Unsure what to do after an 18-wheeler or semi truck accident in Texas? If you have never been involved in an accident, this can be a very frustrating process. Navigating the legal system can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but it is especially complex if you are also dealing with physical injuries.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident in Texas, taking the right steps in the aftermath of the accident could improve your chances of a fair financial recovery. Another important step toward obtaining the recovery you deserve involves discussing your options with a Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer.
Contact Law Enforcement Right Away
After you determine it is safe to place a phone call after your accident, you must dial 9-1-1 and notify law enforcement of your accident. Texas law requires the parties involved in an accident to notify the local police department or sheriff’s office following an accident that involved bodily injuries, death, or significant vehicle damage.
Contacting law enforcement is only one responsibility drivers face following a Texas truck accident. You must also exchange insurance information with the other driver and show them a copy of your license.
Evaluate Your Injuries and Seek Treatment
If you were injured in the accident, you must seek medical care as soon as possible. This is true for severe injuries, but it is also in your best interest to have seemingly minor injuries evaluated as well. An injury that appears minor at first can rapidly worsen in the hours or days that follow. The sooner you seek out medical treatment, the sooner you could begin down the path toward fully healing from your injuries.
You will need to do more than see your doctor once in many cases. Some injuries require a long-running treatment plan that could require additional doctor’s visits to ensure you heal fully.
Move Your Vehicle from the Flow of Traffic
If you can do so safely, the law also requires you to move your vehicle from the traffic flow to allow other drivers to continue on their way. While you must take reasonable steps to avoid disrupting traffic, this will never trump your right to protect yourself from harm. If you cannot move your vehicle without putting yourself or others at risk of additional injury, you could leave your vehicle where it rests.
Some accidents result in severe damage that makes moving the vehicle after the accident impossible. You are not under any obligation to attempt to move a vehicle that is no longer operational. If your vehicle can be moved, it is enough to pull it over to the side of the road.
You Have a Limited Window to Collect Information
There could be important evidence regarding your personal injury case at the scene of the accident. You must collect as much of that evidence as possible immediately after the accident, given that investigating a truck accident becomes far more difficult as time goes on.
It is helpful to take pictures at the accident scene. These photos could help identify where both vehicles came to rest after the accident and what vehicles looked like after the accident. You must take these pictures before moving your vehicle from the roadway for these purposes.
If there were witnesses at the accident scene, you must speak to them as soon as possible. Tracking down witnesses after they leave the accident scene could be difficult. What’s more, any delay in pursuing an injury case could cause their memories to fade.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
Your insurance policy likely requires you to notify your insurance carrier of an accident. This is true even if you have no intention of filing an insurance claim with your company.
If you fail to notify the insurer, they could miss out on their opportunity to investigate the nature of the accident. The failure to comply with this requirement could lead the insurance company to deny your claim or cancel your policy.
Talk to Your Attorney About Your Truck Accident
One of the most important things you can do after an 18-wheeler or semi truck accident in Texas is to speak with your attorney. Our attorneys could evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you on your options moving forward.
D. Miller & Associates, PLLCTM’s team looks forward to discussing your legal options with you. Our team proudly serves injury victims across Texas, and we are always prepared to hold negligent trucking companies responsible. Call right away for your free consultation. You could also recover damages for a wrongful death caused by a truck accident.