We know semi truck drivers are professionals, as a group. Driving those eighteen wheelers is their full time job.
But do you realize how many hours they may be on the road?
Tractor trailer rigs may be assigned to work up to 70 hours each week. And they may be working up to 14 hours per day, though they can’t drive more than 11 hours straight without an official documented break period.
Imagine working that many hours, and being behind the wheel. How well would you be driving?
That’s why, even though hauling freight every day as a semi-truck driver is an honorable profession, wrecks with semis can and do happen. And when they do happen, they are rarely minor fender-benders.
So, what do you do if you’ve been in a wreck with an 18-wheeler?
Make sure the police are called.
You need to make sure there’s an accident report on file, and that uninvolved, experienced professionals like the police get all the information and evidence they need. Their accident report will be the start of some of the evidence you’ll eventually need to prove your case and recover damages.
Accept medical help.
You may be tempted to ‘shrug it off’ and insist you are fine in the immediate shock following a wreck with a semi-truck. Don’t do it. People involved in accidents often begin to experience more pain and become aware of issues in the days after such an accident, even if they didn’t realize how badly they were hurt at first.
Any police and paramedics who respond to the wreck will likely encourage you strongly to accept emergency medical care. But what if you realize something is wrong the next day? Or the next week? Follow up on everything with your doctor and other medical professionals so nothing slips through the cracks just because you felt “fine” initially.
File your claim with insurance.
This is your first resource to begin financial recovery from the incident. Don’t fail to follow up promptly and completely. The insurance company has been paid to take care of you, so make sure they do their job.
Get assistance from a professional attorney.
Wrecks involving tractor-trailers, and the medical issues such wrecks can cause, are often complicated. You will need the expertise and experience of an attorney to make sure someone who can really help is watching out for your interests. Attorneys like Carrigan Anderson devote their lives to helping people in situations like these. Give them a call at (361) 210-3729 or contact them through their website at CarriganAnderson.com.
To prove a case against the company whose big truck caused you injury, you’ll need to collect a significant amount of evidence. Is there any video footage from traffic cams or nearby security cameras? How do you get access to the driver’s logs, witnesses, company maintenance records and more? Attorneys will know what you need and where to get it, so you’re not caught unprepared – or blindsided when those looking out for the company point out the evidence you are missing.
Keep a record of your damages as they arise.
You won’t know the full extent of the damages from the wreck at first. That’s true of any damages to your vehicle and its contents, but it’s even more true of damages to YOU. Every time you become aware of something else which resulted from this incident, write it down and keep track. You’ll be surprised how often you may be adding to your list.
Insist on fair compensation and get the right settlement.
Do not let a wreck with an 18-wheeler rob you of what is yours. You deserve to be made whole, not to suffer financial and health losses which may deprive you of the life you would otherwise have had. This, again, is where the professional assistance and know-how of a team like the lawyers at Carrigan Anderson can help. Unlike most of us, they’ve been through this before, and they know what to expect and how to take action to protect you. They weren’t able to prevent the wreck, but they can put all their considerable skills to work on seeing you don’t suffer needlessly afterwards.