Seven Details To Note If You Get In An Accident With A Semi Truck
Hopefully, you are never in an accident with a semi truck. However, this type of accident does happen every day, so there is a chance it will happen to you. If you do end up in an accident with a semi, the most important thing you can do is be prepared. Part of being prepared is knowing what details to take note of in case you end up having to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or their insurance company. Here are seven details you must note.
The Driver's Behavior
Pay attention to how the truck driver acts immediately following the accident. Do they seem more stunned than they should be after an accident, or do they seem confused and bewildered? Alcohol and drug abuse are sadly common among truck drivers, and they contribute to many accidents. If you suspect alcohol may be involved in your case, say something to the police so they can test the driver. (They will probably test the driver anyways, but your testimony to the driver's behavior will serve as extra evidence.)
The Presence of Witnesses
If you see anyone else stop and observe the accident, and you are physically able to do so, ask them for their contact information before they leave or before you leave. If you do end up filing a lawsuit, these witnesses can give statements.
When the driver gets out of the truck, pay attention to what they do. If they seem to be hiding any documents under the truck's seat or elsewhere in the vehicle, this may be an attempt to conceal records. Drivers are required to take breaks periodically, and if they do not follow these protocols, their risk of an accident increases. Hiding records may be an attempt to hide the fact that they have not taken all of the required breaks from the police.
Damage to the Car
Take pictures of any damage to your car and also to the truck. If the trucking company gets the truck repaired before you have a chance to file a claim, these pictures may be the only evidence you have as to how the accident occurred. Experts can analyze the damage to each vehicle to tell at what angle the vehicles struck each other. From this information, they can work towards determining who is at fault for the accident.
The Police Officer's Name
When a police officer arrives on scene, make sure you get their name and their badge number. You can give this information to your semi truck crash attorney, and they can contact the police if they need any extra information that is not in the report. Your attorney can also then take the officer's history into account when they analyze your case and the accuracy of the reports.
The Driver's Name
The truck driver's name should be noted in the police report, but it does not hurt to have your own records to give your attorney, too. Ask the driver for their name, or if you are not able to do so, ask the police officer to provide you with the driver's name. If you give this info to your attorney, they can start their research regarding the truck driver's history sooner.
Write down a quick description of the weather on the day of the crash. If it was bright and sunny and the truck driver argues that they could not see your car because it was cloudy, then your record of the sunshine may prove handy! You can even screenshot the weather report for the day on your phone and store it away in case you need it.
With the details above, you and your attorney will have an easier time seeking compensation for any injuries or damage related to your accident.