Every year, the number of truck accidents and fatal truck accidents increases, and Ohio is no exception to this. Last year alone there were a reported 13,971 commercial-related crashes in Ohio, with 1,372 occurring in Hamilton County. In 2019, there were 153 Commercial Motor Vehicle involved fatalities. Being involved in a semi or 18 wheeler accident can be a scary, unfortunate incident, and it’s important to know the steps to take if you find yourself in such an uncertain situation. Our lawyers here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have come up with a list of our top 5 things to do after you’ve been in a truck accident.
1. Call the Police.
When you’ve been in an accident, you need to call law enforcement. Filing a report with the police is important, even if it may not seem like a big deal at the moment or there is little to no property damage. You or a loved one could have sustained injuries and damages that may not be immediately noticeable. If you do end up having to seek medical treatment, you’ll be glad you have the police report to support you!
2. Seek Medical Attention
After being involved in a truck wreck, you need to be checked out by a doctor. From serious to minor injuries, it’s important to take your health and safety seriously and make sure that you are physically okay. Additionally, having an official medical report can help to uncover any late-onset injuries associated with the accident. If you take too long to seek medical attention or are hoping to receive a settlement before going in, the insurance company could dispute your claim. When this happens, the insurance company can simply say that since you did not get checked out by a physician immediately after the crash, you were not hurt as a result of the semi-truck accident.
3. Gather and Document Evidence
We understand that during the aftermath of a wreck, everyone is experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and it can be easy to forget what you need to do. One thing you must remember to do, however, is to gather evidence and document everything. Take pictures of the collision, any vehicle damaged in the accident, and any visible bodily injuries. Just as important is the need to write down and document what happened. Record any details you have about those involved in the truck accident, including the responding police officer. Collect insurance information, and if there are witnesses, get their account of the incident and contact information as well. Things tend to get hazy over time, and after a traumatic incident such as this, it’s easy to forget important details.
4. Protect Yourself
For our fourth suggestion, this is more of a “what not to do” when involved in an 18 wheeler accident. All of these tips are centered around taking care and protecting yourself, and it is paramount that you protect yourself by saying nothing and signing nothing. You may have to speak to the truck driver’s insurance company, witnesses, and even your own insurance company. State the facts, but don’t go into details. Oftentimes, the truck company will try and get involved and offer you a settlement to avoid going to court. Speaking with the truck company’s insurance may be tempting to take the offer, but we recommend holding back on signing anything until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.
5. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finally, be smart, call Rinehardt! When up against a major truck company after being involved in a truck accident, you deserve to have someone on your side who has the tools and the knowledge to help you understand your rights and will fight for them for you. With Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, you can have peace of mind knowing you have someone in your corner who specializes in truck accident cases and who will stand up to the insurance company. Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have your best interest at heart and will make sure you get what you’re owed. Our team is experienced, committed, and has been successful in handling truck accident cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.