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Mississippi Lawyer Blog

Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Making an 18 Wheeler Crash Claim

black 18 wheeler truck

(Credit Image: pixabay.com)

Following the huge trauma of being involved in an 18 wheeler crash, the last thing you want to happen is for your compensation claim to be squashed.

What's worse is if the claim falls apart due to an error on your own part.

Avoid these 10 mistakes when making an 18 wheeler crash claim to make sure you get all of the compensation you deserve.

 

1. Gather and Keep Good Evidence

If you have been in an 18-wheeler crash, hopefully whilst still at the scene you took a good range of photographs. You should photograph both vehicles, the surrounding debris and weather conditions. You should also photograph any skid marks on the road.

As soon as you can after the event, write down by hand what happened in objective detail. Be factual and leave emotion aside. Sign and date each piece of paper and keep it safe for future use.

Whilst your claim is ongoing, keep well organized records of medical bills and appointments, records of lost earnings or time off work.

At the scene, ask the attending police officers to document what has happened and what is said. Also get the contact details of any witnesses.

2. Get Legal Help

Plenty of people - often insurance companies - will advise that you don't need a legal attorney for your 18-wheeler accident claim. They will even suggest, when you tell them about this blog post, "of course they will say that".

But the fact of the matter is, seeking legal help offers many benefits.

An attorney can gain access to crucial legal documents which will help you achieve a successful claim. They can obtain access to the 18-wheeler driver's Commercial Driver's License, drug test screening records, criminal background and other paperwork. Most crucially they can access the driver's logbook which will document hours driven and other such information.

Obviously, your case will be strongest if you hire an 18-wheeler specialist attorney.

3. Don't Ignore Non-Economic Losses or Mental Anguish

There is most likely going to be losses suffered which don't have a specific monetary figure attached to them; the stresses of having to go through a legal claim, anxiety of driving on the open road once again, loss of sleep and permanent discomfort having a knock-on effect into the rest of your life.

If the accident is more serious, there is the mental suffering endured from the loss of a loved one or having to cope with permanent disfigurement.

There are also a range of things to consider when trying to put a value on the settlement figure you are entitled to;

  • Property Loss
  • Medical Bills
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Diminished Value of a Vehicle
  • Lost Wages

4. Think About When To Speak To The Insurers

It is tempting to think you are doing the right thing by speaking to the insurers as soon as you possibly can. Whilst it is important to log your incident with them quickly, you should refrain from making a statement of events to them too soon.

If you call whilst the adrenalin is still flowing, you may be likely to embellish or forget key details. You may be angry or upset and this could skew your version of events beyond admissible use.

Likewise, if you wait until returning from the hospital and call straight away, the effects of any medication may hamper the validity of your evidence or make it unreliable.

Instead, you should document what happened, seek legal advice, and contact the insurers to make your statement when you are calm and ready.

5. Don't Refuse Medical Treatment

Some people are too proud to admit they need it. Many people would just like to get away from the scene of their 18-wheeler accident as soon as possible. Both are understandable but foolhardy.

The fact that refused medical treatment at the scene of the accident could severely diminish your chances of proving that your now developed injuries were caused by the accident. Adrenalin, shock and an emotive state of mind can mask any physical symptoms of injuries at the time of the incident, so make sure you go for a medical assessment even if you feel fine.

6. Don't Sign Anything You Don't Understand

Review any documents you are asked to sign thoroughly and if there is any chance you could be misinterpreting anything or don't understand anything in the slightest, show it to your attorney.

7. Don't Settle Too Early

Although tempting to settle your case as quickly and as easy as possible, it is advisable to wait until your injuries and repairs are 100% resolved.

The last thing you want to happen is for injuries to make a recurrence or for vehicle repairs to cause continuous problems when you have already settled and been paid out on your claim.

8. Don't Miss Any Deadlines

If there are ever instances where you have to submit any form of paperwork by a particular time, make sure you do so well in advance.

It is unwise to play "hard ball" and submit information at the last possible moment just in case there are any issues with delivery or any other more complex complications.

9. Follow Medical Advice

Just like you should seek medical advice at the scene of the accident, you should closely follow any medical or physiotherapy guidance following the incident.

Always be sure to attend all of your appointments and add any appointments cards or advice sheets to your evidence file.

Failure to stick to medical advice could allow the other party to disclaim the severity of your injury claims and will harm your chances of a rightful settlement.

10. Don't Lie About Your Injuries

Honesty is the best policy. Don't lie about the extent of your injuries.

It is quite normal for a private detective to be hired to observe if your injuries are as severe as you are claiming them to be. Even more common will be a review of your social media activity and "Googling" of you to check whether you really are struggling to walk, or whatever the extent of your claimed injuries.

Avoid the need to maintain an ever growing web of lies by sticking to telling the truth on the extent of your injuries. You should also mention any previous accidents and injuries so that they cannot be used against you unexpectedly and leave you with nothing.

And Finally...

Don't forget that when there is compensation at stake, insurance firms and the guilty party will be looking to fight their corner and avoid paying out whenever possible. Avoid these 10 common errors so you can receive the compensation that you fully deserve.

18 Wheeler accident-

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

 

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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