Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks are unfortunately common in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were 5,921 crashes involving large trucks in the state in 2020 alone.
Getting into a wreck with a semi-truck or tractor-trailer can have devastating consequences that affect your life long after the incident. If you or a loved one have been injured due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation beyond what the insurance company initially offers.
At Boller & Vaughan, we know how frightening it is to be involved in a truck accident in Madison. Trying to get adequate compensation for injuries and property damage from liable parties is often challenging. Our team is here to help. We’ll listen to your story and explain your legal options for pursuing compensation.
Schedule a free consultation at our Madison office online or give us a call at 608-268-0268 to get started now.
Steps to take after a truck accident
Being involved in a truck accident is chaotic and traumatic. It’s common to feel panicked and unsure of what to do. If possible, it’s important to get out of immediate danger and document the incident. If your injuries don’t prevent it, follow these steps after the accident:
Get to a safe place.
You shouldn’t leave the scene of the accident until the police authorize you to do so, but it’s essential to get out of immediate danger as quickly as possible. Staying near a wrecked vehicle can be dangerous, especially if the truck involved in the accident was carrying flammable or hazardous cargo. You could be exposed to toxic chemicals or additional injuries if an explosion occurs. If there was damage to the road or other structures, like bridges or overpasses, stay away from them in case they collapse.
If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road and out of the flow of traffic. Do not leave your car until you are sure it’s safe. Activate your hazard lights.
Call the authorities.
Call 9-1-1 to reach emergency responders. Make sure to tell the dispatcher that a truck was involved. If you can see any indication that the truck was carrying hazardous or flammable cargo, tell the authorities so they can send the appropriate response team.
Get medical attention.
If you’ve been injured in any way (even if you’re not sure), it’s important to seek medical attention. Make sure to document any care or diagnoses you receive.
Contact your insurance company.
The sooner you inform your insurance company of the incident, the better — especially if you’ve been injured. Many providers have smartphone apps that let you enter the details of the accident and take and upload pictures.
Collect contact information.
If you’re able to stay on the scene, it’s essential to get the contact details of as many people as possible: other drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Ideally, make sure to get everyone’s full name, address, and phone number. As you are talking with other people, avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as admitting fault for the accident.
Record details about the truck.
Take note of all identifying details on the truck: color, license plate number, and DOT numbers from the trailer and cab. If possible, get the name and contact information of the transportation company as well.
Make a list of vehicle descriptions.
For every vehicle involved in the accident, mark down the license plate number, make, model, color, and any other identifying details, such as bumper stickers.
Gather photo documentation of the scene as much as possible. Include all the other vehicles involved and damage to any structures, such as road signs, embankments, and bridges. Take pictures of skid marks, damage to vehicles, and any cargo that has fallen from the truck. Also take pictures of any visible injuries.
Calling an attorney doesn’t put you under any obligation. But if you do end up filing a lawsuit, the attorney will have more information about the incident if they were involved from the beginning.
What to do if you are incapacitated after a trucking accident
While it’s important to take pictures and document the accident, that may not be possible if you have serious injuries.
- If possible, call the police. Make sure to tell the dispatcher there are serious injuries so they can send an ambulance.
- Try not to move. If you are seriously injured, it’s best to wait for emergency personal instead of trying to move by yourself, which can cause neck, back, or head injuries and/or mobility loss. Do not ask other individuals to move you; it’s best to wait for the police and first responders. The only time you should try to move is if you are in immediate danger where you are.
- Stay calm. It’s harder to make wise decisions if you are panicking. Try taking a few slow, deep breaths if you can.
Should you contact a trucking accident attorney?
Many people wonder whether they need to contact a lawyer after a truck accident. You aren’t required to have an attorney to file an injury claim. However, an expert personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and negotiate with the liable party(ies).
If the accident was caused by the truck driver’s negligence or reckless behavior, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. The standard insurance settlement may not be enough to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and mental suffering. Getting fair compensation may require you to initiate a lawsuit, and that process is much easier with help from an attorney.
If you think you may end up pursuing compensation from the liable parties, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may even want to call from the scene of the accident. Having legal representation when you file your initial claim may speed up the process by encouraging the liable party to negotiate a fair settlement as soon as possible.
Contact Boller & Vaughan after a truck accident
Getting injured in a truck accident in Wisconsin often has financial consequences just as devastating as the mental, emotional, and physical ones. Trying to recover from injuries is extremely stressful when you’re worried about medical bills and your ability to continue working.
It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to get fair compensation. Working with a lawyer makes the process of filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, and initiating a lawsuit as fast and stress-free as possible.
If you aren’t sure what to do after a truck accident, contact Boller & Vaughan. Our expert attorneys have helped many Madison families get the financial compensation they deserve to recover from the consequences of a truck accident. Your initial consultation is completely free. To get started, contact us online or call our Madison office at 608-268-0268.
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