Trucks, big-rigs, semis, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers – they have different names around the United States, but the fact is they’re everywhere. Every day, millions of these multi-ton behemoths share the road with other motorists driving much smaller, less powerful, and more vulnerable vehicles.
Due to their size, any collision involving a truck can lead to extreme consequences. Between 2018 and 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found 119,000 injuries reported as a result of truck accidents and more than 5,000 fatalities. Injuries sustained in a trucking accident can be severe and involve serious head injuries, amputation, crushing, lacerations, and more.
If you were recently injured in a trucking accident, you probably have a lot of questions. As personal injury attorneys, we’ve noticed many clients with similar claims asking similar questions. Read answers to some of these questions below and consider reaching out to Paulsen Law Group today for legal assistance with your truck accident injury claim.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Truck Accident?
The first thing you should always do after a truck accident is to seek medical attention for yourself and/or anyone else who may be injured. Even if you don’t feel injured or that your injuries aren’t serious, you should get an exam by your medical care provider. It’s common for adrenaline to dull pain for hours or even days, so it might be a while before you experience symptoms of unapparent injuries.
Should I Call the Police?
Yes. When calling 9-1-1 for an emergency medical team, also request a police officer. The police can take your report of the accident, which may be beneficial to have as a contemporaneous record of the events before, during, and after the accident.
If the truck driver is suspected of DUI or another crime that caused the accident, the police can deal with such matters as well.
What Should I Do Before Leaving the Scene of a Truck Accident?
Before leaving the truck accident scene, make sure you do the following:
- Identify the truck driver and collect their contact and insurance information
- Identify any other involved motorists and collect their contact and insurance information
- Identify any accident witnesses and collect their contact information
- Identify the trucking company for whom the driver was hauling
- Make a note of the truck’s license plate as well as that of any other vehicle involved in the accident
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene and be sure to document the damage to each vehicle, general location of the accident, and anything else that may be relevant to the accident.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
Truck accidents can be much more dangerous than car accidents because trucks are larger, heavier, and may be hauling hazardous materials. Any collision between two vehicles on the road can be deadly, but any accident involving a truck can instantly raise the severity of the potential consequences.
Because of their size, trucks are not as nimble as passenger vehicles and are much slower to stop. At highway speeds, a truck requires much more time and distance to come to a stop than, say, a sedan. It can take 525 feet for a truck driver to complete a stop from 65 mph, which is a lot of road that can contain many vulnerable passenger vehicles.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents happen for all kinds of reasons. They range from basic traffic law violations to criminal behavior and general negligence.
Here are a few common causes of truck accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- DUI (alcohol or drugs)
- Defective parts
- Neglected maintenance
There are many reasons why truck accidents happen, but these reasons tend to play a role in most incidents. If you suspect a reason why a truck driver caused an accident, be sure to share that information with your attorney.
When Should I Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer for Help?
As soon as you’ve addressed your medical treatment after a truck accident, contact an attorney for help with filing a personal injury claim. Although you have four years from the date of the accident to file your claim, you shouldn’t put off getting an attorney’s help. Addressing your legal situation as soon as possible can help you protect your claim and lead to meaningful compensation for your injuries.
If you’d like to learn more about how a truck accident lawyer can help, reach out to our personal injury attorney at Paulsen Law Group for assistance. We offer free consultations, which means you can have a risk-free, no-obligation opportunity to learn more about how we can help.
Get started now and request your free consultation today by contacting Paulsen Law Group online.