Steps to Take After an 18 Wheeler Accident
Large truck accidents often result in severe and debilitating injuries for passengers in cars and other smaller vehicles. In many cases, 18-wheeler crashes are fatal given the large size and weight of these trucks.
According to a fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), 18-wheelers often weight as much 20 or 30 times as much as a smaller passenger vehicle.
As such, a collision with a car or SUV can be devastating to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Much too often, 18-wheeler accidents happen because of another party’s negligence. In the event of a collision, it is important to know what steps you should take to ensure that you remain eligible to file a claim for compensation. The following are steps you should take after a crash.
Get Out of the Road and Call the Police to Report the Crash
When an 18-wheeler accident occurs, the most important first step is a two-part one: if you are able to do so, move out of the road (and out of harm’s way), and call 911. In many situations, it is impossible or unsafe to move out of the crash area. For example, a person might be too injured to move safely and without causing additional injury.
However, if you are able to do so, move to the side of the road. This will prevent a secondary accident from happening and causing additional harm. Once you are out of the road, you should call 911 to ensure that emergency responders arrive at the scene and that law enforcement officials can assess whether traffic violations should be issued for the crash.
Gather Information at the Scene of the Crash
If you are able to do so, gather as much information as possible at the scene of the crash, including but not limited to the following:
- Names and contact information for anyone involved in the truck accident;
- Names and contact information for any witnesses; and
- Photographs of the scene of the collision, taken from multiple different angles and points of view.
In the event you need to file a truck accident lawsuit, your South Carolina personal injury lawyer can rely on this information in building your case.
Seek Medical Attention for Your Injuries
Whether or not you think you suffered a serious injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries can take hours or even days for symptoms can appear, and failure to receive treatment can result in those injuries worsening.
Your healthcare provider can provide important documentation about how your injuries likely occurred, which can serve as evidence in your truck accident claim. In addition, you should know that failing to seek medical attention can result in another party—like a negligent truck driver or car driver—arguing that you are partially to blame for the accident. Under South Carolina’s comparative negligence law, you can lose the right to obtain damages if a court determines that you are 51 percent or more liable for your injuries.
Contact a South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the most important steps in any 18-wheeler accident is to work with an experienced South Carolina truck accident attorney. An advocate at Peace Law Firm can get started on your case today. Contact us for more information about filing a claim for compensation.