Below is a list of what to do if you get hit by a semi truck. Keep in mind that some tasks are more urgent than others and that a truck accident attorney could still help you collect compensation if you did not complete all of these steps:
- Move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic.
- Call 911 to get the police and, if necessary, an ambulance to the scene.
- Collect as much evidence as you can safely.
- Provide short, factual answers to the responding officer.
- Call a local truck accident law firm.
Moving Your Vehicle After a Semi Truck Accident
After getting hit by a semi truck, your vehicle could end up:
- In the middle of the road
- On the sidewalk
- In a ditch
If you can, make sure your car is in a place where it will not block traffic or be at risk of getting hit by another vehicle.
In some cases—for example, if your vehicle is completely destroyed or is on fire—it may not be possible or safe to move the vehicle. In that event, get out of the car and move to a safe area nearby immediately.
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After Getting Hit, Call 911
Of all the things to do if you get hit by a semi truck, this is the most important. Calling 911 allows you to:
- Alert the police so they can investigate and render assistance as necessary
- Comply with O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273, which requires drivers to report all injury accidents
- Get emergency medical attention for anyone who needs it
Your top priority should be your and your passengers’ health. Once ensuring you are all taken care of, check the semi truck driver. If they need assistance, make sure they get it.
Collecting Evidence of Your Semi Truck Accident
Even before the police arrive, you can start gathering evidence of how your accident happened and who caused it. This could make it easier for you to collect damages and protect yourself against negligence charges later on.
Assuming that you are well enough to do so, you could:
- Take photos of your vehicle, focusing especially on areas that sustained damage in the crash
- Take photos of any injuries that you or your passengers suffered
- Take photos of the environment around the crash site, especially if you notice potential hazards (e.g., potholes) or sources of evidence (e.g., traffic cams)
- Get the semi truck driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses on the scene
While such materials can boost any legal action you take against the at-fault party, you could still recover damages even if you did not have the chance to gather evidence.
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How Police Respond to Semi Truck Accidents
Once the police arrive, they will first make sure that everyone who needs medical care gets it. Then they will ask you questions concerning:
- What you did before, during, and after the accident
- What you remember about the truck driver’s actions before, during, and after the accident
- The actions of any other involved parties
- Any other details you can remember
Try to answer the officer’s questions to the best of your ability, but be careful of what you say. Your responses will go into the police officer’s report, which both you and the at-fault party can use as evidence in any legal actions that follow.
How can you respond to the police without jeopardizing your case? Keep your answers short, factual, and free of speculation or apologies. If you do not know the answer to a question, it is enough to say, “I do not know,” and move on.
Talking to Other Parties
It is in your best interest to avoid discussing your accident with anyone except the police, your doctor, and your lawyer. If anyone else wants information from you, ask your lawyer about how to respond.
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A Semi Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Semi truck accidents can leave you with serious injuries and a lot of extra bills. You have the right to ask the other party to pay for the damage they caused.
You may want to consult a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible after completing the steps above to the best of your ability because:
- Most plaintiffs have two years to start a case, as codified at O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. However, it is important to remember that this deadline may be shorter for some, and it can go by fast when you are preoccupied with other matters.
- Your semi truck accident case could take a while to settle. The sooner you start, the sooner you may get the money you need.
- Certain types of evidence do not last forever. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer to collect such evidence while it is still available.
By hiring an attorney to manage your case, you could recover compensation without having to manage your case alone. They would handle all legal matters, including but not limited to:
- Calculating how much you should seek in damages
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
- Taking the liable party to court, if necessary
- Completing and submitting all paperwork
- Communicating with all other parties on your behalf
Many firms offer free case reviews to prospective clients. This consultation allows you to figure out if you have a case and to learn more about your rights without any cost or risk. Then, if you decide to go ahead with that law firm, they would work hard to protect your interests and secure both justice and damages for you.
Were You Hit by a Semi Truck?
Kaine Law has multiple decades of experience with helping people like you collect fair compensation from trucking companies and other negligent parties. If you want more guidance on what to do if you get hit by a semi truck, call us for a free case review today. We make the legal process as easy and stress-free as possible.