a contributing factor to a semi-truck accident. If we can prove that the trucking company, driver, or other party was negligent in some way, it will strengthen your case and help you get the compensation that you deserve.
What Can You Be Compensated For After A Semi-Truck Accident?
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
Medical Expenses: Physical or psychological therapy, medical bills, and other costs associated with medical treatment.
Lost Wages: Compensation for days you missed work due to the accident.
Pain and Suffering: Compensation for any physical and emotional suffering you have endured due to the accident.
Property Damage: The cost to repair or replace any property damaged in the accident, such as your vehicle, clothes, etc.
Contact Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. For Help
You must take immediate action if you have been involved in a semi-truck accident. Contact Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. to discuss your case and receive expert advice from experienced personal injury attorneys. With over 40 years of experience representing clients in Wisconsin, we are confident that we can provide you with the quality legal advice and representation needed to get through this difficult time.
The first consultation is always free, and our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer your calls and emails.