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What to Do After a Tennessee Truck Accident: Step-by-Step Guide

Next steps to take after a truck wreck in Tennessee

There’s no doubt that any collision with a semi-truck is a terrifying occurrence and may leave confusion, chaos and devastation in its wake. Incidents of this nature are often complicated, with multiple parties potentially sharing in liability for harm that results.

If you have been injured in a crash of this nature, it’s best to consult with an experienced Tennessee truck accident attorney at Gilreath & Associates as soon as possible. But in the immediate aftermath of an accident, there are some key steps you can take right now to protect your rights and preserve your ability to pursue compensation.

Step 1: Call the police and obtain a formal accident report

Anyone involved in a traffic accident in Tennessee is required to stay at the scene. If it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle from traffic and increase your visibility to other motorists by using cones, hazard lights or even flares, if you have them.

In the event that someone has been injured or killed, get in touch with emergency medical responders right away. Once state or local police arrive, they will survey the crash site, complete an accident report and let you know what you need to do next.

Later, obtain a copy of the accident report for record-keeping purposes, as it may be valuable in future litigation.

Step 2: Exchange information with other involved parties

Look for marks or signage on the semi-truck itself or any other cars or trucks involved in the crash to indicate what company owns the truck. Though the truck driver may have been personally negligent in causing the accident, their employer may also share in the obligation to compensate you.

Be sure to write down the name and contact information of the other parties involved in an accident. Record both the driver and the trucking firm's name, any available insurance information, license numbers and any other identifying data. This information will come in handy when filing your claim in the future.

Step 3: Solicit witness statements

If there are witnesses to what occurred, you can ask them directly for their observations—or at the very least, obtain their contact information for later. The police report should also contain the names of witnesses you may not have known about.

Step 4: Gather evidence

Whenever possible, take pictures of the crash scene with your phone, make voice recordings describing your injuries, capture images or video of your damaged vehicle and collect any other evidence you feel may be helpful to your future compensation claim.

As time passes, it may also be wise to document the process of recovering from your injuries, either by taking photos or keeping a detailed diary or journal of your medical treatment and recovery.

Step 5: Notify your insurance company

It’s also important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. They need to know you were in an accident in order to begin their own investigation. Once they’re notified, the claims process can start.

Don’t delay in letting them know about the accident. While you may be concerned about your rates raising or other penalties, waiting longer can cause them to deny your claim altogether.

Step 6: Seek medical treatment

If you were seriously injured, then this will be one of the very first steps you’ll take. You may require an ambulance to transport you to the nearest emergency room.

Even if you weren’t seriously hurt and you miraculously walked away from the wreck, it’s still vital to seek a medical evaluation, whether your injuries are apparent or not. The shock and adrenaline following a crash may mask symptoms of pain, so it’s important to make sure that any hidden injuries receive care immediately.

Failing to seek medical care or comply with treatment recommendations can result in more serious long-term health problems and hinder your ability to claim damages later on.

Step 7: Avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company or the trucking company

After an accident of this nature occurs, you will almost certainly receive contact from an insurance company adjuster or a representative from the trucking company. When this happens, it’s crucial to be guarded about what you reveal as the insurance carrier is looking for any possible way to reduce or deny your damage claim entirely.

Remember that insurance adjusters are in the business of saving money for their employers, and as such, they are always trying to glean information from victims that they are better off not providing.

Instead, consult with a truck accident attorney first so that you can be guided on how to respond to an adjuster's request for details about the crash and your condition.

Step 8: Consult with a Tennessee truck accident lawyer

Semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents often involve multiple parties besides just the driver, including freight carrier owners, vehicle manufacturers, maintenance contractors, loading workers and more. Our seasoned 18-wheeler crash lawyers can work to ensure that all potentially liable parties are identified and every dollar of possible compensation is sought.

If you have suffered harm in a semi-truck, 18-wheeler or another type of commercial carrier wreck, you may be struggling with mounting medical bills, lost wages, pain, emotional trauma and other loss. The Tennessee truck accident lawyers at Gilreath & Associates stand ready to assess the facts of your case, gather essential evidence, analyze medical records and aggressively seek the financial compensation your family needs and deserves.

The clock for initiating a truck accident claim in Tennessee is already ticking, which is why you should schedule a free consultation with an injury lawyer right away. We can outline all avenues of recourse and provide the insights necessary to make informed decisions.

Contact the team at Gilreath & Associates today to get answers.

 

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