6 Steps to Take after a Semi-Truck Accident
Semi-truck accidents are often extremely serious due to the fact they generally occur at high speeds on the freeway or interstate. While a small percentage of accidents occur on minor roads, most happen on larger roads. Data shows that most accidents occur between 6 am and 3 pm. Semi-truck accidents are scary and dangerous.
While statistically, semi-truck drivers are less likely to be a part of traffic accidents, they are more likely to be a part of serious accidents.
Reasons for Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-truck crashes are accidents caused by driver error, fatigue, distractions, and so much more. While optimal training and maintenance can help to lessen collisions, they will still occur. Naturally, drivers can avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they can double-check their loads to ensure appropriate secureness. No matter the reason, accidents happen.
When you are part of a semi-truck crash, here’s what you should do.
6 Steps to Take after a Semi-Truck Accident
Any traffic crash is terrifying, but a collision with a semi-truck is even more so. Due to the larger size of the vehicle and speed, the risk of fatalities or extreme injuries is much higher. If you are in an accident with a semi-truck and you are able, here are the steps you should prioritize immediately.
1. Call 911
It’s likely that a crash with a semi-truck will result in severe injuries or even fatalities. Call an emergency number as soon as possible so that the first responders can be present to provide life-saving measures if needed. This call could save lives, but it also is a practical way to ensure that all information about the accident is gathered and reported.
2. Seek Medical Attention
If paramedics arrive on the scene, accept medical attention. If you are able to walk away from the accident and you don’t receive medical attention at the site of the collision, then make an appointment with your doctor. Your adrenalin is likely pumping, and you may feel fine. However, some injuries are internal or likely to show up later.
3. Stay at the Collision Site
Staying at the scene of the accident is important to make sure that all information is exchanged appropriately and the right protocol is followed after the accident. First responders or police will need to document the accident. If you are physically able to remain at the scene, then you should.
4. Exchange Information
Both parties' information should be available for the police report of the accident. You should also make sure that you request the truck driver’s information, including his or her name, company, license plate number, and other contact information. You may also want to find out the trucking company’s insurance company, and ask for the U.S. Department of Transportation serial number. All this information could be useful in the future.
5. Take Photos
As everyone says, “a photo is worth a thousand words.” Therefore, in a situation where a vehicle collision has occurred, photos are very important for supporting the written police report. Grab your phone and take pictures of the vehicles involved, injuries, and debris. Try to get pictures of everything that might be relevant.
6. Be Careful About What You Say
In a situation like this, even in Florida with its no-fault policy, it’s important to be careful about what you say in regards to the accident. Don’t admit fault. You don’t want to make any statements about the crash that could be used in some way in a legal case.
Florida Semi-Truck Accidents
Since Florida is a no-fault state for vehicle crashes, a semi-truck accident requires different duties upon the truck drivers. For example, a truck driver is required by the state law to stop, provide critical information, and ensure the care of those injured. Drivers who leave the scene too early without following through on these items could face second-degree or third-degree felonies.
Submission of a Crash Report
Florida law requires that a crash report involving a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, be submitted. This report must be written and filed by law enforcement. Even if the accident is a small one without any injuries or property damage, a crash report is required.
In some cases, legal action should be taken to file a personal injury claim for a semi-truck accident injury. Florida only allows such a claim to be filed within four years from the date of the accident. In the case of a wrongful death claim, Florida only allows two years. If you believe that you may have a semi-truck personal injury claim, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.