What To Do After A Semi Truck Accident in Oklahoma
Every day across Oklahoma’s highways, semi truck accidents happen. When a truck accident occurs, it can result in serious and catastrophic injuries or death, especially if it is an accident between a car and a large truck.
In 2021, large truck-involved accidents accounted for 112 fatalities on Oklahoma roadways and over 1,800 injuries. In Oklahoma large truck accidents caused by the truck driver, the two most common contributing factors for the accidents were “improper driving act or movement” and “changed lanes unsafely.” When a passenger vehicle driver was responsible for the accident, the top contributing factors were “failed to yield” and “changed lanes unsafely.”
If you are involved in an 18-wheeler or semi truck accident, it’s imperative that you know what to do following the accident. After the crash, you will want to make sure you follow the correct steps to protect yourself, your legal options and your rights after the accident. If you are involved in an accident with another passenger vehicle, you can read more about what to do after an accident in our previous blog post about what to do following passenger vehicle accidents.
If you are seriously injured in an accident with a truck, call 911 immediately. Seeking medical attention is the most important action you can take.
10 steps you should take immediately following an accident with a semi truck:
Check For Injuries and Get To Safety
After an accident, you may be in shock or your body may be pumping with adrenaline. You may not feel pain, but it is important to assess yourself and the passengers in your car first. Identify if anyone is injured or needs first aid. You can also look outside your vehicle at the roadways and median. If you are able to see the other drivers involved, quickly assess what is happening.
If you identify that you are in immediate danger in your current location, move to a safe place away from the accident to avoid further injury. Do not move any people who appear injured unless there is an immediate risk of fire or further injury where they are located.
Next, you should call 911. After an accident with a big rig or large truck, you should call authorities to come to the accident. Your initial assessment within the first few seconds following the accident will be helpful when you call and talk with the emergency response dispatcher. They may ask you questions about the scene to ensure they dispatch appropriate responders – make sure you tell them the accident involves a semi truck and other vehicles. Chances are high that injuries are severe. If you know someone is injured, let the dispatcher know right away. Depending on your location, first responders in Oklahoma could include local or county police or sheriffs, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, fire departments and/or ambulance services.
After talking with emergency responders, you may need to administer first aid, such as applying pressure to slow bleeding, until emergency responders arrive. Do not attempt to move anyone who is injured.
Just as you would following a car accident, you should exchange contact information with the truck driver and other cars involved in the accident. You should gather basic information for all parties involved in the crash. Before anyone leaves the scene, make sure you have all of the necessary information about the other drivers and vehicles. This information includes:
- Drivers’ names
- Drivers’ telephone numbers, address and email address
- Drivers’ license plate number, car/truck make and model
- Drivers’ insurance information, including the company and policy number – sometimes it’s easiest to take a photo of their insurance card
- The contact information for the truck driver’s employer or trucking company
Do Not Admit Fault
One of the most important things our team of experienced trucking accident attorneys advises is to avoid discussions about fault at the scene of the accident. Whatever the circumstances, do not admit or imply that you are at fault in any way. It’s also important to remember that the scene of the accident is not the right place to lose your cool.
When speaking to the police or emergency responders working the scene, stick to the facts. Tell them what happened, but do not do more than share the facts. Additionally, if anyone asks you to make a statement recorded or written, do not do it. Do not sign any statements either. Sometimes insurance companies will appear at the scene, and you should only talk to them once you have spoken to your trusted Oklahoma accident attorney.
Document Everything and Take Photos
Take photos after the accident before any vehicles have moved or been removed from the scene. Taking pictures of each car, vehicle, or truck gives your insurance company and our team the valuable information used when trying to successfully resolve your case.
Photos and videos of the vehicles and the environment immediately are very helpful. If possible, take pictures of the road conditions, the location of the sun, the weather conditions, and any other factors that could have affected the crash.
If it is unsafe to take photos or you are too injured to leave your vehicle, wait for emergency responders and follow their guidance after they arrive.
Talk to Witnesses
Witnesses to semi-truck accidents often stop after an accident to ensure drivers and passengers receive the help they need. If bystanders or witnesses are nearby, ask for their contact information. Police officers should collect this information, but often witnesses leave before officers collect it. If you have a conversation with a witness, ask for their name and phone number so that our team of experienced Oklahoma semi accident attorneys can contact them later if necessary.
Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer
Trucking accidents are scary, life-changing, and can cause catastrophic injury. After a trucking accident, it can be challenging to navigate the various insurance companies, medical needs, endless questions, and other changes that follow.
Reach out to the team at Car Accident Help as soon as possible after your accident for reliable, honest, and experienced support after a semi truck accident. Our team of Oklahoma lawyers can help you through the process of pursuing legal action and receiving fair compensation after a truck accident. Contact us today.
See Your Doctor or Healthcare Provider
Even if your accident did not require emergency room care after the crash, we recommend that you see your doctor or primary healthcare provider within the immediate days following the accident. Your provider can check for signs of neck, spine, muscular, tooth and jaw, or nerve damage and assess your overall well-being after the accident.
The impact of an accident with a large truck can cause health issues that are not perceptible immediately but may later cause challenges. A complete medical evaluation is a wise thing to do within the first week after your accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Within the first day after the accident, you must inform your insurance company of the accident. They will then begin to work with you to understand the crash, determine fault, and appraise the damage to your vehicle. Be sure only to have work done to your car once your insurance company has given you the ok.
If you’re having a hard time working with your insurance company or the insurance company of the other parties involved, reach out to our team. We’d be happy to provide a free evaluation of your case and potentially help you navigate the challenges of working with insurance companies.
Stay Away From Social Media
Finally, as challenging as it may be, do not post anything about your accident on social media. Whatever you post to your social profiles can be used against you if your accident requires legal action. If you want to share that you were in an accident, it’s best to send a private text or call loved ones to let them know about the accident rather than share anything about it online.
Your attorney may even ask you to refrain from posting anything on social media until the conclusion of your case. Your posts–as innocent and unrelated to the accident as they may seem–could be used in depositions or court to discredit you and the claims you are making about the accident’s impact on your physical, mental, or emotional health.
Find Help After An Oklahoma Semi-Truck Accident
If you are the victim of a semi-truck or large transport truck accident, the Oklahoma City-based team at Car Accident Help is here for you.
We have decades of experience serving families as they seek compensation for the long-lasting impacts of trucking accidents. Contact our team today for a free accident evaluation.
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