18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
When putting together a truck accident claim, it is just as important to avoid taking the wrong steps as it is to take the right ones. Chances are you have never built such a claim, though, so you are not entirely sure what to do—or not do—to give it the best chance of success. The easiest way to determine the best path forward in your unique situation is by consulting an 18-wheeler accident lawyer. A knowledgeable, experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate every stage of the process. Your lawyer will also ensure you avoid critical missteps along the way.
Let’s now take a look at the 10 most common mistakes that truck accident victims tend to make in the wake of a wreck.
Putting Off Treatment
You should visit a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Postponing medical care could result in serious complications for which you are deemed liable. As such, truck accident attorneys encourage clients to undergo a comprehensive exam right away.
In addition to starting you on the road to recovery, seeking treatment sooner rather than later will show the insurance adjuster that you were committed to mitigating damages. This, in turn, will make it harder for the opposing party to shift some liability your way.
Moreover, never refuse a medical exam by paramedics at the accident scene, and never argue if they want to transport you to the hospital. By refusing immediate medical attention, you risk not only your health but also give the trucking company and its insurers a way to argue your injuries are unrelated to the accident. This is especially risky if you wait days, weeks, or months to seek medical treatment.
Getting immediate medical attention ensures your injuries are documented and linked directly to the crash.
Failure to Follow the Doctor’s Instructions
Similarly, you should always follow your doctor’s treatment instructions. Failing to follow through with medical treatment could cause your injuries to worsen over time. This can negatively impact your prognosis and the compensation you recover in your truck accident claim.
Ignoring your doctor’s instructions gives the insurance company room to argue you failed to mitigate your losses by allowing your physical condition to deteriorate and do not deserve full compensation.
Being Dishonest About Injuries
Exaggerating your injuries can harm your claim. While you should never downplay the nature of your injuries, you also shouldn’t overstate them.
If you exaggerate your injuries and the insurance company later discovers that your injuries weren’t as severe as you made it seem, they might reject your claim.
Be honest when describing your injuries to the insurance adjuster, including any pre-existing injuries you had at the time of the accident.
Giving A Statement to The Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster may contact you after a truck accident to ask for a written or recorded statement. Never agree without consulting a truck accident lawyer first.
Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions to elicit responses that can be used against you when taken out of context. You are better served by letting your 18-wheeler accident lawyer handle all communications with the insurance company.
Your attorney can provide the insurers with the information they need to process your claim while protecting your best interests.
Admitting Fault at The Crash Scene
After an accident, it is natural to want to say, “I’m sorry.” Whether your instinct to apologize is because you believe you were at fault for the crash or because you want to offer sympathy to others, you should never make any statements that can be interpreted as admitting fault.
You may not know all the facts even if you think you caused the crash. An investigation could uncover evidence proving that another party bears at least partial fault for the collision. But if you admit fault, you give the trucking and insurance companies evidence to argue that you are wholly or partly to blame for the truck accident and your losses.
Not Documenting the Scene
Evidence will quickly be lost, so quickly gather as much information as possible by:
- Obtaining information from the truck driver, including their driver’s license number, tag number, and insurance information
- Writing down company information on the cab
- Taking photos of vehicles involved, different angles of the accident scene, any debris on the roadway, and any skid marks
- Getting names and contact information for witnesses
Discussing the Situation on Record
If the insurance adjuster requests a statement, it’s wise to defer to your 18-wheeler accident lawyer. Saying anything on record opens the door for disputes. This is especially true early on in the proceedings before the investigations have concluded and you have reached maximum medical improvement.
Should you say something that turns out to be inaccurate, the opposing party may be inclined to challenge your credibility in general, thereby threatening the entire foundation of your claim.
Finding Comfort Online
Before posting about the accident or your injuries on social media, take a moment and consider all that’s at stake. Remember: The insurance adjuster will likely take to monitoring your online activity. If they do, could the things you post be misconstrued and ultimately used against you?
Truck accident attorneys will typically advise their clients to lay low on social media. As long as your claim is pending, keep the strictest privacy settings enabled and refrain from publishing anything about the crash or its aftermath.
Accepting a Premature Settlement
If the liable party’s carrier reaches out fairly soon after the crash and offers you a settlement, it will probably be tempting to accept it. Until you have arrived at maximum medical improvement, however, there is no way to be sure of the extent of the damages.
In other words, taking their first offer could mean walking away with a lot less than you deserve.
Not Hiring an Attorney
Truck accident claims are complex. Unlike a typical car accident claim, there are often multiple liable parties and multiple insurance companies involved in a truck accident case. Gathering all the necessary evidence you need to prove your claim and identifying all potential sources of compensation can be especially challenging without the help of an experienced legal professional.
18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are more complex than regular motor vehicle accidents or regular passenger cars. There are many mistakes individuals can make after a truck accident. It is essential to seek help from an experienced, skilled, reputable and dedicated 18-wheeler accident lawyer who could help you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve.
Getting prompt legal representation can help you avoid critical mistakes that could jeopardize your rights to compensation after a truck accident. Let Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC stand up for you. Our trusted legal team will handle every aspect of your case so you can move on with your life and focus on recovery.
Call us today at (470) 268-5802 or fill out our online contact form to set up a FREE, No-Obligation Case Review/Consultation.