Steps to Take after an 18-Wheeler Accident

Accident with an 18 wheeler

The state of California is one of the largest exporters of goods in the United States (contributing to the thriving economy), and is also responsible for shipping products within state lines, and importing products from different states and countries.

All of the imports, exports, and intrastate transportation of goods would not be possible without large trucks and 18-wheelers.

But driving around these large trucks can be dangerous, and data provided by the office of California Highway Patrol shows that every year, there are hundreds of fatal crashes involving large trucks, and thousands of injury crashes.

When an 18-wheeler accident occurs, you may be shocked, badly injured, and overwhelmed by the ordeal. Our lawyers are here to support you and offer guidance - here are some steps to take after an accident with an 18-wheeler.

1. Call 911 Immediately

As soon as the accident occurs, your first responsibility is to check to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is okay, pull your vehicle over to a safe location that is not in the way of traffic (if possible - damages may be so severe that your car is not moveable), and call 911.

When you speak with the 911 operator, be sure to be precise about your location and whether or not anyone in your vehicle or any other vehicles involved are injured. If injuries have occurred, provide as much information about the injuries to the operator as possible, who will further instruct you about what to do.

When the police arrive on scene, provide them with a detailed explanation of what happened, and request a copy of the police report. If you are physically able to do so, you should gather any evidence that you can while you wait for police to arrive, such as photos of the accident scene, names of witnesses, and the truck driver’s information.

2. Go to the Emergency Room or See Your Doctor

Truck accidents often result in injuries so severe that going to a doctor isn’t optional; an ambulance will arrive on scene and will transport the injured person directly to the hospital for emergency care.

But if you are one of the lucky ones who has not sustained catastrophic injuries, it is important that you take it upon yourself to seek medical care even if you think that your injuries don’t demand it. Going to the emergency room immediately following the accident is advised.

However, if you prefer to see your family doctor, you should do so within 24 hours of the accident. Be sure to keep all documentation related to this medical care and to follow your doctor’s orders.

3. Call Your Insurer

You need to report your accident with an 18-wheeler to your motor vehicle insurance company as soon as possible after a truck crash. Insurance companies are entitled to notice within a reasonable amount of time, which provides them with an opportunity to investigate the accident.

Even if you were not at fault for the accident, you must inform your insurance adjuster.

4. Call a Skilled California Truck Accident Lawyer

The earlier that you can reach out to a California truck accident lawyer, the better. Truck accident claims are notoriously complex, and ensuring that evidence is preserved--such as the truck’s ‘black box’ data and truck driver’s logs--can have a critical impact on the outcome of your claim - the sooner that you call a lawyer, the sooner that a lawyer can take steps like sending spoliation of evidence letters, speaking to eyewitnesses, and even traveling to the scene of the accident to gather evidence.

The statute of limitations in California, which is two years from the date of injury, is also a consideration. If you wait longer than two years to file your suit, you will be barred from recovery.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help

Keep in mind that the above steps to take are things that may need to be done by a family member of an injury victim; a person involved in an 18-wheeler crash may be so severely injured that they are unable to gather evidence or medical documentation, report their accident to their insurer, or call a lawyer.

If you are a family member or surviving family member of a person who has been in a truck accident, we can provide you with the support that you need.

To schedule a free consultation with our California truck accident lawyers and learn more about the damages to which your family may be entitled, please call us today or send us a message. We are experienced, compassionate, and aggressive lawyers who care about our clients.

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