If you’ve ever driven through Spaghetti Junction in Atlanta, you know what a headache it can be and you aren’t alone. The section of roadway has been ranked as the number one truck bottleneck in not just Georgia, but in the entire country. The average speed during rush hour is only 20 mph.
If you aren’t from the area or are unfamiliar with Spaghetti Junction, it is the section of road where Interstate 85 North and Interstate 285 merge. As a driver of any type of vehicle, avoiding this area is always a good idea, especially when people are going to or leaving work. Those who live elsewhere may be familiar with the areas that made the number two and number three spots.
Approaching the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey near Interstate 95 and New Jersey Route 4 was placed in the number two spot. It’s an incredibly busy area and one that sees its fair share of accidents. Rounding out the top three is the Byrne Interchange in downtown Chicago. It’s at the junction of Interstate 90/94 and Interstate 290.
Why are we telling you this? Because if you are a truck driver, avoiding these areas is in your best interest. The same can be said if you are a driver of a passenger vehicle. Accidents abound thanks to impatient people and truckers who are unable to see around their rigs. If you find yourself in an accident with a semi truck, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and recover your financial losses. Here is what you should do immediately following a truck accident.
1. Check on People
Truck versus car accidents are very powerful and often result in serious property damage and injury. Once you have assessed yourself, get out of your vehicle if it is safe to do so and check on any other people involved in the accident.
If someone complains of a head, neck or back injury, encourage them to remain still until help arrives. If someone needs simple first aid and you know how to provide it, do so.
2. Call the Police
Your next step is to call the police if someone hasn’t done so already. Even if there is little or no damage, which would be unusual, you will want a police report on file. Not only will you perhaps use this report later in a personal injury lawsuit, but law requires that you contact emergency services if you have been involved in a collision.
The dispatcher on the other end will give you instructions based on your description of the accident. You may be asked to move your vehicles off the roadway if possible, or you may be asked to leave your vehicles right where they are.
3. Seek Medical Attention
When the police arrive, they will ask you if you are hurt and if you need medical attention. Refusing medical attention is never a good idea, even if you feel fine. You may have underlying injuries that will not become apparent until hours or days later. If you choose to refuse treatment and then discover that you have serious injuries later, that could be used against you later should you choose to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.
If you are well enough to walk away from the scene, it’s understandable that you may not want to pay the costs of emergency transportation. At the very least, drive yourself to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment. You may be right, there could be nothing wrong. You could also be incorrect and suffering from internal bleeding or something even worse.
4. Call Your Insurance Company
Your next step is to contact your insurance company and file a report. You may not be in the mood to deal with an insurance agent, but it is another thing that could help or harm your case later on. It is always a good idea to review your policy before you call your insurance company just so you know what is covered and what information you are required to provide.
Keep in mind that you may be contacted by the other party’s insurance carrier. You aren’t required to provide anything but the most basic of information to the agent. They do not have your best interests in mind or even those of their client. They are trying to avoid paying out a claim or to keep the settlement as low as possible. Don’t be fooled into saying anything that could hurt your case.
5. Call an Attorney
Once you have taken care of all these things, you will want to reach out to a local personal injury attorney that specializes in truck accidents. Because of the severity and intricacies of these accidents, you want an attorney who is knowledgeable of these types of collisions. Personal injury is a broad umbrella of law, and not all attorneys will be able to represent you successfully.
When you find an attorney who has represented victims of truck accidents, vet them properly, comparing them with others you have located. The attorney-client relationship is a personal one,and you should feel comfortable with your attorney.
Accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles can be particularly severe. If you have been in an accident with a semi truck, you are understandably shaken and overwhelmed. Following the steps above can help to protect your rights in any potential personal injury lawsuit you decide to file in the future.
If you have been in a collision with a semi truck in Atlanta, you have legal rights to be aware of. Once you have taken care of yourself and your passengers, give our office a call. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at which time we will advise you of your legal rights.
Call our team today to schedule your consultation and let us tell you how we can assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve. We are here for you and your family as you move forward with your lives.