If you’ve ever felt anxious driving near a tractor trailer, you’re not alone. Most people feel uneasy in close proximity to a tractor trailer, and there is a very good reason why. Weighing in at up to 80,000 pounds, tractor trailers have a notorious reputation for causing dangerous or even lethal accidents.
The danger lies in the standard height of the area underneath the tractor trailer. In a typical collision between a passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer, a sideswipe scenario is likely to occur and standard cars can easily become wedged underneath or have the top of their vehicle sheared off. This can cause severe or even fatal injuries to the occupants, with some studies suggesting that up to 200 lives are lost on United States roads every year due to sideswipe accidents between tractor trailers and passenger vehicles.
Due to their sheer size, tractor trailers need a far greater stopping distance than other vehicles. Unfortunately, trailer drivers often do not leave sufficient space between their vehicle and other vehicles on the road. These negligent driving practices are common and can put everyday drivers in grave danger.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident involving a tractor trailer, it is important to act quickly. Read on for the five things you need to do immediately after a crash with a tractor trailer in New Jersey.
1. Call 911
The first step in any motor vehicle accident situation will is to call 911 immediately. As any experienced truck accident lawyer New Jersey will tell you, injuries from a tractor trailer accident can be extensive or even fatal.
Urgent medical attention must be sought while still at the scene. In most instances, a police officer will attend the scene in addition to an ambulance. While the ambulance officers provide medical attention, the police officers or state troopers will complete the official police report of the incident. This report will be important for your legal proceedings, so make sure you request a copy of the report. Make a note of the badge number and contact information of the police officers who attended the scene.
2. Do Not Leave The Crash Scene
In New Jersey, leaving the scene of the crash is considered a hit-and-run. Always stay at the scene until you are advised otherwise by a police officer or have been conveyed by ambulance. If necessary, ask someone to help you move your car a safe distance away from the road and other oncoming traffic.
3. Record Videos, Pictures And Audio Accounts
The more information you can collect at the scene of the crash, the easier it will be for your truck accident lawyer New Jersey to help you with your legal matter. Either write down or record yourself making a note of the details of the vehicles involved, including the make and model and license plate numbers, the weather conditions at the time, any witnesses nearby, and any other details that could become important. Take photographs or videos of the scene, including injuries to people, damage to vehicles, skid marks, and road and weather conditions.
From this point on, you will need to carefully document everything that happens. Keep all medical bills, letters, receipts, policies, and any other paperwork in a safe place. Make a note of any conversation you have with witnesses, authorities, or anyone else as soon as possible, and ask for their contact details. Always seek permission before videoing or audio recording another person.
4. Seek Medical Attention
It is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the incident. Most importantly, you may be suffering from potentially serious or life-threatening injuries that require urgent medical attention. Additionally, whether you were proactive about seeking medical treatment could become an important factor in your upcoming legal matter. Ensure that you follow all treatment plans provided by your doctor or emergency medical staff, attend all appointments, and take all medication is prescribed. Failure to do so could prolong your recovery and could also reflect negatively on your compensation claim.
5. Enlist The Help Of An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The next step is to seek the help of the best truck accident lawyer New Jersey has to offer. Tractor trailer companies are experienced in dealing with accidents involving passenger vehicles and know how to protect themselves and their financial interests. They are highly experienced and specifically trained to ensure that you receive little to no compensation, and the average person will not have the necessary skills to win a compensation claim against an enormous trucking company.
The sooner you can have the right truck accident lawyer New Jersey by your side, the easier the process will be. An experienced lawyer will advocate for your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Focus on Your Recovery
The tractor trailer company’s insurer is trained to be forceful and aggressive when dealing with the victims of tractor trailer accidents. When you have an attorney on your side, you can avoid dealing with the unpleasant process of handling the trucking company’s insurance provider and can focus your attention on your own physical and emotional recovery.
There are certain reporting requirements that are necessary after any crash with a tractor trailer in New Jersey. Saying the wrong thing or admitting fault when reporting an accident can minimize your chances of receiving compensation. Having an attorney on your side prior to reporting the incident to your insurer can minimize the chances that the wrong thing being said. Rather than giving a recorded statement to your insurance company, simply refer your insurer directly to your attorney.
Most people know to never sign any documents or accept a settlement offer prior to speaking to an attorney. However, if you are suffering from emotional trauma following the accident or are under considerable pressure from the trucking company’s insurance representative, it can be easy to take actions that you wouldn’t normally take. The sooner you contact a New Jersey truck accident lawyer the better, as you can then refer all documents and settlement offers directly to your attorney.
The Law Offices of Anthony Vecchio are available right now for a free case evaluation. If you or someone you love has been involved in a crash with a tractor trailer in New Jersey, take action today to maximize your chances of receiving the financial compensation you deserve.