A car wreck is one of the most traumatizing events a person can go through, and that’s only amplified when the accident is caused or contributed to by a commercial motor vehicle. 18-wheelers, because of their expansive size and weight, can cause severe and permanent damage to vehicles and their occupants. Due to this increased damage and the likelihood of a corporate entity owning the commercial truck, the legal ramifications of an 18-wheeler crash can vary greatly from a normal car wreck.
What to do after a wreck involving an 18-wheeler
After a collision with a big rig, you should take the following steps, if physically possible, to ensure for your safety and a better outcome in any possible litigation:
- Pull to a safe place. 18 wheelers take up a lot space, especially on the shoulder of a busy road, so if possible, drive to the nearest safe area where you can examine the damage and wait for law enforcement or other emergency personnel to arrive.
- Check for injuries. This seems obvious, but in the heat of the moment following an accident, your adrenaline kicks in and you might not realize you are hurt. Take a second to check yourself; you might prevent yourself from injuring yourself further.
- Contact the authorities. Call the local policing agency and an EMS/Ambulance if necessary.
- Take information from any possible witnesses. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and someone will stop to check on you and your passengers or tell you that they witnessed the 18-wheeler driver acting in an improper method on the roadway. Take the witness’ information so you or your attorney can contact them at a later date.
- Take pictures. It is crucial to take photos of the damage, the scene, the driver’s truck, license, and company information displayed on the truck.
Legally, 18-wheeler crashes are different
After you leave the scene of the accident and you begin considering legal action following a wreck with a commercial truck, it’s important to realize why an 18-wheeler accident differs greatly from a normal car crash. 18 wheelers are regulated by many federal and state laws regarding vehicle safety in order to prevent the frequency of car accidents. These laws cover areas like the number of hours drivers can drive non-stop, how cargo is to be secured, weight limits of what each vehicle can transport, how often commercial vehicles are to be inspected, plus numerous other laws and regulations that the normal passenger vehicle is not subject to. Additionally, every 18-wheeler is supposed to have a recording mechanism called a black box in it that records every movement the truck makes—very similar to the recording devices on airplanes. A thorough analysis of the device’s contents can help determine whether negligence caused the accident to occur.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at 'Maggio | Thompson Today!
If you or a loved one have been involved in motor vehicle accident with an 18-wheeler and sustained injuries while travelling in Mississippi, contact the experienced and serious 18-wheeler personal injury attorneys at 'Maggio | Thompson, LLP.