Chattanooga drivers see their fair share of large trucks on the roads on I-75 and I-24.
Normally, they’re a bother to other drivers on the road when they block all the lanes or take a while to get up to speed.
Considering their size and weight, they are extremely dangerous when they’re involved in an accident.
While we hope you’re never in an accident with a semi-truck, but it’s important to know what to do after the accident in case you choose to pursue an accident claim.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
If you’re the victim of a truck accident, it is important to know what to do after a truck accident, how truck accidents differ from car accidents, and who to contact if you are involved in one.
The following tips will be useful after an accident for you and other drivers:
- If you or someone else is severely injured, call 9-1-1
- Call the police if you didn’t call 9-1-1
- If you can, move your car and any large debris off the road.
- Exchange information with other drivers involved, such as driver’s license numbers, insurance information, telephone numbers, and vehicle identification numbers.
- Take photos of any and all damage
- Talk to witnesses, if there are any, collecting contact information
How Truck Accidents differ from Car Accidents
Car accidents and truck accidents differ in very important ways. Commercial truck and semi-truck drivers are more likely to suffer from fatigue and insomnia compared to car drivers.
This can be seen in the work shifts that truck drivers must complete compared to car drivers. Truck drivers are federally mandated to work up to 11 hours per shift before getting rest.
However, many drivers do not follow this rule because of deadlines and a restrictive schedule. Though fatigue is a well-known contributor to truck accidents, it has only recently been addressed as a factor. Electronic logging is being implemented so that drivers avoid overexerting themselves which should help to decrease the number and severity of truck accidents.
A second way that truck accidents differ from car accidents occurs during the process of exchanging information. Additional needs to be exchanged between the car and truck driver compared to a car accident process.
After a truck accident, truck drivers must contribute the following in a post-accident report form:
- Vehicle, driver, and carrier information (NSC/DOT # and insurance policy number)
- Time and location
- Other drivers, passengers, and vehicles involved in the accident
- Diagram of the incident (illustrating the direction of traffic and landmarks)
- Driving status (how many hours were driven behind the wheel)
- Road, traffic, and weather information
- Hazardous Material Information
- Police information (their name; police report number and contact information)
- Tow trucks (if any were used, include the number and how long it took for their arrival)
Drivers involved in car accidents are not required to submit as much information in a police report. Writing down extra information such as driving status, tow truck names, and even a diagram of the incident, however, can only bolster your case in the case of car accidents.
Other statistics illustrate the difference between car accidents and truck accidents:
- About 98% of all semi-truck accidents result in at least one fatality.
- Nearly 90% of commercial truck accidents are caused or worsened by some sort of human error.
- About 75% of commercial truck accidents are caused by drivers of smaller passenger vehicles, rather than the truck driver.
Contact Dennis & King after a Truck Accident
Truck accidents differ from car accidents in one specific way. There are multiple reasons why a truck accident may have happened. The driver could be fatigued, there may have been mechanical failure, or the truck may have been overloaded.
Since there are so many agencies involved in putting semi-trucks on the road, you will need an attorney’s help determining who was at-fault for the accident.
If you are in Chattanooga or the surrounding area, the truck accident lawyers at Dennis and King can help. Our attorneys have decades of experience in semi-truck accidents and will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us at (423)-892-5533 or fill out the form today to schedule a free consultation.