“STEPS YOU MUST TAKE”
(Jul. 15, 2019) — It never hurts to plan for the worst case scenario. If you’ve never been in a truck accident, here’s what you need to do if you’re ever hit by a truck.
Being in a car accident is a traumatic event, regardless of its severity. However, for the unlucky victims who are hit by a truck, it can be life-altering.
Being hit by a semi-truck can leave a person emotionally, mentally, and/or physically crippled. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and travel at the regular highway and interstate speeds, which can exceed 75 miles per hour.
While most truck drivers are extremely courteous, careful, and responsible, accidents happen all the time. It’s not uncommon for people to become weary on the road after hours of driving.
Unfortunately, there are truck drivers out there who have become careless and reckless or those who were never very adept at driving big rigs from the start.
Regardless of why an accident occurs or even who’s at fault, there are certain steps you must take after being hit by a truck. These steps will make things as simple as possible for you moving forward, solving legal issues, and even filing lawsuits.
Keep reading for our advice on what steps you need to take both immediately and in the hours, days, and weeks following the accident.
What to Do if You’re Hit by a Truck
Keep in mind, the steps we’re advising you to take are only applicable if you aren’t seriously injured, unconscious, or otherwise unable to function.
In that scenario, you will likely be taken directly to the hospital and most of the events directly following the accident will be completely out of your hands. However, while you’re recovering, you will be able to take steps five through seven.
Continue reading to learn what to do if you’re hit by a truck.
- Stay as Calm as Possible
First, and most importantly, you can’t allow yourself to panic or lose control. When you lose control of your emotions, it’s easy to overreact, forget important details, or do something you might regret.
For example, don’t start a fight or even an argument with the truck driver. Not only will this look bad for any potential lawsuits or insurance claims, but it may even get you arrested. Additionally, don’t allow yourself to react to anyone else’s emotions or challenging behaviors.
Remaining calm in extreme situations has multiple benefits. Do your best to keep your cool.
- Check Yourself for Injuries
Aside from staying calm, before you do anything else, take a moment to check yourself for injuries. Most often, people who are hit by a truck have the most likelihood of being injured. Due to the sheer weight and velocity of semi-trucks, the potentiality of injury during an accident is enormously high.
If you feel severe neck or back pain, it may be a good idea to stay in the car and wait for emergency vehicles. Additionally, if you hit your head, you may become dizzy and nauseous when you try to stand up. You may even pass out.
However, if at all possible, it’s wise to move away from the vehicle after an accident, just in case there is any chance of an explosion or fire.
Finally, if you feel like you may have sustained other significant injuries are in just too much pain or shock to function, stay in your car and wait for emergency services or until you regain your senses.
- Call 911 and the Police
Immediately, you need to call 911 to report the accident. They will send a crew to assist with any medical injuries, clean up the wreckage, etc.
However, you also need to call the police and file a report. This can be done as you’re waiting for emergency services or after the fact. Use your smartphone to take as many notes as possible regarding the accident.
Important things to include in the police report are any details surrounding the accident. These include the location, direction of travel by both vehicles, nature of the impact, injuries, etc. You’ll also get all of the truck driver’s information here.
Additionally, if given the option, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Take as Many Photos of the Accident as You Can
Along with getting the necessary information for the police report, it’s also a good idea to get as many pictures as you can. This will not only be helpful for your police report, but for your insurance claim as well.
Good things to document include detailed photos of your car, both inside and out, the semi-truck, any accident signs on the road (skid marks), and the truck’s tags and license plates.
- Get Examined by a Medical Doctor
Even if you feel okay or that your injuries are only minor, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. In many instances, people don’t feel the full effects of a car accident until days later.
In the heat of the moment following being hit by a truck, you have a hundred things going on and adrenaline pumping through your veins. That is not a good time to make any assumptions about long-term harm you may have sustained.
Get a medical examination and save the report. You’ll need it for your insurance company and possibly an attorney.
- Call Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve got all your necessary documentation in order and have filed a police report, it’s time to file an insurance claim. It’s important not to sit on the claim before filing. You’ll want to be very specific about being hit by a truck.
They will want all of the information you gathered, including if the truck driver was with a company or is an independent contractor.
However, be careful not to make any recorded statements to your insurance company or to the truck driver’s.
- Get an Attorney
Finally, if you were hit by a truck and you are encountering resistance from their insurance or the trucking company, you may need to hire an attorney.
In fact, it may not be a bad idea in general. Attorneys who specialize in auto accidents involving semi-trucks know all of the laws and regulations surrounding them. They know what you’re entitled to and what you deserve.
You should know all the details that an attorney has to offer for your case.
As we stated above, being in any sort of accident can change your life. More importantly, being hit by a truck could have dire and long-term consequences.
Make the entire ordeal easier on yourself by knowing what to do and following the above steps. Additionally, it’s your life; don’t hesitate to hire an attorney or at least talk to one, even if you don’t think it’s necessary.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.