On the Date of the Collision
First, dial 911 and inform the operator of your emergency. It is important to document where and how the incident occurred and to seek medical attention, if needed.
Always answer law enforcement officers honestly and respectfully. Answer questions the officer may have and take photos with your phone of your injuries and damages, as well as the damage and location of the tractor-trailer.
If you are aware of witnesses to the collision, ask for their names and phone numbers. If you are uncertain if there are any witnesses, ask first responders if they are aware of any witnesses. If they are aware of witnesses, ask for the witness’ name and phone number.
In the Days Following the Collision
Always follow doctor recommendations. Failure to do so can have negative consequences in any potential lawsuit you may file. Many defendants claim an affirmative defense called failure to mitigate damages. This means that you can be penalized in the amount of money you can receive in your case if you ignore doctor’s orders or take actions that do not benefit your healing process.
Contact an attorney who practices personal injury law. Make sure the attorney has handled cases similar to yours in the past and has the credentials needed to give you the best opportunity to succeed.
In the Months Following the Collision
Keep any and all documents, photographs, reports, and medical records in a safe place where you can access them again, if needed. While originals are best, you may want to scan and save an electronic copy of all documents so they are readily accessible in the event you cannot locate the original version of the records. Document the dates of work you miss and the reason for missed work days. If you choose to take FMLA leave from work, save your records from your application.
In the Years Following the Collision
Be aware that Texas has Statutes of Limitations for various types of cases. For a personal injury cases involving an 18-wheeler collision, the statute of limitations is often two years under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. However, the details of each case are important to determine the applicability of a statute of limitations. Without knowing the details of your case, an attorney cannot determine the statute of limitation that may apply to your case. If you believe you may be close to the end of the statute of limitations for your case, you should contact an attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are being protected.
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