Wreck with an 18-Wheeler: Tips to Keep Your Case Strong
As with any vehicle accident where you believe yourself to be the victim, there are a series of precautions to take in order to ensure your personal injury case remains solid. Overlooking any of the following may not only jeopardize your chances of success in the courtroom, it’s possible you may be named liable. A collision with an 18-wheeler, for example, can be much more serious than any car. The size, weight and speed these vehicles entail can seriously harm a driver even if traveling at a moderate speed. What should you do if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation?
Never Claim Fault
Wrecking your vehicle can be overwhelming. The sudden realization that you might be injured or your car might be damaged can lead to irrational thinking. If you’ve had an accident with an 18-wheeler, do not accept blame when speaking to the other driver or when filling out a report. Contact authorities immediately and allow them to decide who was at fault. Even if you are the victim and you claim responsibility, you may be held liable in the accident.
Remain at the Scene
No matter how minor an injury to you or a passenger may be or the damage to your vehicle is, never leave the scene of an accident. Not only can this implicate you in the wreck, it will be reported as a crime. Hit and run charges can have the following implications in Texas:
- A $500 fine if the damage to the other vehicle is under $200
- Six months in county jail if the damage exceeds $200
- Up to one year in county jail or five years in state prison is the injury is minor
- 2 to 10 years in state prison if injury or serious death results
These charges can be filed against a driver who has fled the scene of an accident even if he/she was not responsible for said accident.
Gather as Much Info as Possible
If you don’t believe you’ve been injured in your car wreck, immediately begin jotting down important information. This information can include:
- The truck driver’s name, address, employer
- The location (street name, town) where the accident occurred
- The driver’s insurance company
- Damage to both vehicles and any injuries sustained all parties involved
Although authorities will record the same information when investigating the accident, keep this information for your own records. Provide them to your personal injury attorney when building your case. If you’ve been injured, keep a record of doctor’s visits, medication prescribed and therapy sessions.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
More often than not, a car accident will result in injury. These injuries can range from simple cuts and bruises, to broken limbs or internal injuries. Nonetheless, always seek medical treatment no matter how minor you believe your injuries to be. An injury that is not obvious at the time can become serious days after the fact, i.e. whiplash. For those injuries that are internal, medical attention is a necessity. If anything, they can be fatal.
If you have found yourself in the unfortunate predicament of being the victim of an 18-wheeler-related accident, contact the professional personal injury litigators of McAllen’s J. Gonzalez Law Firm at 956.630.6700.