Essential Steps to Take Immediately After an 18 Wheeler Accident

Experiencing an accident with an 18-wheeler can be an intimidating and often devastating experience. Understanding the steps to take following such an accident is critical to ensuring the protection of your rights, the preservation of crucial evidence, and your potential to recover compensation for your injuries or damages. As an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents in Alabama, Stephen Thompson is your reliable source for guiding you through this process. Here's a closer look at what to do immediately after an 18-wheeler accident.

1. Prioritize Safety: If possible, relocate from the traffic and get to a safer place. Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights to signal other drivers, so they avoid getting closer. If the damage to your vehicle is significant, it may be best to stay inside until help arrives.

2. Call 911: Regardless of the extent of the accident, always dial 911. The responding officers will produce an official police report documenting the accident, which can serve as crucial evidence in making a future claim. 

3. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you think your injuries are minor or non-existent, it's important to get a medical checkup. Some injuries take time to manifest their symptoms, such as whiplash, and could have long-term effects. Having medical documentation will strengthen your case if you need to claim for injury compensation.

4. Document the Scene: Photos and videos of the accident scene can provide substantial evidence for your case. Capture everything from vehicle damages, the overall scene, road conditions, traffic signs, and skid marks on the road if present. Do not forget to take pictures of your injuries, as this will be critical evidence when building the case.

5. Witness Statements: If there were individuals who witnessed the accident, getting their contact information and statements can prove vital. Witness accounts can corroborate your story and provide an unbiased perspective on the events leading up to the accident.

6. Don't Discuss Fault: Avoid engaging in conversations concerning who is at fault with the truck driver or anyone at the scene. Any statements made could be later used against you, and could jeopardize your chances of a fair compensation.

7. Report to your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company about the accident as early as possible. Be cautious when discussing the accident with them, sticking to facts only. Do not admit fault or speculate on what might have happened.

8. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer: Engaging an experienced personal injury lawyer who specializes in 18-wheeler accidents, like Stephen Thompson, is arguably one of the most important steps after the accident. A competent attorney will navigate through the complex legal and insurance processes on your behalf, giving you time to recover. They can also quickly begin investigating your case and preserving evidence that might otherwise be lost or tampered with.

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accidents involving 18 wheelers, is two years from the date of the accident. This makes it crucial to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing out on your chance to pursue compensation.


Retaining your composure after an 18-wheeler accident can be a herculean task, but remembering these steps can certainly ensure you navigate the incident better and safeguard your rights. Stephen Thompson can assist you in fighting for your rights and ensuring you recover the compensation you deserve. As a reliable Alabama car accident lawyer, he strives to offer the best legal representation for clients involved in 18-wheeler accidents.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a car accident with an 18 wheeler, do not hesitate. Contact Stephen Thompson, a passionate and dedicated personal injury attorney in Alabama, to begin the process of fighting for the recompense you deserve.


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