While driving in Texas, you might be involved in a motor vehicle accident with a commercial truck, such as an 18-wheeler. Any car accident, especially involving a commercial vehicle, can feel overwhelming and traumatic, but staying calm and following these five tips can help you feel more in control of the situation.
1. Get medical assistance
Immediately after an accident, check yourself and others for injuries, and if anyone has injuries, call for medical help immediately. Even if you feel fine at the moment, you should see a doctor for evaluation as soon as possible. You could have sustained internal injuries that do not show outward signs. Have the doctor document any injuries or symptoms that you have in detail.
2. Contact the police and collect information
Report your accident to the police, and gather information while waiting for them to arrive. Write down the other driver’s name, contact details, insurance information and license plate number. Use your cellphone to take pictures of the damage to each vehicle, injuries, property damage and any other details from the accident scene. If you were involved in a commercial truck accident, it’s often helpful to document every detail as these accidents can be more complex.
3. Contact your insurance company
Report the accident and provide them with the accident details that you gathered; this step is especially important if you were involved in an 18-wheeler crash because more parties will typically be involved. It can also be useful to obtain a copy of the police report for your records. You may have to request the report from the police or the Department of Motor Vehicles, and it may take several days before the report becomes available.
4. Do not admit fault
Never admit fault in an accident because, right before or during the accident, you may not have been aware of contributing factors you did not cause. Do not admit guilt; these two admissions can trigger negative legal implications. It is better to let the police and insurance company investigations determine who is at fault for the accident.
5. Keep detailed records
After being involved in a commercial vehicle accident, it’s a good idea to keep detailed records of all medical bills, lost wages, car repair bills and any other expenses you incurred because of the accident. This information is critical support you will need when negotiating with insurance companies or if you must go to court.
These five steps can help you protect your legal and financial rights after an accident with a commercial vehicle.