18-wheeler crash victims often feel stunned and overwhelmed, resulting in them making mistakes. It helps to consider ahead of time what you want to do and avoid doing if you end up in a truck crash and have to take immediate next steps.

Those steps are essentially five: call 911, get medical care, take photographs, contact your insurance carrier, and contact an attorney. It is actually quite smart to contact an attorney as soon as you have contacted the police and prior to contacting your insurance provider – to get advice before speaking directly with them or the police; either way, those are the key steps.

Drivers of 18-wheelers are held to higher standards than are typical drivers, so the law is generally on your side in these situations. While it is sad how many people do not take the correct actions following accidents and end up potentially defrauded, looking at their oversights reveals what to do to get it right:

1.) Not making the situation immediately safer

The first thing you want to do is get the car to the side of the road and put on your hazards. You need to call the police right away if there is damage to either car or if someone is injured. You should each have the other’s insurance information. Even if you think that you caused an 18-wheeler accident, it is smart to phone 911 so that everything is recorded. Sometimes people do not want to phone the police, but it is important because you need that document of the incident that the police report provides. Police can also make the situation safer if there is a threat of violence from another driver.

2.) Neglecting to take pictures

You need visual evidence of what happened, again so that you have a full record of the situation to back up any claims you may make later. Take many photographs. You want to have full documentation about everything related to the crash, so not just the outside but inside of the vehicles, as possible. You also want to get pictures of all the people involved in the truck collision. Get pictures of drivers, passengers, and bystanders. The photos are evidence of the people you say were there, the road conditions, and other specifics. You can keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment for accident preparedness if you do not have a smartphone. Just be sure to get one that has flash.

3.) Failing to gather sufficient information

Collect as much information as you can so that you are not completely reliant on the police report. The top piece of information that you want is the name, driver license number, phone number, and address of drivers. Make sure you get insurance details for all drivers involved in a semi-truck crash. Ask the other driver if you can see the card. Write down the name on it exactly as it is printed, as well as the policy number and the carrier name. Get contact information for passengers too. You also want to be able to follow up with the police as necessary – so jot down the name and number of the officer who is filing the report. Also record the report’s case number if it is available.

4.) Talking with the other driver about the accident

The first priority following a crash is ensuring everyone is safe. The second priority is avoiding financial fault for an 18-wheeler crash. The facts are the facts. However, you should not assume responsibility. The other person could be driving without a license, or they could be on drugs or alcohol, or you could be unaware of the state’s laws. For those reasons and others, full information is needed in order to objectively determine fault.

5.) Talking about injuries, or lack thereof

Talking about injuries is also not a good idea. For instance, someone might ask if you are hurt, and you might feel at the time that you are not. The problem is if you say that you are OK, the other person can use that against you later if a problem arises.

6.) Failing to check for witnesses

If you can validate your perspective through the eyes of another person, your long-haul truck accident case is much stronger. Be sure to get names and numbers of eyewitnesses.

7.) Signing a document

You also do not want to sign any documents except for anything that might be required by the police.

8.) Not accepting medical attention

Related to the fifth point above, you want to be very careful about this issue of whether you are reporting yourself as “OK” following the accident. Many injuries do not surface until days or even weeks after an 18-wheeler crash. For example, post-traumatic headaches can arise, and treatment can be long-term. Accept medical attention, and do not report to anyone at the scene of the accident that you are all right.

18-wheeler crash expertise

Are you concerned about how to respond to a truck accident, or have you recently experienced one? At Farrah Martinez Law Firm, we seek maximum compensation for clients who have been injured in 18-wheeler or truck accidents on the road or at work. Don’t wait another minute.

Do it Yourself?

We live in the age of do it yourself (DIY).  I am all for learning new things, cutting costs, and doing things for myself; however, there are some tasks that require a professional.  This is necessary if you want to achieve the best possible results.   I might watch a YouTube video to learn how to make a school craft project for my four-year-old or even learn to arch my own eyebrows.  I would not Google to learn “how to repair my roof” or “perform a root canal” in hopes that one day I might do these tasks myself. This blog will tackle whether you need a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer like Farrah Martinez to help you with your personal injury claim or car accident case.

In my mind, some tasks are too important, and there is too much at stake to go at it alone.

As a consumer, you must decide which tasks you are willing to learn to do and which tasks you determine that require a professional.

Should I Handle my Personal Injury Claim?

Studies show that individuals involved in a car accident tend to recover more when they hire a lawyer than those claimants who did not hire a lawyer and handle the settlement alone.  Insurance companies are for-profit companies, and their goal is to make money and keep their stockholders happy. Most of us can appreciate that a company needs to make a profit or else they will go out of business.  However, in the state of Texas, drivers are required to carry insurance.  So the majority of drivers, just like you, purchase insurance with the expectation that if involved in an accident the insurance company will cover it.  “Covered” is a broad term when you are dealing with accident or injury claims. Covered is often in the eyes of the beholder.

Every month you pay your insurance with the promise that if something happens to you that your insurance company will pay your medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and for any other expense or loss you incur as a result of your injury.

Is this a Level Playing Field?

The insurances companies are hoping you do a DIY personal injury claim since studies confirm that the insurance companies win financially when you DIY.  Take note; insurance companies do not go at it alone they have a team of lawyers that work on their behalf to get the best results for them–NOT you.

If you have started your car accident or personal injury claim, it might not be too late to hire a skilled personal injury attorney.  At Farrah Martinez, PLLC, Houston Personal Injury and Houston Car Accident Lawyer, we hold insurance companies accountable. Contact Farrah at (713) 853-9296 for a free consultation and review of your claim.

Six Things Essential For Out of State Car Accidents:

Holiday Cheer sometimes causes those around us to be reckless and those negligent acts often impact us in a harmful way.  Here is what you need to do in case your holiday is interrupted by an accident or injury such as car accidents, dog bites beg bugs and more.

What do you do if you have been involved in an out of state car accident?

  1. Call the Police. Make sure you call the police, request the officer file a report and obtain the car accident or report number.
  2. Seek Medical Attention.  If you are injured, seek medical care immediately.
  3. Take Pictures.  Take a lot of picture of the entire screen, your car, the other drivers car, damage to any surrounding property and of any visible injuries.
  4. Obtain Witness Information.  If there are witnesses at the scene get their first and last name, telephone number, and email address.
  5. Get the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance.  Ask the other driver for their insurance and contact information.  If multiple parties are involved, obtained their information also.
  6. Call Your Personal Injury Lawyer.   Call a lawyer who handles car accident cases.  Once the lawyer obtains some basic information she will be able to assess whether you need a Texas Lawyer or a lawyer licensed in another state to handle the case for you.  It depends on “venue” which means the proper place to file a lawsuit.  The venue is generally determined  by (a) where the defendant (at-fault driver) lives; (b) the place where the accident happened or if the defendant is not a person, the place where the company has its principal office.   For more information about venue see Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Chapter 15.002.  http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/CP/htm/CP.15.htm

Farrah Martinez Houston Car Accident Lawyer  represents individuals that have been seriously hurt in auto collisions.  If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact Farrah Martinez at (713) 853-9296 for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The information and materials provided here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney.  If you need legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.