When you’re driving a semi-truck, there are a lot of ways an accident can happen. Accidents are scary and no one wants to go through one. No matter what caused the accident, there are many steps you’ll need to take if your truck tips, hits another car on the road, or ends up in any type of accident.
Immediately After the Accident
When there is an accident, the first thing you need to do is check for injuries. Check yourself first. In truck accidents, both the drivers of the trucks and others can be seriously injured. If you are uninjured, make sure that everyone else in the accident is also uninjured. It is never a good idea to move someone who is hurt, since that can lead to further injury. Make sure that you call for medical help as soon as possible.
It’s also important to get pictures of the accident if this is possible. With truck accidents, getting pictures may be the last thing on your mind. However, without these, you will be going solely off memory, and that can be detrimental. If possible, use your cell phone to get pictures of the truck and the area of the accident. Understand that if you are injured or there are other mitigating factors, this may not always be possible.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Image via Flickr by Bjørn Bulthuis
You need to keep in mind that there is a higher proportion of accidents involving large trucks than those with just regular vehicles. These accidents frequently end in death or serious injury. There are many reasons that these accidents occur, just like any traffic accident. However, because of the nature and size of these trucks, they can lead to serious injury in an accident.
One of the causes of these accidents is simple human error. For example, you may be exhausted after hours of driving, or you may simply not be paying attention. This is the cause of many accidents, both involving trucks and not. Other human error reasons for accidents would include not putting on blinkers before turning, speeding, and drug use. Accidents caused by human error are usually due to a lack of attention being paid by one or more drivers involved.
There are other reasons that accidents can happen, as well. If a truck is not properly maintained, this can eventually cause a crash. In addition, trucks that are overloaded or just not loaded properly can also cause an accident. Make sure that you maintain your truck per all safety standards. Trucks have a higher center of balance, which makes it easier for them to tip over. Therefore, if your truck is improperly loaded, and you accidentally hit the curb on a turn, it is more likely that the truck will tip. Even a truck tipping can involve other drivers.
You need to make sure that you not only report the accident to the company you are driving for, but also the insurance company. Depending on the company you are working for, you will likely be covered under their insurance, and you may have your own as well. The insurance company will help ensure that everything is taken care of properly. Make sure that you exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. This should happen at all accidents, whether there is property damage, injury, or nothing at all.
Involving the Police
In the event of any accident in New Jersey, it is usually a good idea to file a report. This is because the law states that if you are in an accident that has $500 worth of property damage or more, or there is a death or injury in the accident, it needs to be reported. Since most accidents involving semi-trucks and other large trucks will have more than $500 worth of damage, it is likely this will be required. Reporting the accident allows you to get someone else to come and help you get the information you need. If you are going to file a claim with your insurance, you also need to make sure that you file a report with the local police station. It is likely that the company that the truck driver is driving for also requires this.
Getting a Lawyer
There is not a need to get a lawyer in every single vehicle accident. However, if you’re in an accident while driving a large truck, it is a good idea. A lawyer can help you navigate the ins and outs of what will happen with the insurance company. They can also help ensure that you get what you need to fix the car. If there was an injury or death that occurred because of the accident, it is important to go ahead and retain a lawyer.
In some cases, the company you are driving for may retain a lawyer for you. Other times, you will need to get your own. Your lawyer needs to be experienced in dealing with cases such as yours. This will help you feel confident in your choice and will help you through the legal process.
Some accidents just require that you have someone on your side during the battle with the insurance companies. Others however may end up having court cases and more. When you’re dealing with an accident that involved a large truck, it’s important to have someone on your side. You don’t always know ahead of time whether the insurance companies will end up being a struggle to deal with, or if they will be helpful.
One of the most important things you can do is to be safe while you’re on the road. Make sure that you are paying attention and giving yourself enough room to maneuver. This will help cut down on the likelihood of an accident involving one of these big vehicles. Make sure that you’re not distracted, to help ensure that you stay safe on the road.
Working with a lawyer can help you get the closure you need. Whether you or someone else was injured in the accident, or if there was a death due to the accident, it’s a good idea to make sure that everything is taken care of.