Being involved in a serious car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences of anyone’s life. In the moments after an accident people are often disoriented and dealing with stress, fear or shock. Most people, though, don’t plan how to handle a situation like that until it actually happens. While it is unpleasant to think about, taking a few minutes to mentally walk through the steps you should take after a serious tractor-trailer injury accident will allow you to better handle the situation should it ever arise.
Immediately after the accident you should take a second to assess the situation. Your safety and the safety of everyone involved is the most important consideration so gather your composure, check yourself for injuries, and if you are still in harm’s way, move to safer ground if you are able.
Call 911 to request emergency help and wait for it to arrive. Even if you are not seriously injured do not leave the scene of the accident. It is against the law to leave the scene of a Missouri car accident you were involved with.
Once paramedics arrive, give them as much information as possible. If you can, tell them how many people are injured and the extent of their injuries. If you are injured, make sure to tell the paramedic that you need medical attention and explain every detail so they know how best to treat you. Listen to their instructions and follow them carefully so that you get the proper treatment.
The police may ask you for a statement at the scene. It is important to be truthful in your statement, but do not admit fault. Even if you think you were at fault, there may have been other factors in play that caused the accident that you didn’t even know about. Give just the information you are sure about and if you don’t know something, or feel too stressed to give an accurate answer, tell the officer that you would like to give your statement after you’ve had time to calm down. Make it clear that you are not refusing to offer a statement, but that you can’t offer a valid statement due to your mental state.
As soon as you can, contact your insurance agency and then start gathering information. Get information about the other vehicles and drivers, but do not share your insurance policy limits. In tractor-trailer crashes it is important to get information about the truck, what carrier company it is operated under, and who was driving. All truck drivers are supposed to keep log books to make sure that they do not violate any Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, but that is something the authorities will inspect.
Keep records of all your medical treatments and visits to the doctor as a result of the crash. If you thought you felt fine immediately after the crash, but are feeling pain days later that may be related, go see a doctor as soon as possible. It is not unusual to have lingering internal damage that is not readily apparent at the time of the crash.
You may then want to hire a personal injury attorney to investigate your case to ensure you receive the recovery you are entitled to. It is important to at least consult an attorney on car or tractor-trailer crashes to learn your rights because insurance companies will be looking for ways to reduce their claims and larger commercial shipping companies will have lawyers on staff working to protect their own interests. If you act quickly and give the attorney all the information of your case, you will have a much better chance of receiving the payments you deserve to cover the medical bills and recover quickly from your crash.