7 Key Steps to Take When Involved in a Semi-Truck Accident
According to the National Safety Council, 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2020 in the United States. This is a 4% decrease from 2019 but a 33% increase since 2011.
In fact, since 2016, the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes has increased by 5%. In 2020, a total of 107,000 large trucks were involved in crashes that resulted in an injury.
As experienced Utah truck accident lawyers, we can tell you that semi truck accidents in Utah are more common than you think. This is an unfortunate reality as being involved in any type of vehicle collision can be traumatic.
Thanks to their sheer size, semi trucks can cause catastrophic damage and injuries. Victims can be left feeling perplexed, which can hamper their ability to take the right next steps.
However, it’s important to remember a few rules about responding to a crash. The way you act after the wreck can either work for or against you at the time of filing your semi-truck accident claim.
Our Utah truck accident attorney lists a few crucial steps to take after the collision.
1. Call the Police
Following your accident, it is important to call 911 to be able to file a report. This is a requirement by law. The police will talk to you and file the report, which will also serve as evidence.
A police report can be avoided only when nobody has been hurt and the damage to the vehicles involved is minimal to none.
The at-fault truck driver may suggest keeping the police or your insurance company out of the matter and settling things internally. As seasoned semi truck accident lawyers in Utah, we strongly advise against this. You could ultimately find yourself in a financial and legal mess if you choose this path.
2. Get Medical Help
No two injuries are the same. Each has its own rate of manifesting and healing. So, not all injuries suffered in the truck wreck will become apparent immediately.
This also applies to aches and pains which may be numbed initially due to the use of medication. As a result, you could end up under-reporting your injuries and suffering. This should never be the case as it can directly impact the compensation amount you receive.
Our team of semi truck accident lawyers in Utah will always recommend getting examined by paramedics at the crash site. Thereafter, go to the hospital and get yourself checked by a doctor as well.
3. Gather Necessary Information
Make sure you document the scene of the accident – take multiple pictures and videos of the site, the vehicles, the road, and so on. Further, gather contact information of the parties involved in the crash along with any eye witness present at the scene.
The police usually get statements from witnesses and bystanders, but getting to the site before the witnesses leave can be difficult. A well-intentioned onlooker may leave the scene once the situation seems to be under control. But if you have their contact details, your Utah truck accident lawyer will be able to contact them later on.
Our Utah truck accident lawyer recommends gathering the following information:
- The other driver’s name, contact number, address, and email ID
- The other driver’s insurance company name and policy number
- The other driver’s license number
- The other driver’s employer/trucking company’s name and contact details
- The license plate of the semi-truck and other related information
4. Get Your Vehicle Assessed for Potential Repairs
Following the accident, you should take your vehicle to a body shop and have it assessed for potential repairs. Even if the damage sustained seems minor on the surface, you need to check for internal damage, which may be greater. A mechanic will be able to identify it and write up a repair assessment.
A word of caution from our Utah truck accident lawyer though: avoid any repairs before understanding your insurance company’s requirements for claiming compensation. This is important as different insurance companies may have different requirements.
5. Be Careful What You Say and to Who
Be careful who you talk to and what you say after the accident. Even if you’re angry, try to deal with the situation calmly. You don’t want to end up saying something regretful that can hurt your case later.
Don’t make the mistake of admitting fault or liability to anyone. The police will try their best to talk to you to reconstruct the accident. You can talk to them but state only the facts and nothing more. Remember, the police will record your statement and it may be used against you during the case proceedings.
Moreover, do not give any statements to or sign any documents for the insurance company or the other party without first speaking to your Utah truck accident attorney.
6. Don’t Share Any Information on Social Media
If you’re active on social media, refrain from posting anything about your accident. Insurance adjusters and lawyers tend to search social media to unearth any proof or posts that can help them deny or minimize your claim, even if you’re not at fault.
Your social media postings can also be used in court during depositions. If you claim to be hurt in the accident and post something that shows that your physical/emotional condition is perfectly alright, you could end up weakening your claim. It can also significantly decrease the settlement amount.
For instance, posting pictures of you at a party or sharing messages like, “Don’t worry, I’m fine!” after your semi truck accident in Utah can discredit your claim, especially if your injuries manifest later.
7. Consult a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer in Utah
Every accident case and the circumstances involved therein are unique. It is best to get an experienced Utah truck accident attorney involved immediately after the crash to start protecting your rights from the get-go.
Self-representation is never recommended as matters can get increasingly complex, especially if more than one party is at fault. You can be certain that trucking companies will hire powerful lawyers to defend themselves. So, it’s in your best interest to work with a skilled Utah truck accident attorney to establish liability.
Hire Seasoned Semi Truck Accident Lawyers in Utah for Your Case
Semi truck accidents in Utah are a common occurrence. If you were involved in one, you must seek legal guidance for dealing with everything that follows.
Working with a competent Utah truck accident attorney can prove to be highly advantageous, especially considering that the other party will surely lawyer up. You’ll improve your chances of obtaining justice and fair compensation by retaining professional legal representation.
Your lawyer will know exactly how to proceed – investigate the case facts, gather and preserve evidence, and communicate with the other party on your behalf.
Feel free to contact the proven Utah truck accident attorney at Henriksen & Henriksen as soon as possible to start protecting your legal rights. Call (801) 521-4145 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.