6 Steps To Follow After A Big Rig Accident
A big rig accident is a rather common occurrence on our roadways today. Statistics surrounding these incidents often surprise drivers and prove just how frequent they really are. And when someone is involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, it often results in devastating injuries.
BIG RIG ACCIDENT FACTS
Truck drivers are often overworked, overstressed, and drowsy, which may lead to a dangerous situation where sleep-deprived, distracted, or intoxicated individuals regularly push themselves to make a living.
In terms of occupational safety, trucking is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, both to the drivers and everyone around them. According to the CDC’s March 2015 Vital Signs report, around 317,000 crashes involving large trucks were reported to law enforcement in 2012, and 26,000 truck drivers (and their passengers) were injured as a result of truck crashes the same year. About 700 truck drivers died in 2012 during crashes, but for each fatal big rig accident, around six pedestrians, cyclists, or other motor-ists also died. These are very unsettling numbers.
If someone is involved in a big rig accident, there are several steps he or she should take:
- Call 911: Anyone injured at the scene should immediately seek medical attention—call 911 without delay. Even seemingly minor injuries can turn out to be more than they seem.
- Do not leave the scene of the incident: Remain at the site of the incident while waiting for medical assistance and police to arrive.
- Do not admit responsibility: Speculating on fault is inappropriate at the scene of an accident, and a trucking company may use any such statements against a victim during future legal proceedings.
- Call the police: Even for seemingly minor incidents, getting a police report can be helpful for any future legal action. Make sure that the police report is accurate and ask about where the report may be retrieved and when it will be ready. Record the officer’s name, badge number, and agency.
- Record details: Recording as many details as possible at the site of the accident can go a long way. Get insurance information, names, contact information, and vehicle details from any automobiles that are involved in the incident, both for present drivers and any absent owners. Record the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident.
- Take photographs and notes: If possible, photograph any vehicles involved. Pay particular attention to damage and injuries at the site. Photograph the scene of the incident and note any weather conditions that may be present.
There is nothing pleasant about being involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Trucking companies expect that a percentage of their drivers will be involved in crashes throughout the year, and as a result they maintain highly-paid legal teams to deflect any potential responsibility. Whether the driver or the company is held liable will depend on the precise circumstances of the incident, but with the assistance of experienced legal counsel, a victim can fight for the justice they deserve.