Jim Adler: Hello, everybody out there in Hammer TV land. I’m Jim Adler, the Texas Hammer. And this is Bill Adler, the Texas Hammer. Today, we’re going to talk about important steps to take to protect yourself and your legal rights, if you or a loved one has been in an 18 wheeler accident. Bill, let’s talk about things that you should do if you’re in an accident with an 18 wheeler.
Bill Adler: Well, first, if you’re involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler, you want to ensure that you’re okay. If there’s anybody else in your vehicle, make sure they’re okay as well. Also, once you make sure you’re okay, and anybody in your vehicle that they’re okay, check on the other people that are involved in the wreck. That’s with the assumption that you can get out of your vehicle. Also, what you want to do most of the time, is make sure you leave your vehicle put, meaning keep it where the accident happens, so the police officer can adequately investigate truly what happened, because sometimes if you move your vehicle, the other individual will change their version of the events and say something else happened, when in actuality, if you left your car standing where it happened, the officer can investigate adequately and ultimately, piece together the events.
Jim Adler: Yeah.
Bill Adler: But it’s important that ultimately, you stay safe. So that’s a personal decision, but I’ve seen a lot of people when they move their vehicle, the other person changes the story, as far as what happened, and then the officer says, “Well, you guys moved your vehicle, and I can’t really investigate.”
Jim Adler: Well, the other thing is that I’ve noticed, is that police officers are really good at reconstructing accidents. So if a police officer can look at the vehicles and reconstruct how they happen, you’re going to have a police officer on your side who can testify for you at trial. So you want the police officer on your side, right?
Bill Adler: That’s right.
Jim Adler: And you don’t want the police officer on the side of the 18 wheeler driver.
Bill Adler: Yeah, that’s correct. And also, what you don’t want to have is what I call conflicting statements. They’re saying you got in their lane and you’re saying, “Well, they got in my lane,” and then you have two sides, one side saying one thing, the other side saying something opposite, and you don’t want to have that. So oftentimes-
Jim Adler: Is that what you call a lane change swearing match?
Bill Adler: Well, yeah. Lane change swearing matches is sometimes what I hear. Also, it’s a he said, she said type situation.
Jim Adler: Yeah.
Bill Adler: And so, you don’t want to have that type of situation where the officer, because you’ve moved your car, puts on the police report conflicting statements. That’s not something that we can’t overcome, but that just makes it more difficult in your case. And you’re already dealing with injuries, you’re already dealing with pain, and why complicate the cases? So we talked a little bit about what to do right after the accident happens, making sure you’re safe, making sure people in your car are safe. Also, what do you want to next, as far as calling 911, if it’s an emergency situation?
Jim Adler: Well, if you still have your cell phone on you and you didn’t lose it, then you want to call 911, or if you can’t call them, you want to get someone else to let you use their cell phone, and get the police out there and if there’s an emergency, get the emergency ambulance out there. What are some other things you should do after you call the police?
Bill Adler: Well, after you call the police and once they arrive, you want to make sure that if they did something truly wrong, that they receive a traffic citation. Talk to the police officer, ultimately, make sure that if something truly occurred which is in the wrong, make sure that the police document that. Get the name of the officer, get his badge number, the division he works for. Also, it’s important that you have them add to your information sheet, if you’re keeping a piece of information, the incident report number. That will ultimately help you retrieve the police report, and we can have our investigators get the police report for you, if you don’t know how to do it. That’s part of our services, and we’re more than happy to do that. You also want to keep a file for your own personal documentation. And so, tell us a little bit about additional information that you can gather in an accident.
Jim Adler: Well, I think it’s very important, if you can make your own pictures at the scene of the accident and show where the vehicles came to rest, I can’t tell you how many great pictures I’ve looked at, where our clients have had the presence of mine in a shocking situation to take pictures of their vehicle and the other vehicle. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and it will show who’s at fault. The other thing is get the names of the witnesses, anybody that saw the accident, their names and phone numbers. Get the contact information on the person that hit you, and their phone number and address. What else?
Bill Adler: Well, ultimately, what you want to also get is a copy of their insurance card. Sometimes the police officer will give you that information, and you can write it down. It will also be on the police report if they had insurance. So another piece of the puzzle is, after you have the insurance information and you’ve contacted the insurance company, it’s very important that you do not give a recorded statement. If you give a recorded statement, ultimately, that can be used against you. So after you’ve called 911, after the police officer has investigated, after you potentially have received emergency services from an individual in an ambulance or an ER physician, you want to go get medical treatment from your own physician or a doctor. If you don’t have your own physician, a doctor that ultimately will check you out and see you. So it’s important that you document your injuries, and document them through a physician. So I talked about-
Jim Adler: Can we go back to one thing you said?
Bill Adler: Sure.
Jim Adler: Because you talked about insurance company adjusters getting a recorded statement. Are 18 wheeler adjusters better at getting the facts, and more against you than other adjusters?
Bill Adler: Well, I’d say most adjusters are probably against you. They work for the company, and so, they’re not your friend. But I have a lot of experience with 18 wheeler adjusters, and they’re usually the higher level adjusters. More savvy, smarter, they’ve been on the job longer, so they can-
Jim Adler: They’re going to try to trick you and trap you, right?
Bill Adler: Exactly. They can trap you and trick you, and do a lot of things that otherwise, you would regret later saying. So it’s important, like Jim said, and I said, don’t give a recorded statement, because you can’t change that once you’ve said something. So be real aware of that, and make sure that if you are going to contact the insurance company, that you’re aware of what you say, and it may be best not to even contact them and let us contact them for you, because that’s what we do. All day of the week, we talk to insurance companies and we help out injured individuals in accidents. So it’s important that you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer.
So if you’ve been involved in an 18 wheeler accident, you have questions, it’s right to have questions after an accident, and that’s what we’re here for. So ultimately, call us at (800) 567-7575, or if you’d like to look us up on the website, our website is www.jimadler.com. We’re here to help everybody. So if we can help you, please contact us. Thank you for watching Hammer TV. Leave us your comments, your questions. We’d really love it if you liked us or shared this video with your friends, your loved ones, or individuals that might need our help. We’re here for them, and we’re here for you. I know it would mean a great deal to Jim and I if you shared this video, like I was talking about, and let us know future topics as well. This is Jim and Bill Adler signing off today for Hammer TV.