Highway in houston backed up and fire engines blocking the road
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Houston is one of the major commercial hubs in Texas, which is why you probably see so many trucks on the road here. From semis and tractor-trailers to simple box trucks, Houston’s roads are filled with commercial vehicles, especially during weekdays. As a result, many Houston drivers end up having collisions with these larger vehicles. The statistics bear this out, as there were over 19,000 truck accidents in Texas in 2022, by far the most of any state. If you have the misfortune of being involved in an accident with a truck, don’t panic. There are a number of steps you should take to protect yourself and your passengers, which will also help you and your truck accident attorney get compensation for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.

1. If at all possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road

Chances are, your accident occurred on or near the middle of the road. Keeping your vehicle there risks being involved in a secondary collision. This is when another vehicle slams into you or the truck. It is especially prevalent on major interstates and freeways. If you can move your vehicle to the shoulder or, if on a local ride, the curb, you and your passengers will be out of harm’s way. Once you have pulled to the side, you should turn on your hazard lights if you haven’t done so already.

2. Resist the urge to chase after the truck

Sometimes, truck drivers are unaware that they have collided with a passenger vehicle. When this happens, the driver may just keep going. If you have collided with a truck, but it drives off, do not chase after it. Your vehicle may be damaged and you may be too upset to think clearly while driving. Instead, try to take a picture or jot down the license plate for the truck. You will need this for making a claim. 

3. Call the police

As soon as you dial 911, you will be in touch with an emergency services dispatcher. Explain what happened, and tell the dispatcher your location. This person will contact the local police precinct to send over an officer to assist you.

4. Get medical attention if necessary

If you or any of your passengers have been injured, let the emergency services dispatcher know this as well. They can call to have an ambulance sent to the scene of the accident to provide emergency medical attention. If the truck pulls over, you should check with the occupants of the truck to find out if they need medical assistance as well. 

5. Get a police report

There are two reasons for calling the police. First, a police officer can take control of the situation, directing traffic so that you, your passengers, and the people in the truck will be safe. The second reason is to get a police report. This will provide crucial details about the collision, including the time and date of the accident, the location where it occurred, the weather conditions, and a brief recreation of the accident as the police officer understands it after talking to you and the truck driver. The police report will also include the identification of the drivers, their license numbers, the registrations for the vehicles involved, and the insurance information. All of this will be needed in order to make an insurance claim.

If the truck driver drove off without stopping, you can alert the police by giving them a description of the truck, its license number, and any identification on the truck, such as the name of a company. The police will use this to locate the truck so that you can file a claim.

6. Take pictures

If you do not need medical attention, take the time to take pictures with your phone of the accident scene, your vehicle, the truck if it hasn’t driven off, and physical injuries to you and your passengers. Smartphones encrypt metadata into photographs, which will show the time, date, and place where the pictures were taken. These can be used as evidence in a lawsuit against the truck driver and their company. If you need to be sent for medical attention, you can ask one of your passengers to take these pictures on your behalf.

7. Get follow-up medical care

When you are physically injured in a truck accident, it is likely that the emergency room doctor will send you for follow-up care. This may involve surgery to treat your injuries or therapy for rehabilitation. Not only will this help you overcome your injuries, but it is also necessary for your medical claims. If you do not complete the prescribed care, there is a chance that the truck company’s insurer will dispute the extent of your injuries.

8. Retain an experienced truck accident attorney

Most trucks are commercial vehicles that are owned by businesses. As such, the procedure for filing an accident will be different from when you are injured by another passenger car. Many businesses are self-insured which can also complicate matters. Therefore, you should make sure to retain an experienced truck accident attorney to represent you in this matter.

If You Are Injured in a Truck Accident in Houston, Call Our Firm Today

Truck accidents tend to be more devastating to passenger vehicles than ones involving other passenger cars. They are also more complicated from a procedural and legal standpoint. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Hernandez Sunosky LLP can help you get the compensation you deserve when you are injured in an accident involving a truck or other commercial vehicle.