Car accidents are jarring, regardless of the size of the vehicles. However, accidents involving commercial trucks can cause life-altering damage to both your mental and physical health. Because tractor trailers are so much larger than standard cars, they can cause devastation in the event of an accident. Here is what to do if you find yourself in a commercial truck accident.
Get to Safety
Assess your injuries and the state of your vehicle. If you’re able to move your car, drive to the shoulder of the road and stay put. This will prevent you from receiving any further damage. Because commercial trucks typically drive on highways, it is crucial to get to safety. If you are not able to move your car or you suspect that you are severely injured, stay put, call 911, and wait for help to arrive.
Getting to safety and calling 911 should be your first two steps after an accident with a tractor trailer. Georgia law requires you to report accidents that cause injury or serious property damage, so it is critical to call emergency services. The police will be able to assist in determining fault, and first responders like EMTs and firefighters will be able to help with any injuries or property damage.
While you’re waiting for first responders, take photos of the scene. If you are not severely injured, carefully exit your vehicle and check on any other drivers. If it appears that there are only minor injuries, take photos of the accident. You’ll want to take pictures of the damage to all the vehicles, and any skid marks or other hazards in the road. These photos will provide an accurate look at the accident since first responders will likely clear away damage and debris as quickly as possible so that traffic can resume.
In addition to taking photos, while you’re waiting you should exchange personal and insurance information with the other drivers. This information should include your policy number, phone number, name, and any other information that would be helpful. At this point, it is crucial to not say anything that could seem like you’re admitting fault. Don’t apologize – this could harm your case later down the road.
Seek Medical Attention
Many times, people will avoid seeking medical attention if there are no apparent injuries. This is a mistake. Going to the doctor is important, especially within the following days of the accident. Some injuries like concussions and whiplash are invisible, but they can cause lasting damage. Seeking medical attention will support your case when it comes to receiving compensation for the accident.
Speak to an Attorney
After an accident, it may seem better to just let insurance companies handle the aftermath. This isn’t the case. Consulting with an attorney will help you decide whether or not you should accept any settlements, or if you should file a lawsuit against the driver or the trucking company.
If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident, you’ll need to speak with an experienced attorney focusing on personal injury. Here at Greathouse Trial Law, we want to help you understand your rights.
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