semi truck accident

What to Do If You Were in a Tractor Trailer or Semi-Truck Accident

Both car accidents and truck accidents can be severe, leading to serious injuries and sometimes death.

But when you think about it, truck accidents are usually a lot more damaging than an average car wreck.

Why is that?

Well, for one thing, semis are significantly larger and heavier than an average vehicle, even when compared to a large vehicle, like a pickup truck or a van. While car accidents can be harmful to all involved, it’s helpful to understand why truck accidents are usually more severe.

If you’ve been in a semi-truck accident, your damages are likely much worse than if you got into a regular car crash. Therefore, you can receive a higher settlement amount.

Do you want to learn more about how car accidents and truck accidents differ? Keep reading to find out and learn what to do after you’ve been in a semi-truck accident.

Car Vs. Truck Accidents: What’s the Difference?

There’s no doubt that car accidents can be devastating. However, the difference between a car and a truck accident is that a truck accident is more likely to result in worse damages.

For example, in a minor car accident, you may sustain small injuries. Since trucks are much larger and have more force than an average-sized car, you are more likely to sustain serious injuries even if the truck accident is minor.

As we’ve stated, the reason behind this is that semi-trucks are much larger and heavier than a car. An unloaded semi-truck can weigh around 10,000 to 25,000 pounds. With a fully-loaded tractor-trailer, a semi can weigh up to a whopping 80,000 pounds! While vehicles come in many shapes and sizes, the average weight of a regular car is around 4,000 pounds.

A common type of truck accident is called a rollover, which is when a semi-truck tips over due to its weight and instability. If you get into a rollover accident with a semi-truck, you can easily be crushed by the weight of the truck, resulting in major damages to both you and your vehicle.

Here are some other components that make truck accidents more dangerous:

Cargo. Semi-trucks often carry heavy loads. When these loads aren’t properly secured, other drivers are at risk of being struck by a fallen object.

Long driving hours. Truck drivers are often expected to drive for long distances, which can cause unsafe driving conditions if the driver gets fatigued.

Size and weight. A truck’s size and weight make it more difficult to operate than a regular vehicle, causing more accidents.

While car accidents and truck accidents can be similar, truck accidents are usually more devastating. So if you or someone you love has gotten into a truck accident, it’s important to work with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in truck accidents.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Getting into a truck accident is more than just overwhelming. It’s scary, too. Knowing what to do after a vehicle accident can help you get to safety, and it can also improve your insurance claim.
Follow these steps.

Follow these steps.

Call the Police

First and foremost, call the police. If anyone involved in the accident needs immediate medical help, ask the police to send an ambulance. Inform the officer of where you are and wait for them to arrive at the scene. Don’t leave until the officer makes a police report. This documentation will serve as a great piece of evidence for your case.

You should also contact the West Virginia Public Service Commission—or request the responding officer do so—in order to have someone come to the scene to inspect the semi. This inspection will assist in determining what might have caused the accident.

Gather Evidence

While you’re at the scene of the accident, gather as much evidence as possible. You need evidence in order to prove fault and to prove your injuries were a result of the wreck.

Take pictures and videos of your vehicle, the truck, and your injuries. You should also record everything that happened while it’s still fresh in your mind. If applicable, take a picture of the Department of Transportation number that should be posted on the truck. These details can help you build a strong claim.

Get Contact Information

If you’re able to, try and get the contact information of everyone involved in the accident. This can include the semi-truck driver, any other people who were struck, and witnesses. Witnesses can provide their testimonies, which you can use as evidence.

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention regardless of the severity of the accident. Even if you walk out of the truck wreck with only a few scrapes and bruises, you should see a doctor. A physician can examine you and identify your injuries. You can use the medical reports to prove the severity of your injuries and to show how your damages were a result of the crash.

Consult With a Truck Accident Lawyer

Possibly the most important thing you can do after the incident is to consult with a truck accident lawyer. A lawyer will review your case and help you submit a claim to the insurance company.
Trucking companies are heavily insured, so they will try to pay you as little as possible for your damages. Your lawyer will defend you against the insurance companies to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

What Not To Do After a Truck Accident

Now that you know what to do following a truck accident, here are some things you should avoid:

  • Do NOT talk to the insurance company
  • Do NOT post about your accident on social media
  • Do NOT take the insurance company’s first offer
  • Do NOT accept blame or admit fault for the accident

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today

Getting into a truck accident is devastating. You’re suffering physically, emotionally, and financially, and you don’t know who to trust. You can rely on a truck accident lawyer from Miley Legal to help you seek fair compensation for your damages. We will handle your truck accident claim, so you don’t have to.

And remember, there’s no fee until you win. We will make sure of it. Call The Miley Legal Group today to schedule your free consultation.

Author Bio

Tim Miley is the Founder of Miley Legal Accident Injury Lawyers, a West Virginia personal injury law firm he formed in 2006. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, brain injuries, wrongful death, and other personal injury matters.

Tim received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University and is a member of the West Virginia State Bar and the Harrison County Bar Association. He has helped his clients win more than $10 million in personal injury verdicts and settlements and has further served the people of West Virginia by filling legislative roles in the state’s government since 2004.

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