Being injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver can be an overwhelming experience. You may be worried about your health, how to pay your bills, and who will pay for costly medical expenses if you have to take time off work. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the trucker and trucking company; however, you do not want to weaken your claim by making mistakes following the crash.
Common Mistakes Made in Truck Collision Cases
There are a number of mistakes people make when involved in a commercial truck accident that hurt their claim for compensation. Many errors are inadvertent, and a victim may not even realize he is doing something wrong. Here are some common ones you want to avoid:
- Medical treatment. Many people make the mistake of not seeking prompt medical care if they believe their injuries are minor. This can lead to disputes with the insurance company about the cause or seriousness of these injuries. Even if you do not think you were hurt, you should be examined by a doctor soon after your crash. Head injuries and back and neck injuries are a few serious medical conditions where symptoms can take days or longer to develop.
- Police report. You should always call the police at the scene of your wreck. If you don’t, you won’t have a police report which can provide important evidence about the crash. The report will contain contact information for the trucker and trucking company, details about the crash, and the officer’s conclusions as the accident’s cause. In addition, not having a police report can lead to a dispute as to whether your accident really occurred.
- Evidence. Be sure to collect evidence at the crash site. This includes photos of the scene, contact information of those involved, and the names and phone numbers of third-party witnesses.
- Recorded statement. A big mistake that can hurt a truck accident claim is to agree to give a recorded statement. This statement is a tape-recorded question-and-answer session with the insurance adjuster. Often victims who agree to give one innocently say something that can be used to raise disputes in their cases.
- Settlement. Another mistake to avoid is settling your claim too quickly. Some insurance companies will offer a quick settlement of far less than a victim is entitled to. You should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney to be certain that your rights are protected.
- Attorney. Some people wait too long before retaining a lawyer and first try to negotiate their settlements on their own to save money. Truck accident claims are very complicated and often involve violations of federal regulations. You need to retain a skilled attorney as soon as possible, so he can begin collecting evidence that may be in the possession of the trucking company—before it is destroyed or altered.
Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
It is important to keep in mind that making one of these mistakes may not ruin your case, but it can hurt it. Hiring a skilled lawyer will ensure that any mistake you may have made will be addressed with legal experience and skill. If you need assistance filing your claim, call our Cranston office to schedule a free consultation.