The more severe a crash between two vehicles is, the harder it may be for either party involved to respond appropriately to the situation. Collisions that involve a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle are some of the worst that occur, and they can also be some of the most confusing for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Even though people may have an idea of what to do after a standard car crash, they may feel much more confused “than usual” about steps to take following a collision with an 18-wheeler. What do people generally have to do after a commercial vehicle crash?
Preserve evidence whenever possible
Establishing what actually happened during and even right before the crash can be crucial to someone’s successful claim after a wreck. Taking video of the crash scene and capturing videos that show the placement of the vehicles in relation to each other and nearby landmarks could help with a crash recreation later.
Alert the local authorities about the wreck
Commercial drivers could lose their jobs if they are liable for a wreck, while others might no longer be eligible for a commercial driver’s license. They may try to play on the sympathies of the other people involved in the wreck and ask them to not file an official police report. Those who forgo official reporting may find themselves struggling to get compensation for their injuries and property damage losses after a wreck. It may be important for any future claim to ensure that someone not only reports the collision to the police but also advises the officers who respond to their call about their suspicions regarding the cause of the crash.
Seek medical attention
Unless the crash was a fender bender in a parking lot that caused only minor cosmetic damage to the smaller vehicle, the risk of injury is significant. Internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries and soft tissue injuries often take hours, if not multiple days, to become noticeable after a crash. Those who see a medical professional and describe the collision they experienced will have an easier time getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment that could prevent any injuries from worsening.
Talk to an attorney
People frequently think that they can handle insurance claims on their own. That can be a mistake even when dealing with a bare-bones policy that complies with state law but offers no enhanced coverage. Also, when dealing with a commercial vehicle policy that is probably worth at least $750,000, if not more, the possibility of manipulative insurance practices increases.
Additionally, those who have significant injuries after a wreck may not have the physical or emotional energy to truly negotiate on their behalf following a collision. Knowing what steps to take before a semi-truck wreck occurs can help people better manage and mitigate the significant losses they may suffer because of a commercial crash.