On Thursday, February 16th in Waco, there were multiple wrecks on Interstate 35 involving cars and an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer truck. Several people were injured and, according to police, one person was killed.
None of us want to believe that this could ever happen to us or our family. Unfortunately, serious wrecks happen every day all over the country. In our over 30 years of experience representing families who have been involved in major wrecks causing serious injuries or wrongful deaths, we have learned several things that may help you protect your family if you are involved in a serious vehicle crash. Here are the top five things you need to know to protect your family if a serious car accident or 18-wheeler truck crash happens:
1. Call 911 and Get Medical Help for Everyone Involved in the Wreck
If you are able to move without injuring yourself or anyone else, check to make sure that others who were involved in the accident are okay. If someone is unconscious or complaining of inability to move or neck or back pain, it is better not to move that person until qualified medical personnel get to the scene.
2. Stay at the Accident Scene
- Get Witness Names
- Take Pictures
The police and medical personnel will arrive shortly. The police have duties to perform at the scene, including securing the scene, making sure medical personnel can take care of people who are injured, talking to drivers and passengers involved in the wreck, and talking to other people who witnessed the wreck and saw what happened.
We have had clients report that witnesses approached them directly to say that the witness saw what happened. Don’t miss out on an opportunity like this to take down the witness’s contact information. If a witness speaks to the police at the scene, get the witness’s full name, address, and telephone number so that he or she can be contacted later, if necessary. Accident scenes after serious wrecks can be very chaotic, and the focus is often on medical care for the injured. Consequently, sometimes witnesses may leave the scene without being interviewed by police because the police were busy assisting those injured. Always try to get witness accounts of what happened, if possible.
If you have the ability, use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of both the scene and the vehicles involved. The police usually photographs the accident site, but often those pictures aren’t taken until after the scene is partially cleared, which means that some of the evidence may have been moved.
3. Thorough Investigation After the Wreck
This next step is most important when there has been a major wreck in which someone has been seriously injured or killed. In these types of wrecks, a legal claim or lawsuit is more likely to happen because of the severity of the injury or wrongful death.
It is very important to have a thorough investigation to determine how the wreck happened, what caused the wreck, what factors contributed to cause the wreck, and to identify the at-fault drivers.
When 18-wheelers or tractor-trucks are involved in wrecks, the trucking companies that own or operate these trucks frequently have special teams that are sent to crash sites immediately after serious accidents or wrongful death crashes to gather information that may be used to defend a lawsuit against the trucking company.
4. Contact an Experienced, Board-Certified Personal Injury Attorney
Victims of serious crashes don’t necessarily have the same resources that these companies have. In a major crash case, it is important for the victim and his or her family to gather the information that will be necessary to prove how the car crash happened so that their legal rights can be protected.
Obviously the most important priority after a serious wreck is to take care of the medical needs of the crash victims. Once that situation is stable, consider contacting a board certified personal attorney who is qualified and experienced to investigate the wreck and to secure the physical evidence necessary to protect your family’s legal rights. Contacting a qualified attorney soon after the accident can make a difference in the ability to prove your claim or case.
5. Choosing the Right Attorney to Represent Your Family Can Make a Major Difference in the Outcome of Your Case
Please don’t choose an attorney based only on a television commercial, billboard advertisement, or just word of mouth. You would never choose a heart surgeon to perform a major heart surgery on yourself or a family member like that.
There are lots of lawyers who have good commercials or billboards, but they may or may not have real experience and a proven track record of obtaining significant results for clients in cases similar to yours. They may or may not be Board Certified. In Texas, Board Certification is controlled by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To even apply for board certification in personal injury trial law, the attorney must have tried a certain number of cases and must have been the lead counsel in a required number of trials.
The fact is this –
Experience and Results Matter.
Before you hire an attorney, you should do your research make sure the attorney you chose is qualified, experienced, and has a proven track record of results.
At Williams & Brown, LLP, we are attorneys who are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We have been representing people and families in serious injury and wrongful death cases involving major car and 18-wheeler crashes for more than 30 years and have a proven track record of significant results achieved on behalf of our clients.
We provide free consultations so you can meet us personally, see our track record, and decide for yourself if we are the right lawyers to represent you and your family.
Call (888) 741-6200 or email Laura Brown at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation.