Witnessed a Semi-Truck Accident in Memphis? What to Do

Unfortunately, it’s not too uncommon to witness a semi-truck accident in Memphis. As a transit hub with one of the busiest shipping companies in the world headquartered here, we get massive truck accidents far too often.

Witnessing one can be a shocking and stressful experience. These accidents are often severe, due to the size and weight of the trucks involved.

Knowing what to do in these situations can make a big difference for the victims and help ensure everyone stays safe. As a truck accident lawyer in Memphis, I’d like to guide you through the steps you should take if you witness a semi-truck accident.

Semi-Truck Accidents a Constant in the Mid-South

Semi-truck accidents are unfortunately all too common in the Mid-South. Recently, there have been several high-profile accidents in the Memphis area, highlighting the importance of knowing how to respond. For example:

  • June 2024: One person was injured when a semi-truck flipped overnight along a southbound ramp on I-240 near I-55.
  • May 2024: A semi tanker hauling milk spilled overturned on Highway 15, just 1.5 miles north of Memphis. The driver suffered serious injuries and a child had only minor injuries.
  • April 2024: A person died after a semi-truck caught fire at I-40 and Sycamore View Drive.
  • March 2024: A motorcyclist died after a crash with a tractor-trailer on I-40 near Chelsea.

And these are just a few recent examples.

The regularity of these events just emphasizes the need for awareness and preparedness whenever we’re out on the road.

truck accident lawyer TNSteps to Take if You Witness a Semi-Truck Accident

While there’s nothing we can do to prevent a semi-truck accident, there’s a lot we can do to help at the scene. And while it isn’t legally your obligation to do anything at the scene of a collision if you were just a witness, sometimes stopping to help is just the right thing to do.

Besides, with crashes this big, you usually don’t have a choice but to stop along with the rest of traffic. So instead of sitting around and taking photos for social media, here are some things you can do to make a difference for everyone involved.

1. Ensure Your Own Safety First

Your safety is the top priority. If you’re driving, pull over to a safe location away from the accident scene. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

2. Call 911 Immediately

Dial 911 to report the accident. Provide the dispatcher with detailed information about the location, the number of vehicles involved, and any visible injuries. Quick reporting can save lives by making sure emergency services arrive as soon as possible.

3. Do Not Approach the Accident Scene

If you’re the kind of person to help out at all, it might be tempting to approach the scene. But it’s important you stay back. Semi-truck accidents can involve hazardous materials, fires, or unstable vehicles.

Leave the rescue efforts to the professionals who are trained to handle these situations – you’ll be an enormous help simply by being a witness and following the rest of these steps.

What Can You Claim After A Car Accident? - highway traffic advisory sign accident ahead4. Provide Assistance to Emergency Responders

When emergency services arrive, provide them with any information you have about the accident. If you saw what happened, your account can be valuable for understanding the cause of the accident and helping the victims.

Give as much detail as possible, and answer any questions they ask. Your testimony may be used in criminal proceedings, civil court, and negotiations between insurance companies. So it’s important to be truthful without any exaggeration.

5. Document What You Saw

If it’s safe to do so, take notes or use your phone to record details of the accident. This can include the time, weather conditions, and any actions you observed that led to the accident. This information can be helpful for investigators and in legal proceedings.

6. Offer Support to Victims

If you can safely do so, offer reassurance to the victims. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there to help can provide comfort while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

It’s completely OK to offer bottled water, a blanket, or anything else that might help the crash victims stay comfortable while they wait for authorities. But it’s also really important to give everyone their space. A crash like this can be so incredibly traumatic, and sometimes people don’t want strangers around. Everyone responds differently, so just be sensitive to whatever the victims might need.

7. Stay at the Scene

Remain at the scene until authorities tell you that you can leave. They might need a statement from you as a witness. Your cooperation can be crucial in piecing together what happened.

After any type of accident, it can take a while for authorities to get statements from everyone. Try your best to be patient. They’ll get to you, and the victims will be grateful you stayed.

8. Get Help for Yourself as Necessary

After witnessing a traumatic event, it’s normal to feel shaken. Additionally, you might be contacted by law enforcement or attorneys involved in the case for further information.

Consider speaking with a counselor if you need to process what you saw. You might also want to get support from a place of worship, friends, and family. Not everyone needs formal therapy after something like this. But depending on what you experienced, it might be helpful. A number of programs and therapists in Memphis offer sliding scale options if you can’t afford regular rates.

Darrell Castle downtown Memphis attorneyA Memphis Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer You Can Trust

If you or a loved one has been affected by a semi-truck accident, having the right legal support is crucial. And if you’re a witness to one of these accidents, you have the ability to refer clients to us.

Rest assured, we take these referrals very seriously. Anyone who comes to our office will receive the award-winning dedication and compassion that’s made us a force to be reckoned with across the Mid-South.

We represent truck accident victims as though they’re our own family, with total dedication to their claim’s success. And we don’t get paid anything unless we win their case.

Witnessing a semi-truck accident is a serious event, but knowing what to do can make a significant difference. If you need legal advice or representation following an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help you through every step of the process.

Just contact me today at 901-327-2100 or use the contact form on this page.