Trucking Accident Attorney
Semi-trucks are designed to pull extremely heavy loads, and that means they are heavy and large themselves. Many accidents involving semi-trucks lead to serious damage and injury to passengers and their vehicles simply because commercial trucks outweigh them so much. If you are involved in a trucking accident, your primary concern should be for the safety and welfare of yourself and any passengers in your vehicle.
After you have ensured your immediate safety, it is important to complete the following steps in order to protect yourself as the situation unfolds and liability is questioned. The team at Cesar Ornelas Law is dedicated to helping victims of trucking accidents, and we know the exact information that can be used against you in the future. Let us help you.
Unless the placement of your vehicle is causing an immediate safety concern for people in the car, do not move it. The driver of the semi-truck should do the same – if you feel comfortable you can share this information with them.
Every accident, from minor to serious, greatly benefits from a police presence at the scene. Not only can officers control traffic and people involved, they also make a police report which is an important part of your insurance claim and potentially recorded evidence for a court case.
Officers in Texas are trained to take driver and witness statements as well as record the damage they evaluate at the scene. This is all great information to have on record. Make sure to ask the officer where you can get a copy of the police report for future reference.
Though police officers are an important part of the post-accident process, you don’t have to trust them completely to record every piece of information. If you are uninjured and it is safe to do so, approach any witnesses to the accident who are still in the area. Names, phone numbers and emails to contact these people in the future could make a big difference when determining liability either with the insurance companies or in court.
Take your own pictures of both vehicles at the scene and any obvious injuries, even if they’re minor. Having your own documentation is helpful to be able to prove or reduce liability. You can even capture poor weather conditions like fog or rain that may have affected the trucking accident.
Definitely make sure that you record the truck driver’s name, number, driver’s license number, and even their badge number for the company they work for.
After the scene of the accident is disbanded, your priority might be to take your car to a mechanic or body shop to have it repaired quickly so that you can use it. Don’t make the mistake of repairing damage before your insurance has agreed to cover it. Even if your vehicle must be towed, inform the mechanics that no work is to be started until you have confirmed what insurance will be covering.
Some insurance companies require specific photos or repairs only from approved body shops. Your insurance adjuster is trying to pay the least amount they can, so follow their requirements closely to eliminate any wiggle room.
Both at the scene and in the following days and weeks do not admit any liability or fault. It may seem trivial to say ‘I’m okay!’, but these words can be used against you later in a court case or by an insurance adjuster to reduce your compensation. Take special precautions against insurance adjusters who will sometimes call to ‘check in’ on you just to elicit a positive response they can use later.
Also, refrain from commenting or mentioning your accident on social media. Inform loved ones of your status offline, and do not leave online evidence that can be pulled up at any time.
Even if you don’t feel injured, seek a medical evaluation at a hospital or by a doctor. There are consequential injuries that may reveal themselves after your trucking accident, and you want them to be recorded and be able to prove that the trauma caused you physical injury.
Also, some serious injuries like whiplash and internal bleeding can only be recognized by doctors. You want to make sure the accident hasn’t caused any invisible health issues that may affect you in the present or future.
From the moment of your semi-truck accident, it will probably feel like you have to be wary of everyone around you. The other driver, the police officers, the witnesses and the insurance companies can all easily speak out against you.
Our team at Cesar Ornelas Law is always on your side. We are dedicated to helping you after your accident and making sure you receive the support and compensation you deserve. Don’t wait! Contact our team or follow us on Facebook today!
Trucking Accident Attorney