Car Vs. Truck: What to Do if You Were in a Semi-Truck Accident

Semi-truck accidents can result in severe, or even deadly, injuries. These accidents are typically more dangerous than regular car accidents because the force of a semi-truck is much stronger than the force of the average car.

If you ever experience a semi-truck accident, it is important to know what to do after the collision. Following the correct steps can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.

At Hess Injury Law, we understand the emotional and physical challenges of getting in a truck accident and dealing with the legal system. We want to act as your advocate by supporting you throughout this process. Our personal injury lawyers provide clients with quality service and representation to fight for fair compensation.

If you have been in a truck accident near Washington or Oregon, contact the team at Hess Injury Law to schedule your free consultation.

Continue reading this guide to learn what to do following a truck accident.

How Are Car and Semi-Truck Accidents Different?

While car accidents and semi-truck accidents can be serious, truck accidents tend to be more devastating. This is due to the size and force of a semi-truck.

A semi-truck, also called a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, is one part cab and one part trailer. These trucks alone weigh tons, and when carrying a load, they can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds! It’s easy to see why a run-in with another vehicle can result in a fatal crash.

Because of this, commercial drivers are required to ensure their trucks are safe for the road and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. But when drivers aren’t paying attention, sleep on the job, or are otherwise negligent, accidents happen.

For example, semi-trucks can sometimes roll over. If a truck rolls over onto a car, the car will be crushed by the weight and force of the truck. There have been many cases where trucks caught fire.

Other factors that make truck accidents more dangerous include:

  • Dangerous and heavy cargo. Semi-trucks often transport heavy or dangerous materials that can harm drivers and passengers in an accident.
  • Longer stopping distances. Trucks usually have much longer stopping distances, which can increase the number of truck accidents compared to car accidents.
  • Unsafe driving conditions. Trucking companies often expect their drivers to work long hours. Fatigued driving makes accidents much more common.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Follow these steps after a truck accident to ensure your safety and to improve your chances of earning compensation for your damages.

Get to Safety

If you can, move to the side of the road, away from oncoming traffic. Try to help others get to safety, but avoid moving seriously injured people, as this can worsen their injuries.

Call the Police

Once you are in a safe area, contact the police. Tell them what happened and your location. Even if the accident was minor, you must stay at the scene. Once the police arrive, they will make an accident report and determine who was at fault.

Exchange Contact Information

Exchange contact information with anyone involved in the wreck. This could include the truck driver, other drivers, and passengers who were hit. If there were any witnesses of the crash, get their information. You can use their testimonies as evidence.

Collect Evidence

While you are still at the scene of the accident, gather as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of the accident, including your car, the truck, and your injuries. You can even record footage to show what happened. Evidence will help you prove your claim and possibly increase your settlement amount.

Seek Medical Attention

Make sure that you seek medical attention after the accident. Even if you feel okay, you must visit a doctor. Adrenaline can mask certain injuries, so you might not know you were hurt until later. A doctor can examine you to determine the extent of your injuries. If you have a medical report from the doctor, you can use it to help you calculate some of your damages.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

Finally, it is important to talk to a truck accident lawyer. A truck accident attorney can help you with your case, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries. They will talk to the insurance companies for you and ensure that the trucking company is held responsible for the accident. Additionally, a lawyer can represent you in court if the insurance company does not agree on a settlement.

How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?

A truck accident lawyer can help you through every step of the claims process. They can gather evidence, contact witnesses, and talk to the insurance company for you. Your lawyer can help you calculate your damages, and they will use your damages to negotiate a settlement amount for you. Overall, a truck accident lawyer will protect your rights and ensure that you get fair compensation.

Having a lawyer for a truck accident is essential because you will be up against a large truck company. The truck company will do whatever it takes to avoid paying for your damages. Do not let these large companies take advantage of you.

Contact a truck accident lawyer from Hess Injury Law to get started on your case. Call now to schedule a free consultation.

Author Bio

Peter J. Hess grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a 1996 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.A. in Business Administration/Information Systems.

Peter graduated from Willamette University College of Law, with honors, in 2007. While at Willamette, he was an Associate Editor of the Willamette Law Review, he was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Legal Research and Writing professor, and he worked as a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Swanson, Lathen, Alexander & McCann in Salem, Oregon. After graduation from Willamette, Peter began working here at Hess Injury Law. In 2012, he became a partner in the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both Washington and Oregon.

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