Truck Accident Claim Mistakes
Getting injured in a truck accident can be painful and overwhelming. Due to their large size and enormous weight, collisions involving trucks may result in severe injuries and damages. Covering medical bills and property damages can be too costly.
However, you can sue the at-fault party for compensation. While you’re entitled to compensation, the heightened emotions after the crash can cause you to make some truck accident claim mistakes that may affect your settlement. Here are common truck accident claim mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Not Contacting the Police
After a truck accident, the first thing to do is to call 911. Local police will be dispatched to the scene and collect valuable evidence that may help your case. They can assess the scene of the accident, take notes, track down witnesses, and write a report.
Don’t forget to collect the police report a few days after the accident. It’s essential in building a solid truck accident claim. Also, failing to obtain a police report can give the impression that you were at fault for the accident, which is why you avoided involving the authorities.
2. Saying Too Much at the Scene of the Truck Accident
Emotions can run high following a truck accident. When this happens, it may be tempting to start expressing yourself to other people involved in the collision.
You may even start apologizing. Don’t do this as it may appear as an admission of guilt and can negatively affect your claim. Also, avoid speculating what caused the crash. If you need to communicate, let your truck accident attorney do the talking.
3. Neglecting Medical Care
Nearly 146,930 people are injured in crashes involving large trucks, according to the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety. This is why you need to seek medical care right after the truck wreck.
Even if you feel fine, consult a paramedic. Sometimes, adrenalin masks any pain and injuries. The longer your injuries go untreated, the more long-term damage they can have on you.
Aside from the health implications, failing to get medical attention can hurt your truck accident injury claim. The at-fault party’s insurance company may call into question the validity of your lawsuit. They can use this as proof to show you weren’t injured.
4. Failing to Gather Evidence
The aftermath of a truck crash scene can be messy. Regardless, it is vital to collect as much evidence as possible. It’ll help you get an upper hand in your claim. Don’t forget to get the information of the other parties involved in the accident since you won’t be able to start the claim filing process.
Ensure you ask for the name of the truck driver, their license number, address, insurance information, and phone number. In addition, you shouldn’t fail to take photos and videos as they can help prove the facts of your case. Consider taking snaps of:
- Location of the truck accident
- Your injuries
- Dislodged parts of the vehicles
- Vehicle license plate numbers
- Conditions of the road
If your injuries prevent you from collecting evidence, ask for help. You can call your loved ones or ask the onlookers for assistance.
5. Believing That the Insurance Company is On Your Side
After a truck accident, you may feel very vulnerable. Not only are you dealing with physical injuries and emotional trauma but also property damages. You need someone you trust on your side.
While you are entitled to larger insurance minimums ranging from $750,000 to $1 million compared to a regular vehicle accident, the insurance agents aren’t going to help you get it. Don’t give them any recorded statements.
They can use them to reduce the value of your claim by trying to suggest that you were partly to blame for the accident or getting you to admit your injuries and damages aren’t serious.
Also, don’t sign any medical authorization without reviewing it. While the insurance company needs access to your medical records regarding the injuries sustained during the crash, they do not need all your medical documents. Signing a blanket authorization form can give them access to all your private information that may be irrelevant to the case.
6. Settling Too Quickly
Insurance agents are always eager to settle your case fast. While it may be tempting to want to solve your truck accident case as fast as possible, the first settlement offer isn’t always ideal. The company may offer you what seems like a suitable amount but it may not be enough over time.
There are a lot of factors that need to be evaluated in your truck accident case to come up with a fair settlement. This includes:
- The severity of the crash
- The extent of the injuries and medical expenses required
- Damage of property
- Pain and suffering damages
- Lost wages
- Wrongful death claim
- Assess the type of material the truck hauls according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
It’s important to take the time to build your case as it can help you assess all the factors that affect your case. This way you can be sure of the total amount you need as compensation.
7. Waiting Too Long to File the Claim
No matter how strong your claim is, don’t wait too long to file a claim. Each state has a specific truck accident Statute of Limitations—claim filing deadline—that has to be followed. If you miss the deadline, the court will strip you of the right to file a claim and you won’t be to recover any compensation. Also, critical evidence in your truck accident case may be distorted over time if you don’t act fast.
8. Not Seeking Legal Counsel
Truck accidents can be complicated and can pose a lot of issues for injured victims. Insurance agents will use your lack of legal knowledge to try and lower your settlement. Also, they can help you prove liability in truck accidents with multiple liable parties, including:
- The truck manufacturer
- The truck licensing company
- The truck driver’s employer
- The truck repair shop
- The cargo loading subcontractor
- Another motor vehicle driver was involved in the accident
In the case where truckers or trucking firms try to reset black box recorders or falsify their logbooks to hide wrongdoing. A certified truck accident lawyer can recognize inconsistencies and subpoena records from data recorders or GPS that can help your case. Additionally, they can help you file the truck accident claim documents and negotiate your settlement.
Hire Our Qualified Lawyer and Avoid These Truck Accident Claim Mistakes
Suffered a truck accident injury? At Horizon Accident Lawyers, we can help you avoid the common truck accident claim mistakes and seek justice against the at-fault parties. Contact us to request a free consultation.