Most truck accidents are disastrous and can result in damage or long-term injuries that may affect you and your family for years to come. These losses are usually much more costly than you realize after the accident.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies and their insurance agents are fast to point the finger at you to limit their liability. However, it’s still possible to file a successful truck accident lawsuit and get the most compensation. Here are some best tips for preparing yourself for a truck accident case.
Hire a truck accident lawyer
A truck accident attorney can give you the best chances of success in your lawsuit. An experienced lawyer will know what evidence to gather, what defence tactics to use, and how to ensure you are not under-compensated or lowballed by the insurance firm. In addition, they will help you take legal action should the insurance agency fail to cooperate.
The complexity of trucking laws can make it difficult to know which aspects to blame for the accident. An experienced truck accident lawyer may investigate the accident to determine what exactly led to the crash.
You can focus on recovering from your injuries and being with your family while your attorney handles the legal side. Most lawyers offer free consultation, so there is no risk in scheduling a consultation with them or hiring them to work on your lawsuit.
Gather evidence of the scene
If you are physically able, gather evidence immediately after the accident happens. Take notes about the accident details, including the truck license plate, registration number, and commercial driver’s license (CDL). Take a picture of the accident scene, including weather, road conditions, signs, and signals, and be sure to record your thoughts and account of the accident.
In addition, be sure to call a police officer. A police report is the most useful piece of evidence in a lawsuit like this since it provides a reliable third-party evaluation of the wreck. Without it, you might have difficulty proving your innocence.
Take contact details of the witnesses
Witnesses can either make or break your lawsuit. If there are some witnesses during the accident, get their names and contact details. This is usually part of police reporting. However, the accident scene may become chaotic, and police might be more involved in helping the injured people, cleaning up the area, or redirecting traffic around the accident. Nothing would keep a witness from leaving, so ensure you catch them before they do and take their contact details.
Get medical attention immediately
Even if the crash seems relatively minor, you should always find medical help immediately after the accident. You might have severe internal injuries or bleeding that only a medical professional can detect. Seeking medical assistance is good for your health and can also be helpful for your lawsuit. A medical report will prove that the accident caused the injuries, even if they appear days or weeks after. The longer you wait to get medical treatment, the more it appears the injuries are not that serious. An insurance agency might even argue that your injuries didn’t result from the accident.
Always adhere to the doctor’s instructions
Your doctor might recommend treatment after your injuries, such as surgery in serious cases or physical therapy and home stretching exercises in less severe cases. No matter what your doctor recommends, follow their instructions, including taking any medications as prescribed.
If you miss an appointment or decline to do your follow-up treatment, an insurance firm may take that as evidence and argue that you aren’t that seriously hurt. They usually argue that you would have attended follow-up appointments and sought treatment if you were severely injured.
Be careful about posting on social media
It might feel normal to hop straight into your favourite social network and share with your friends and followers that you have been involved in an accident, but try to resist. It might look innocent to post, “I was involved in an accident today, but don’t worry, I’m fine.” However, saying “I’m fine” can result in a big issue in a legal case. When the insurance adjuster or opposing lawyer discovers that you said you are fine, they will interpret that as saying you don’t deserve any money for lost wages, medical treatment, or other related expenses.
Consult your lawyer if asked for a recorded statement
Avoid making any type of recorded statement when an insurance agent asks you to do so, and instead wait until your lawyer is available to help. The insurance agency may use rehearsed tactics to get you to admit fault. Don’t give them the chance to have you say something that can impact your case.
The insurance agent may ask you to sign a blanket medical approval that would help them to get your medical history. Refuse politely as this might contain trivial or private information that the insurance agency could use to reduce the amount of your compensation.
Be aware of the statute of limitations for a truck accident in your state
The timelines for filing a truck accident case vary from state to state. However, if you don’t file your lawsuit on time, you might lose your right to compensation for any damage or injuries you sustained in the accident. Most states usually give up to two years to file a lawsuit, but waiting too long to contact a truck accident lawyer can put you at a disadvantage.
Your claim may take time to prepare, evidence can be lost or destroyed, or a witness might forget details of the accident. Ensure you pursue your claim immediately after your truck accident to protect your rights to a fair trial.
Truck Accident Lawsuit Endnote
Getting into a truck accident can be a traumatic experience, but it should not ruin you financially. Hire an attorney when you set out to file a claim for your damages, gather relevant evidence, be aware of the limitations, and be ready to settle the case in and out of court. This will help you get the compensation you deserve.