A vehicle collision with an 18-wheeler in Columbia SC is a traumatic experience, which can leave victims with critical, life-changing injuries.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured because of a semi-truck accident in Columbia SC, it’s crucial to know what to do after you've been involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer. Importantly, how to prepare your personal injury insurance claim for greatest compensation.
When a big rig hits your vehicle, the first and most important thing to do is call 911 for help (ask someone else to call if you’ve been injured).
The dispatcher will need to know your location and that you’ve been in an accident with a semi-truck. The dispatcher will also need to know all the require help you need, so tell the dispatcher if anyone else is hurt, trapped, or if anyone has been thrown from their automobile. The dispatcher will need to know if there are any hazards at the scene such as, leaking fuel, if there are any downed power lines, or if the semi-truck that hit you is carrying any dangerous cargo.
Never to refuse medical care. When medical help arrives, the police will begin to secure the scene, and medical responders will evaluate each person for injuries. It is critical not to refuse medical treatment at the scene for multiple reasons. Some injuries are apparent, for example, bleeding wounds and broken bones, but there could also be potentially life-threatening injuries, like internal bleeding or head trauma, which are not apparent.
Sometimes shock and excitement can mask injury symptoms. You should tell the paramedics about every symptom, no matter how small. If the paramedics want to take you directly to the hospital go with them to be on the safe side. Rejecting or delaying medical treatment after an accident will harm any future legal claim for compensation. The insurance company may use your rejection or delay to deny your injury claim, alleging that your wounds are not associated to the collision.
If you did not go to the hospital from the scene of the accident, then you should at least have a medical evaluation as soon as possible. If your doctor is unable to see you the day of the crash then try to find the closest emergency department or urgent care center.
Always make sure you (or someone else depending on the situation) get the truck driver's information.
Always exchange information with the truck driver including full names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and any other relevant contact information. You can also ask to see the other person's driver’s license. Many states require drivers to show their driver's license after an accident. Semi-truck drivers should have a different driver’s license, so pay close attention.
Other important things to remember when involved in a wreck with a tractor-trailer in Columbia SC, is that you’ll need specific information concerning the truck, including:
The license plate number of the cab
The name, address, and contact information of the truck driver, if another person other than the driver owns the cab of the truck then get their information as well.
The trucker's insurance information
The company that the driver works for
Gather evidence from the accident such as pictures and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses
If you can try and collect as much additional evidence as you safely can including:
Pictures: Use your camera or cell phone to take pictures of the accident. Always include photos of the truck and your car and the point of impact on the vehicles.
Also, try to take photos or videos of skid marks, road conditions, and damage to the surrounding area.
Notes: Write down your observations of the accident, be as detailed as possible. You can even make a note on your cell phone just as long as you record the information while it’s fresh in your mind. Make sure to write any admissions that the truck driver may make such as “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” The same goes for any witnesses who may have heard admissions the driver made.
Witness reports: Witnesses and their observations are valuable. The police may not have had a chance to speak with everyone that saw the incident. Try to get the contact information from all the witnesses.
It's important to remember that witnesses aren’t legally obligated to talk to you or the police but if you find a cooperative witness, ask them to write down what they saw and heard and also to sign and date their written statement.
Evidence gathered at the accident scene is crucial because it can help your injury claim, but don’t try to collect evidence if you've been injured. Your well being is the most critical thing and delaying medical treatment or aggravating your injuries will not help your insurance claim.
Severe injury and wrongful death claims following semi-truck accidents are complex and expensive claims, and insurance companies won’t pay large settlements without first putting up a fight. They will try to come up with any reasons to deny your claim or reduce your compensation. You will need a skilled personal injury lawyer to get the insurance companies to pay the fair value of your claim. Insurance companies generally make lower offers to claimants who don’t have an attorney. Let The Bill Connor Law Firm fight the battles for you so that you don't have to worry about dealing with the insurance companies and all the aggravation associated with dealing with a claim.
Never make an admission of fault at the scene of the accident, as they admission can and will be related in court to your detriment. Insurance companies will normally not settle claims in favor of a party who made an admission. Even if you think you may have done something wrong, the other driver may be more at fault.
Your lawyer won’t get paid unless you do and there’s no obligation. It doesn't cost you anything to find out what The Bill Connor Law Firm can do for you.