Even though there have been many advancements in automobile safety in recent years, as well as the introduction of new rules and regulations designed to keep people safe, the roads of the United States are still relatively dangerous, with millions of accidents happening every single year.
These accidents can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Some of them are due to reckless drivers or drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Others are caused by something as simple as a driver getting distracted by their phone or a pedestrian stepping into the road at the wrong time.
Regardless of the reasons, accidents can be devastating for those involved, often leading to life-changing injuries, long-lasting physical and mental health effects, and even fatalities in the worst cases. Some of the most dangerous accidents of all involve large vehicles like tractor-trailers.
These huge and heavy vehicles can leave a lot of destruction in their wake, pushing smaller vehicles aside with immense force and doing a lot of damage when they crash or collide with others. This is why tractor-trailer drivers have to undergo rigorous training and be highly cautious on the roads.
However, it’s not only the trailer drivers who need to be careful. Other road users also need to behave cautiously when passing or encountering these kinds of vehicles. Otherwise, accidents are much more likely to occur. This guide will go over the steps to follow if you end up in such an accident.
Get Medical Attention
Before you start thinking about calling a lawyer and working out insurance claims and liability for your tractor-trailer accident, it’s important to think about your health and safety, as well as the health of anyone else who may have been involved in the incident, indicates Zaneslaw.com. The first priority, therefore, is to get to a doctor or hospital as soon as possible for medical attention.
In many accidents involving trucks and trailers, injuries can be quite serious, including broken bones, lacerations, whiplash, and concussions. You may therefore have to wait for emergency services to arrive on the scene. If your injuries are less serious or even if you feel relatively fine, it’s still important to get an official medical diagnosis, as sometimes it takes a couple of days for the real symptoms of your injuries to appear.
Call the Police
No matter what sort of auto accident you’re involved in should be reported to the police, including any kind of crash or collision with a tractor-trailer. So as well as contacting people like your insurance company and a legal firm that specializes in auto accidents, you should also make sure to call the police and report the incident.
Having an official police report of the incident can be highly beneficial to you later on when it comes to any legal cases that may ensue, as well as when dealing with your insurance company. Plus, reporting the matter to the police can also help to provide you with some much-needed peace of mind at a stressful and panic-inducing moment.
Documenting the Accident
A lot of people forget about this particular part of the process after auto accidents happen, but it’s one of the most important steps of all to keep in mind and follow. In fact, this step can really be the difference-maker when it comes to winning the legal case that may follow your accident and getting the best and biggest amount of compensation too.
So make sure to document the site of your accident, as long as it is safe to do so, as well as documenting any injuries you may have suffered. Photos, statements, videos, and notes can all be useful as evidence, and evidence tends to disappear quite quickly after accidents, so the sooner you act and the more data you gather, the better equipped you’ll be to win your case.
Get in Touch with a Lawyer
Next, you’ll want to contact a lawyer to handle the legal side of your auto accident case. Often, auto accidents aren’t resolved in a neat and tidy fashion, as drivers can disagree about who caused the accident and insurance adjusters will work to try and reduce the amount that the company has to pay out.
A lawyer can help you avoid these obstacles and navigate the challenges that will inevitably come after an auto accident. They’ll be able to guide you on the right steps to take, explaining what you should and should not do in order to get the best results. They can be your guide through the entire process, using their experience and expertise to help your case end in the best possible way.
Follow All Official Advice
Finally, it’s really important to make sure that you listen to your lawyer and follow their advice while the case continues. It’s really common for people to make mistakes in the days and weeks after an auto accident, such as saying too much to the insurance company or posting about the issue on social media, and these mistakes could come back to bite you later on.
Your lawyer should be your primary contact through the process, and you should always talk to them first before doing or saying anything else related to the case. In general, you shouldn’t talk about it with other people, including friends and family, as things you say could be used against you later on. Heed your lawyer’s warnings and guidance to get the best results.
It can be very stressful and scary to be involved in an auto accident involving such a huge and heavy vehicle as a tractor-trailer, and the best course of action is to try and avoid these accidents altogether by driving as safely as possible. However, if you do end up in such an accident, be sure to keep these tips in mind and take the correct actions in order to get through this difficult situation in the best possible way.