What To Do After A Truck Accident Following A Tire Blowout
Semi trucks rely on their equipment to get them safely through their routes. Unfortunately, many tractor-trailer owners and carrier companies neglect in their duty to safely maintain their equipment. As a result, truck tire blowouts are incredibly common. They can result from overinflation, underinflation, debris, defective tires, or poor inspections and maintenance, in general.
In the event of a truck tire blowout, nearby vehicles are likely to get snarled into a serious accident. This scenario can lead to major injuries and significant medical treatment costs.
In the event that you are injured in a semi-truck tire blowout incident, you can take the following steps. Performing these steps and seeking out the guidance of a Tampa truck accident lawyer can allow you to maximize your chances of full recovery while seeking compensation for all of your accident losses.
1. Check For Injuries
Assess yourself for injuries as soon as the dust settles. If you are able to remove yourself from your vehicle, do so and check on other drivers and passengers involved in the crash. If you are trained, provide first aid and CPR to anyone who needs it. Remember to keep anyone still who has suffered a back, neck, or head injury provided it is safe to leave them where they are.
2. Call Emergency Services
Once you have determined how many people are hurt and the estimated severity of their injuries, call 911 as soon as possible. If you are unable to get to your phone or can’t call for any other reason, yell for a witness to call. Be sure to follow the directions provided by the dispatcher, and remain on scene until help arrives.
3. Document Evidence At The Scene
After checking for injuries and calling emergency services, start to document the scene. Keep in mind that you can’t take too many photos. You want to get pictures of everything that you see, including the current road conditions, the damage done to all vehicles involved — but especially your own vehicle, license plates for the truck and trailer, and several closeups of the blown tire.
Once you have documented the crash scene, move any non-disabled vehicles to the shoulder or to the far end of the road if it is possible to do so.
4. Gather Information
Taking pictures is great, but it won’t give you all the information you need. You will also want to ask other drivers for their names and insurance information. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Also, ask if they are willing to wait with you to speak with emergency responders. Also, ask to see the truck driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL), and write down their license number, if they permit you to do so.
You can’t make anyone give you their information, so don’t force the issue. If a person you speak with declines to tell you anything, let it go and ask the police or your attorney to obtain the information later. There is no sense in making a bad situation worse.
5. Speak With Emergency Responders
When the police arrive on the scene to begin their investigation, they will approach you when they are ready to speak with you. Don’t chase them down! When the police do come to speak with you, provide the information they ask for, and nothing more. Don’t be tempted to exaggerate the details or elaborate on exactly what you believe happened. Provide facts and nothing more. Do not say you’re sorry, and do not admit blame.
6. Seek Out Prompt Medical Care
If you are at all injured, seek out emergency medical care or care from your primary care provider. EMTs may be called to the scene if you are hurt. If they recommend that you take transport to the hospital, do not decline. Otherwise, this choice may be used to allege that you were not seriously injured after the crash.
Even if you are not visibly hurt, you should go to a provider to receive a full medical evaluation within the next few days. Many injuries can lie hidden, especially after a crash with a heavy commercial truck. Delaying treatment could lead to complications.
7. Speak To Your Insurance Agent (Potentially After You’ve Spoken With an Attorney)
Once you are released from the scene, you will want to reach out to your insurance agent. This is the case even if you are confident you are not at fault. You can also expect to be contacted by the agents of the other parties involved in the crash. Just like when you spoke with the police, do not elaborate or exaggerate. Do not tell attempt to piece together a story of what happened. Anything can be used by insurance representatives or others against you, including in court. This scenario happens most often when victims speculate or freely admit information not directly pertinent to the case at hand.
To protect your rights and preserve your ability to file an injury claim against all at-fault parties, strongly consider contacting an experienced Tampa truck accident lawyer prior to speaking with insurers or other parties.
8. Start A File With All Needed Documents
Now is the time to start keeping track of all your documentation. You will be securing vehicle repair estimates, receiving hospital bills, and more. Any piece of paper that pertains to your accident should be kept in a folder or file, especially the evidence you have documented related to the accident scene and your injuries. Your attorney will want these documents as he or she prepares your case for a claim — and a possible lawsuit.
We Are Your Tampa Truck Accident Advocates
Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial case evaluation. That means that it costs nothing to secure expert legal advice after your truck accident.
At Darrigo & Diaz, we will speak to you about the details of your crash and offer you pertinent advice for free. We can then take your case at no risk to you since you only pay for our services if you are able to obtain compensation for your injuries. We have been fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in Tampa and the surrounding area for decades. We know how to work with insurance companies, and we know when attempting to settle out of court is futile. We aren’t afraid to take a claim to court and will fight vigorously on your behalf. We do not believe that any victim should be put in dire financial straits due to someone’s negligence. Call our office today at (813) 734-7397 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.