After an accident with a commercial truck, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. Collisions are complicated enough without the added stress of dealing with a semi-truck and the insurance companies involved.
After a truck accident, get medical treatment and consult an accident attorney. A truck accident lawyer can handle all aspects of your claim and help get you the favorable compensation you deserve for your collision-related losses.
Complications with Truck Collision Cases
While truck accident cases share some similarities with car accident cases, there are some key distinctions between the two. Generally, semi-truck crash cases are harder to handle than other types of vehicular accident claims.
Trucks cause much more property damage and injury than other vehicles. More damage and harm mean a greater monetary value. Because insurance companies want to protect their money and avoid paying claims, getting the compensation you need and deserve requires an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Semi-trucks carry much more insurance coverage than cars and motorcycles. This is partly due to the size and weight of trucks and their capability to cause harm and damage. Thus, commercial trucks carry hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coverage, but after an accident, those policies will not want to part with a penny.
Finally, state and federal laws regulate the trucking industry, which can affect your collision claim. The complexity of these regulations increases the need for an educated and experienced truck accident lawyer.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Taking the proper steps after a truck crash can protect your rights and build a successful claim against the at-fault parties in your case.
Seek Medical Attention
Getting medical attention is the first thing you must do after a semi-truck collision. Some people might have apparent or even life-threatening injuries that require emergency transportation. However, even injuries that do not require an ambulance ride need a prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Further, not all truck accident injuries immediately appear. This is often due to how the brain responds to trauma and even the type of injury you sustained.
When you experience a scary and stressful event, like a car or truck accident, the body releases the fight or flight hormone called adrenaline. It masks pain, so you may falsely believe you didn’t suffer any injuries.
Additionally, some types of injuries, like internal injuries or traumatic brain injuries, are invisible. It may take several days for you to develop any signs of injury, which can complicate your ability to make a full recovery.
Even if you receive emergency medical care at your accident scene, follow up with a healthcare provider. You can also visit an emergency room or urgent care. A doctor can perform a thorough physical examination to better assess your injuries and determine what treatment you need.
Getting immediate medical attention not only gives you the best chance of a physical recovery but also a financial recovery. You need records of the injuries you suffered, and getting a diagnosis as soon as possible connects your condition to the crash in question. This makes it harder for insurers to claim you had pre-existing conditions or other causes of your injuries.
Consult with a Truck Accident Attorney
Consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney should be your next order of business after medical care. Set up a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your situation. They can review your accident and advise you of your best legal options. Once you hire a lawyer, they’ll begin working on your claim right away, getting you one step closer to financial compensation.
Truck accident claims are often significantly more complex than other car accident claims. Multiple parties might share liability, and the trucking company might immediately investigate what happened and start building a defense. You need a legal representative to start an investigation to gather evidence in your favor. Your attorney can send a demand letter to the trucking company instructing them to preserve all possible evidence of potential liability. This should happen right away.
Further, insurance companies might start calling to discuss the accident. Never give insurance representatives details about the accident or your injuries, as they are seeking statements to minimize your claim. Never accept anything or speak with adjusters without an attorney. Allow your truck accident lawyer to handle all of this for you.
Retain Evidence of Your Collision
When you seek compensation from the trucking company or driver’s insurance company, they will not simply take your word for what happened and who was to blame. Instead, you must present evidence to support your claim that the insurance company should accept liability for your losses. Your attorney will know how to gather the right evidence to prove liability and damages.
In the days after your accident, consider keeping a medical journal to write down all the details of your injuries and required treatment. Along with jotting down the symptoms and pain you experience, you can also note your doctor’s recommendations after every visit. Additionally, keep medical documentation, like bills.
As more accident evidence becomes available, like police reports, your attorney can request copies and use them to strengthen your claim.
Complete Your Medical Treatment
While you may already understand the importance of seeking medical attention after an accident, follow through with your medical treatments.
Simply receiving your diagnosis and medical treatment plan isn’t enough. You must also follow your treatment plan and do what’s necessary to heal and recover. Not only does your physical and mental health count on it but the potential success of your claim as well.
Medical records play a vital role in claims involving a request for compensation for injuries. Insurance companies dive deep to find ways to avoid paying you what your losses are worth. When they review medical records and note a failure to complete medical treatment, they assume injuries weren’t that serious to begin with. This seriously affects monetary recovery.
Completing your medical treatment as your doctor recommends can give you the best chance at making a full physical and financial recovery.
What Not to Do After a Truck Accident
Avoiding the following things can protect your rights and aid in pursuing financial compensation.
Speak to the Other Party’s Insurance Company
Avoid speaking to the other party’s insurer after a collision.
The other party’s insurance may contact you after an accident, usually under the premise of getting your side of the story. While this may seem innocent enough, insurers usually have ulterior motives.
When you give an insurance company a recorded statement, they can use that statement to their advantage, twisting your words and using them against you. For this reason, avoid speaking to insurers altogether.
When you hire an accident attorney, insurance companies can talk to them instead of contacting you. If any insurer calls you, you can direct them to your lawyer.
Accept a Quick Settlement Offer
Among the many common tactics insurers use, trying to settle a claim quickly is one of them.
When you’re in a truck accident, and the blame is clearly on the insured, the insurance company may try to settle the claim as soon as possible. To do this, they’ll send you a settlement offer in hopes you won’t question it and sign the documents right away. Never jump to agree to anything.
The primary issue with these quick settlement offers is that they’re usually for much less than your claim is worth. With the speed at which the insurer provides the offer, you likely won’t even know the full extent of your financial losses.
Once you sign on the dotted line, there’s no going back. You cannot later pursue additional compensation for your losses, as your agreement to settle takes away your right to further recovery in the future.
Before accepting any settlement offer, take it to a qualified truck accident lawyer. Your attorney can review the offer and determine whether it’s fair based on the extent of your losses. If the offer isn’t favorable, they can begin negotiations with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
Post About Your Collision on Social Media
You might normally post on social media about what’s currently happening in your life, but refrain from doing so after an accident.
Insurance companies have investigators that look into you, which includes what you post on your social media accounts. They can use any photos, check-ins, or posts against you. If you post a photo of you celebrating a friend’s birthday or even eating at a restaurant, the insurer might assert you are not as injured as you claim.
Therefore, even if you don’t think what you’re posting is notable, avoid posting while your claim is pending.
Fail to Get Medical Care
Failing to get medical treatment altogether can damage your case and your physical health.
When you’re in a truck accident, you may not walk away unscathed. Getting medical attention can shed some light on your injuries and ensure you get the necessary treatment.
When you don’t seek medical attention or get medical treatment, it becomes harder to claim you’ve suffered serious injuries. Because you don’t have any documentation as evidence, the insurance company won’t believe you’ve suffered any harm at all and won’t want to pay out anything for your injuries.
Why You Want to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney Immediately
If you were to consider all of the ways a truck accident attorney will benefit your claim, you would generate an endless list.
An accident lawyer is your best ally. They can help you navigate your claim and ensure your rights remain protected throughout the life of your case.
Additionally, they’ll take care of all case-related tasks, including, but not limited to:
- Investigating your accident
- Determining liability
- Calculating your damages
- Gathering relevant evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Communicating with the insurance companies
- Handling settlement negotiations
- Representing you in court
Having a seasoned truck accident attorney on your side can give you immense peace of mind during a tough time.
Following a Semi-Truck Collision, Meet with a Qualified Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away
Time is limited to take action against the at-fault party in a truck accident. Consequently, speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
A personal injury lawyer lawyer can provide much-needed guidance after your collision. The sooner you start working on your case, the quicker you might resolve the matter and receive the financial recovery you deserve.