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Steps to Follow After a Rear-End Accident With an 18-wheeler in Texas

rear end truck accident

Truck accident injuries can change the course of your and your family’s life forever. After your accident, both your health and financial compensation are concerns for you. What you do immediately following the accident and in the days afterward can impact both how well you recover and whether you can receive a settlement check. The most important thing to recognize is that you need help, and you cannot do everything on your own. Instead, you should be reaching out to experienced doctors and lawyers to assist you. While you must act quickly after a truck accident, you should also be deliberate and make sound choices. This situation is where an experienced Austin truck accident attorney can help you.

What’s In This Guide:

Semi-Truck Crashes Are Both Common and Devastating

Large trucks are a common fixture on every Texas road. The state is booming, and there are more trucks on the highways than ever. In addition, oil production in the state is near an all-time high. There are trucks coming to and from the oil fields, traveling across the state. As a result, the number of truck accidents has been increasing in the last decade. There are over 30,000 commercial truck accidents in Texas each year. Every single truck accident is potentially a life-changing occurrence. All it takes is being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

There is a far greater chance that you will suffer serious injuries in a truck accident. Federal regulations allow a truck to weigh up to 80,000 pounds after the cargo is loaded. The average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. The sheer disparity in size means that drivers will most likely be injured in an accident. Even if drivers do not take direct impact from a truck, they may be forced off the road or crash with another car as a result of the truck’s actions. When that happens, they will sustain significant damages. These will include physical and monetary damages.

What to Do After a Crash With a Semi-Truck

Below are the steps you should follow at the scene of the accident if you are able. The evidence and information that you are able to gather can be a major help in the future when you go to file a claim for compensation. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm as best as you can. We understand that doing so could be difficult, as you have just been involved in a major accident.

1.    Call the police.

The police will come to the scene of the accident and write a report, which could be helpful in your insurance claim and may contain valuable information, such as the names of witnesses. If the truck driver broke a law that led to the accident, police might issue a citation, which can also be helpful for your case.

2.    Collect information about the driver.

You will need things like the driver’s contact information, insurance policy number and carrier, driver’s license number, and CDL license information when you try to collect compensation. Collect this information at the scene of an accident and keep it in a safe place.

3.    Use your smartphone to take pictures of the scene that show the position of the vehicles involved.

Pictures from the scene of the accident are often your best proof of what happened. This evidence can be lost once the scene is cleared. If you are able to move around, try to get pictures of the accident from all angles, including the damage to your car and the positions of the vehicles.

4.    Get the contact details of people that witnessed the accident.

Witnesses will tell a story that will back up your claim. They are impartial and objective people who owe you nothing and will simply recount what they saw. The insurance company may ask them to give a statement, or they could testify at trial on your behalf.

5.    Stay in a safe area while waiting for the police or medics to avoid being hit again.

Truck accident scenes are very fluid and volatile. These often happen on the side of a busy highway. There are cars passing by at high speed, and you could be in danger as you wait for medics and police. Once you have gotten the information that you need, try to get to a safe place.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured?

Like any accident victim, you have two primary things that you should do in the days after the accident if you have been injured. They involve taking care of your physical health and taking steps to protect your legal rights.

Your first priority is tending to your physical help by getting the medical care that you need. A doctor will fully diagnose and begin to treat your truck accident injuries, which can help put you on the road to recovery faster. Prompt medical treatment is also a must as you consider seeking financial compensation for your accident injuries. Every claim requires written documentation of your injuries that you will get from a physician after treatment. Without it, an insurance company will most likely deny your claim.

The second must after a truck accident is hiring an attorney. The trucker’s insurance company is keen to do whatever it can to reduce the size of your check if they even want to write one at all. The sooner you call an attorney, the more peace of mind that you get knowing that your legal rights are protected. A truck accident attorney will handle all of the details of your claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery and your family.

Common Injuries Resulting From Rear-End Truck Accidents

The force of the impact from behind may cause your head to snap forward from the crash. Your body stops suddenly along with your car after the sudden crash from behind. However, your head continues to move. The most common effect of a rear-end truck accident is whiplash, a condition much more serious than it sounds. Many people (including insurance adjusters) will discount whiplash because it is common, but it can have lifelong effects. Common injuries from a rear-end truck accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries – These injuries result from either your head striking something or from the brain moving around inside the head after whiplash. Many TBI accident victims will never fully recover from their injuries.
  • Neck and back injuries – The violent movement from the accident can injure discs and vertebrae. In serious cases, these can injure the spinal cord, causing permanent loss of motion and feeling.
  • Internal injuries – If the airbag deploys forcefully, or if the body hits the steering wheel or dashboard, the accident victim can suffer serious injuries, such as damage to the internal organs or internal bleeding.
  • Soft tissue damage – The impact of the accident can cause damage to ligaments and tendons that require surgery and may never fully recover.

Settlement for Being Rear-Ended by a Commercial Vehicle

Although a rear-end accident does not seem serious, the mere fact that you have been struck by a large commercial truck places you at serious risk of injury. It does not matter where a truck hits your car. Large vehicles will make an impact with massive force. The car is not as fortified in the back, giving less protection to drivers who are hit from behind.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a rear-end accident, you can file a claim against the truck driver’s insurance. Most likely, the truck driver is employed by a commercial trucking company that will have a large insurance policy because truck accident damages can be extensive. The settlement would pay you for all of the damages that you have experienced and will encounter in the future.

Do I Need a Lawyer After a Big Truck Crash?

We cannot answer this question in strong enough terms. You absolutely need a lawyer after an accident with a large truck. It is a fact, and not a scare tactic, to say that your legal rights are at stake. First, truck accidents are more complex than car accidents. They require much more investigation to establish the cause of the crash. An attorney would need to get to work immediately because evidence can be lost. Second, you have likely suffered extensive injuries and damages after this crash, and the possible settlement figures can be considerable.

You cannot try to negotiate with an insurance company on your own. They will take advantage of you every single time without someone in your corner to go to bat for you. Finally, when you have been injured in a truck crash, you do not have the knowledge or capacity to handle the matter on your own. There is necessary expertise to deal with the defendant and their insurance company that not only takes experience but also takes time and effort. People who have lawyers representing them will almost always fare far better financially than those who try to represent themselves, even after paying the attorney.

Call a Corpus Christi Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one have sustained truck accident injuries, one of the most important phone calls that you can make is to an experienced truck accident lawyer who can handle your claim and fight for financial compensation. If you cannot agree on a settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The Patel Law firm has been helping injured Corpus Christi residents recover financially from their injuries with a strong track record of success. Your cause is the reason why we work hard each day. Contact us online or call us at (361) 400-2026 to schedule your free case evaluation.