Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys know that semi-trucks and large commercial vehicles cause catastrophic accidents, injuries, and fatalities every year nationwide, including on our Texas roadways.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported over 4,100 large truck fatalities throughout the U.S. last year — 67% of which were the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles, and another 15% of those killed were motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that last year there were over 32,000 vehicle collisions involving commercial vehicles throughout the state. These severe crashes injured nearly 4,000 people and killed almost 600 more.
Our Austin personal injury attorneys know that when our fellow Texans are hurt in a truck crash, or tragically lose a loved one, their lives are going to become increasingly challenging as they move forward.
Here are a few tips to help build your Texas personal injury claim for success.
Call the Police and Begin Gathering Important Information
Chances are if other motorists saw your collision occur, they probably called 911 for you. If not, and your injuries allow you to do so, call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene.
Once they arrive, allow the responding officers to gather evidence, take witness statements, and review vehicle damage to compile a written report that will outline the cause of the accident, based on an experienced law enforcement officer’s interpretation of the crash scene.
While the police officers work, collect as much vital information as you can, including:
- Names and phone numbers of all drivers and witnesses
- Registration and license plate numbers for all vehicles involved
- The truck driver’s insurance carrier and policy number
- The trucking company’s DOT number, which is often located on the vehicle’s driver, passenger, or cargo doors
- Take pictures and videos of all vehicles involved in the crash, including the damage, which way and positions the vehicles are facing, the direction of traffic, and any evidence – including or the lack of skid marks – from the scene.
When speaking with the truck driver, investigators, or the police, do not speculate about the cause of the crash. Simply state the facts as you know them and leave the scene when it is okay to do so to seek medical attention.
Seek Medical Care Immediately After the Crash
Oversized truck, commercial vehicle, and 18-wheeler accidents are terrifying. Even as the safety features on much smaller passenger vehicles continue to advance, motorists in cars, light trucks, and SUVs stand little chance in a crash with a large vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
Because of the shock, confusion, and adrenaline that you may experience during and after a crash with an 18-wheeler, you may not understand the extent of your injuries right away.
Do not let the accident detract from the severity of your injuries or your immediate need for medical care.
Go directly to an emergency room after your Texas truck accident.
This will allow you to understand the extent of your injuries and create a record of your progress as you undergo a professional medical treatment plan.
Seeking medical care will also provide considerable evidence during your truck accident claim that you were hurt and need financial help to get your life back on track.
Contact Your Auto Insurance Provider
It is important that your insurance provider knows you were involved in a collision, so any supporting insurance coverage allows you to get the immediate help you need.
Now, too, is the best time to stick with the facts until you understand all your legal rights and options.
Stating you were involved in a collision, and you are going to seek medical care should suffice until you know the extent of your injuries.
Do NOT Speak with the Trucking Company’s Insurance Adjuster
As soon as the truck driver reports the crash to his or her insurance company, the insurance adjuster is going to call you.
The goal is to catch you at your most vulnerable and provide a compassionate ear to learn more about the crash.
They will tell you they are sorry the crash happened. That they are here to help. And that all you must do is tell them your version of the events. Do not fall for their friendly tone.
They are simply trying to get you to admit fault for the crash, or to say that you are okay, so they can downplay your injuries later, potentially undervaluing your claim, or denying it altogether.
You do not have to speak to the insurance company representatives without a skilled personal injury lawyer advocating on your behalf and negotiating for you.
If you do, you are quickly going to find out what you are up against, and it is not going to be good for your physical, emotional, or financial recovery.
When a severe truck accident with injuries or fatalities occurs, the trucking company, insurance providers, and attorneys will immediately review the crash, the scene, and the circumstances that led to the accident.
That typically includes visiting the crash scene, taking pictures, measurements, and partnering with expert witnesses who will help blame you the injury victim for the crash.
They know, just as our skilled 18-wheeler accident attorneys in Texas do, that with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit may be on the way, it is important to do anything possible to avoid taking responsibility for the crash.
That could include removing, misplacing, or hiding evidence from the scene that will point to their driver or trucking company, so they can minimize their risk.
Do not let them get away with it.
Contact Our Skilled 18-Wheeler Accident and Injury Attorneys in Austin at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys Today
If you have been hurt in a vehicle collision with an 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle that was caused by negligence in Texas, call our skilled Austin truck accident and injury attorneys at Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys at or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.