What To Do After A Truck Accident

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    August 28 2019

    Follow these steps including contacting a motor vehicle injury lawyer in Las Vegas:

    Being in a trucking accident can be terrifying.  Semi trucks, 18-wheelers, freight carriers, big rigs, and tractor trailers can result in serious and fatal accidents for all those involved.

    While being in an accident with any type of vehicle is scary, the consequences of an accident with a semi-truck tend to be far more serious than being in a fender bender with a small passenger vehicle.

    In the United States, the average length of of a semi-trailer is 70 to 80 feet.  And these trucks can haul up to 80,000 pounds.  Imagine having one of these massive vehicles crashing into your vehicle!

    In Las Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada, 5.8% of all vehicles involved in accidents are large trucks. This statistic is nearly 10 times the ratio of Nevada trucks involved in accidents nationwide. (per NHTSA 2016 statistics) What this tells us is that there are some greater risks involving large truck accidents within Nevada. These accidents are also complicated.  Commercial truck accidents often involve many different parties, rules and regulations, and company policies.

    If you are ever in an accident involving a commercial truck in or around Las Vegas, we highly advise speaking with an experienced auto injury  lawyer who can guide you through the process.

    You should also follow these steps to help protect your rights after a crash with a commercial vehicle.

    Stop Vehicle in a Safe Place

    After the crash, do your best to remove your vehicle from the road.  Pull over to the  shoulder or off the road if possible.

    Make sure that other drivers are able to see your vehicle.  Turn on your hazard lights.  If you have them, put cones or road flares around your vehicle.  This will help prevent another accident from happening.

    Report the Crash

    If someone has died in the crash or has serious injuries, call 911 immediately.  If no one appears to  be seriously injured, still, notify the police or highway patrol.

    Describe where the truck accident took place so that they know how to find you.  Tell the operator about any accident victims.

    When the police officer arrives, he or she will assess the accident, complete an accident report, and let you know what you should do next.  Request a copy of the police report for your records.  Save this report and give a copy of it to your legal team. Your Las Vegas motor vehicle injury lawyer will need this information when working on your case.

    Seek Immediate Medical Attention

    It’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible after the accident—even if you don’t think you are injured at first.  Sometimes after an accident,your adrenaline could prevent you from feeling pain or noticing your injuries.

    Let a medical professional check you out and determine if you need additional care.  If you don’t seek medical attention after the accident, this may have a negative impact on any later personal injury case that you file.

    Keep copies of all medical bills and records.  Provide these to your Las Vegas car accident lawyer. Your medical expenses will be important to your legal team as they are building your personal injury case.

    Gather Information from Involved Parties

    Make sure to get as much information as you can from all of the drivers and passengers of each involved vehicle.  This information will be important if you need to file an accident lawsuit.

    The information that you should collect includes:

    • Trucker’s name, address, phone number, an email information
    • Truck driver’s license number
    • Vehicle license plate number
    • Vehicle identification number
    • Name of trucking company
    • Contact information for truck company
    • Driver’s insurance company and insurance policy number
    • Identifying information from the truck (company name and log)
    • Owner of the rig
    • What was being hauled

    Collect Evidence

    It’s important to document any car accident.  This is especially important after a semi-truck accident or 18-wheeler accident where very severe injuries and fatalities are common.  The evidence that you collect at the accident scene right after the truck collision will be important to proving who was at fault for the accident, the severity of your injuries, the amount of property damage that was caused by the accident, and other important information.  It may be hard to think clearly at that time; understandably. That’s why it’s imperative that you contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney soon after the incident, while all the details are still fresh in your mind. Your attorney will ask you questions and document your answers to help build your case.

    While you are still at the scene of the truck wreck, take as many photos as you can.  If you can, get photographs of:

    • Position of vehicles
    • Any traffic lights or signs
    • Any road hazards
    • Weather conditions
    • Any skid marks on the road
    • Damage to each vehicle
    • Any injuries

    Take as many pictures as you possible can.  In today’s world, most people have smartphones that allow them to store hundreds or thousands of photos.  Take pictures of everything, even if it doesn’t seem immediately important.  Sometimes a photo may not seem to be important at first, but it may contain some small detail that will later help your legal team prove your case.

    If you are unable to take photos after the accident, there may be some other options.  Ask other accident victims, police officers, or witnesses if they have any pictures of the crash.

    Also try to write down as many details as you can, so you can document the events of t the accident as soon as possible.  It’s not uncommon for memories to fade over time.

    Victims of truck accidents may find it hard to remember details of the accident over time.  Amnesia is common among people who sustain brain damage or serious head injuries after a collision.  If you suffer memory loss, having a lot of photos of the accident scene and notes about how the accident happened, may help you to recall some details.

    It’s also a good idea to keep a log or journal as you recover from your injuries.  A journal will help to show how serious your injuries were and exactly how long it took you to recover from them.  This type of evidence helps determine the amount of compensation that you eventually receive.

    Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

    If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck in or around Las Vegas, it’s important to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer – an auto accident attorney who can structure all the evidence into a winning case for you.

    Commercial trucks are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a government agency that creates the federal regulations that provide safety oversight for commercial motor vehicles.  The trucking industry is subject to special rules and regulations that drivers of passenger vehicles are not aware of.  It’s important to get legal advice from someone who has experience dealing with these special rules and regulations. 

    Working with an experienced auto injury lawyer is also important when you are trying to establish the liability of the trucking company.  Sometimes, the truck driver is not an actual employee of the company—instead, he or she is considered an “independent contractor.”  An experienced trucking accident attorney will need to help you establish that the truck driver was under the supervision of the truck company and that the trucking company was the trucker’s “employer.”

    Your motor vehicle injury  attorney will also need to deal with insurance adjusters and conduct any necessary investigations. For example, if there is any question about how the accident happened, a personal injury attorney may be able to help obtain information from the commercial truck’s black box.

    Experienced Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorneys

    Were you or a family member injured in an accident with a large truck in the Las Vegas, Nevada area?

    If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a big rig or tractor trailer and you would like to speak with an experienced truck accident law firm, contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today for a free case evaluation.

    Our personal injury attorneys are ready to start working on your truck accident case.  Our phone number is (702) 857-6000. 

    Published by Anthony Golden

    Attorney Anthony B. Golden (“Tony”) is one of the founding partners of Anthem Injury Lawyers. Tony represents clients in all aspects of personal injury cases, from pre-litigation through jury trials and appeals. Tony has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in trials, arbitration, and appeals, as well as assisting clients in resolving high-value cases in mediation.

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