Most drivers have operated around large commercial trucks on the roadway, and driving around these large vehicles can seem scary. Unfortunately, accidents involving large commercial trucks do occur on the roadway, and they can lead to severe injuries for victims. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Due to the size discrepancy between traditional vehicles on the roadway and these large trucks, the laws of physics tend to favor the semi-truck in a collision. If you or somebody you care about is injured in a crash involving a semi-truck, there are various steps you can take to ensure your well-being and to secure the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After a California Semi-Truck Crash
By following these steps, you can help ensure that you are taken care of and that you have a better chance of securing compensation for what happened:
- Seek medical attention. The first step to take after any vehicle collision is to seek medical attention immediately. This is particularly true in the aftermath of the truck crash. Even if the injuries seem relatively minor, you still need to let a doctor make a determination as to whether or not you need treatment. Seeking treatment immediately following a crash ensures your well being and also establishes a link between the truck crash and your injuries.
- Report the incident to the police. Nearly every vehicle accident in California needs to be reported to the police and the DMV. Responding police officers will be able to ensure the safety of the scene, preserve evidence, and conduct an investigation to determine liability in the incident.
- Gather evidence. If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, use a smartphone or another type of camera to take pictures of everything. This includes damages to vehicles, causes of the crash, traffic conditions, weather patterns, and any injuries involved. You should also get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as the truck driver’s commercial driver’s license number, truck insurance information, truck license plate number, etc.
- Report the incident to the insurance carrier. You are going to be required to report the incident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. You do not need to go into much detail when you make your initial report. Simply let the insurance carrier know that the incident happened and that a commercial truck was involved.
- Refuse to sign anything. You will likely be approached by the insurance carrier of the trucking company soon after the incident occurs, asking you to give a recorded statement or sign over your medical records. You should not sign anything without first speaking to an attorney. If any insurance carrier tries to make an early settlement offer, please understand that this is likely far below what you should be receiving. Refuse to sign anything early in this process.
- Speak to an attorney. If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of the truck driver trucking company, you need to speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. A skilled Sacramento truck accident lawyer will have the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into your case and secure the compensation you need.