If you or somebody you love has been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, there are various steps you can take both immediately after the incident and in the days and weeks that follow to help ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. If the truck driver or trucking company was at fault for the incident, we strongly encourage you to work with a skilled truck accident lawyer in North Carolina who has experience handling these claims.
1. Stop, Process, and Check for Injuries
As soon as a semi-truck accident occurs, it will likely be a very confusing and scary experience. Any person involved in this type of situation needs to quickly process what has happened. This may involve moving a vehicle to a safe location if possible. Importantly, individuals should check themselves, their passengers, and others for injuries if they can do so safely.
2. Call 911 Immediately
Any person involved in a semi-truck accident in North Carolina needs to dial 911 and report the incident to the dispatcher. Do not count on any other party to call 911. It is okay to have multiple people call. The dispatcher can get fire, police, and EMS personnel to the scene quickly.
3. Seek Medical Assistance
Any person involved in a commercial truck accident needs to seek immediate medical assistance. Often, the signs and symptoms of truck accident injuries do not appear right away. However, it is not uncommon for hidden injuries to show up hours or even days after the crash occurs. Seeking immediate medical care, even if there is no pain, helps ensure that a doctor is the one to make a determination about injuries. Additionally, seeking prompt medical care helps establish a solid link between the commercial truck crash and any injuries. This is important for insurance claims.
4. Begin Gathering Evidence
If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, we always encourage individuals to gather as much evidence as possible. If a cell phone is available, use the camera to take photographs of everything you see. This includes vehicle damage, injuries, debris, skid marks, weather conditions, traffic patterns, traffic signs, causes of the crash, and more. If there were any eyewitnesses to the incident, write down their names and contact information as soon as possible.
5. Call an Attorney
We strongly encourage every person involved in a truck accident in North Carolina to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A commercial truck accident lawyer can step in and begin gathering as much evidence as possible.
The evidence-gathering process does not end after the accident is cleared away. Additional types of evidence that can be gathered in the days and weeks that follow the crash include video surveillance footage from nearby cameras, the truck’s electronic control module (ECM), the truck driver’s electronic logging device (ELD), mobile device records, and more.
6. Call Your Insurance Carrier
Truck accident victims will need to report the incident to their personal insurance carrier promptly. Most auto insurance carriers require that accidents be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs, and reporting the incident starts the filing process. However, you do not need to go into much detail when you report the incident to your insurance carrier. All the insurance carrier needs to know is that you are seeking medical treatment for your injuries, the name of other drivers involved, the name of the trucking company, and any other contact information you were able to obtain. Let your Raleigh truck accident attorney handle further communication with the insurance carrier.