As if being involved in a truck accident isn’t traumatic enough, imagine then not being paid the right amount of compensation or having something deemed your fault when it clearly wasn’t. Here are four things to avoid doing to ensure that your truck accident claim isn’t put at risk.
1. Failure to Contact the Police
Immediately after your truck crash, as long as you’re safe and able to do so, you need to contact the police. If you don’t, the insurance company that you’re claiming against will likely place you at fault for the accident. Or even worse still, claim that your accident didn’t actually happen.
So in order to avoid that happening, phone them right away and insist all the collision details have been collected. The details you’ll need to collect are:
- The Truck Driver’s Information:
- Contact Information
- Company Name
- License Plate Number
- Vehicle Information
- Insurance Information
- Driver’s License Number
- Truck Driver’s License Number
- What was being hauled
- Witnesses: You should ask anyone who witnessed the accident to stay at the scene until the police arrive and take down statements from them.
- Photos of the damages to both vehicles.
- Any injuries that have been sustained.
- Any other evidence including road conditions and traffic signals.
This may seem like a lot of information for you to gather shortly after such a traumatic experience, but it will strengthen your case immensely so it’s vital that you do so.
2. Talking About the Incident
Insurance companies will no doubt be trying to contact you in order to get your version of events of the crash. It is important that you don’t disclose anything to anybody about the crash before contacting your trusted attorney. They will inform you on what to avoid saying, so that you don’t put your truck accident claim at risk.
You may accidentally tell them an over-exaggeration or a piece of false information about the crash and unfortunately, anything you may say can be used against you as evidence in court to overturn your claim. So to be absolutely sure, when the insurance company calls, direct them to your attorney.
It’s a good idea to avoid posting anything about the crash on your personal or work social media accounts too. These posts can be brought up at a later date and again used against your case. This could potentially jeopardise the result of your claim and the amount of compensation that you may be rewarded with.
3. Failing to Seek Medical Treatment
You or a loved one might avoid seeking urgent medical attention as you don’t believe that you’re injured in any way, but this is another way in which your truck accident claim may be compromised.
By not going to the Emergency Room or seeing your doctor as soon as possible, the insurance company have the right to believe that the injuries you could be claiming for aren’t as severe as you’re disclosing or are in fact being faked.
And it’s not just your claim that could be at risk by not receiving urgent treatment. Your health can be impacted too as untreated injuries can result in serious health complications.
So even if you’re not sure whether you or a passenger has been hurt in the accident, to cover all bases, go and seek medical advice.
4. Not Hiring an Attorney
Attorneys are experts in the field of investigating and preserving evidence, so it’d be an unwise move for you not to have one on your side. By having an attorney backing up your truck accident claim, you’re putting yourself in the best possible position for you to receive everything you deserve.
Your attorney will:
- Obtain witness statements, photos and official reports. They will gather evidence about how the accident occured and help establish who was at fault.
- Assemble medical reports, records and bills. They will also gather employment records so that they can document each element of your damages. Be aware that this stage of the process does take time.
- Solicit an offer from your insurance company involved. This stage will, again, take a while but once received, it should be passed straight to you and you will be advised on whether they believe you’re getting a fair offer or if you should dispute it.
- File a lawsuit and/or demand arbitration if your attorney is unable to obtain a fair settlement with the insurance company through negotiations. The defendants brought into the case typically have 30 days from the time they are served in which to file their response to the lawsuit. Sometimes, there are several defendants and some may be difficult to locate.
After all defendants have filed their respective “answers,” “discovery” proceedings are started which may include depositions of parties, witnesses and experts. Your lawyer will assist and instruct you at every step and may utilize the same discovery devices to substantiate your claim.
After discovery is completed, a trial date is requested. The assignment of the trial date is completely beyond the control of any party to the lawsuit, but is dependent upon how busy the Court is where the lawsuit is filed.
Having an experienced attorney handle your injury case not only ensures that you are compensated to the extent required by law, but should also relieve much of the burden of dealing with insurance companies and creditors.
Make Sure You’re Being Represented by the Best
By avoiding these four things that could potentially put your claim at risk, and following the steps included you should be in good stead for a strong claim. One of the most important things you should do is to find the right attorney for your case.
At Coxwell & Associates, we’ve been representing Mississippians for over 35 years. Our team of attorneys are experienced in handling a range of cases, including truck accidents, and offer free consultations. Get in touch with us below. We’ve also created a free guide which will help you get started with your claim. Click on the button below to download.
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.