Six Costly Mistakes People Make after a Trucking Accident
A collision with a large truck or bus is a devastating event, one that usually leaves a great deal of damage in its wake. Although it can be hard to maintain a clear head at the scene of a trucking accident, the time immediately after a crash is a critical one where your decisions can help or hurt your chances of receiving compensation for injuries to you or a loved one.
The attorneys at Truck Wreck Justice frequently see personal injury claims harmed or even ruined by the following mistakes after a trucking accident:
Mistake #1: Not calling the police
Calling the police should be the first thing you do after any trucking accident. A police report gives you an official record of a crash and its circumstances prepared at the scene by an impartial third party. This documentation is extremely important for legal and insurance purposes.
Mistake #2: Not collecting enough information at the scene
After a trucking accident, it’s important to get vital information regarding the name of the truck driver, the company that owns the truck, and the insurance company that insures the truck. If you’re able, taking photos at the scene is also an extremely helpful step: take pictures of all the vehicles involved in the crash from as many angles as possible, and document conditions at the scene of the wreck. Also take pictures of the occupants of any vehicles involved in the crash, their injuries, and any bystanders. These photos can be critical in reconstructing the accident scene and identifying important witnesses later on. If you can, collect the contact information for any witnesses as well.
Mistake #3: Admitting fault
A trucking accident is a traumatic event that can put people in a heightened emotional state; this can lead them to make statements apologizing for the accident or admitting fault, even if this isn’t the truth. You should resist any urge to comment on who is at fault for the accident, whether it’s to admit liability for yourself or speculate that someone else was liable. Determining fault for an accident at the scene isn’t your responsibility–stick to the objective facts of the accident when giving a statement to police.
RELATED: What Should You Do at the Scene of a Trucking Accident
Mistake #4: Not seeking medical treatment
Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured in a trucking accident, it’s important to visit a medical professional afterward to receive a full examination and treatment for any injuries. Health-related complications from a crash can start to manifest days, weeks, or even months after the initial wreck, so let a medical professional determine your physical health after an accident and make a record of any injuries, conditions, or complications that might be related to the crash.
Mistake #5: Posting about the accident on websites or social media
If you decide to file a personal injury claim related to your trucking accident, insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will look through your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media accounts, as well as anything you post on blogs or web pages. Keep this in mind and remember that any statements you make about the accident via the internet could have legal consequences later on. It’s best to keep information about your accident private and avoid the impulse to share details online.
Mistake #6: Waiting too long to contact an attorney
After a trucking accident, you may be dazed and emotionally drained, not to mention injured; meanwhile, representatives for the insurance and trucking companies are already mobilizing to gather information that will help their case and defeat potential personal injury claims.
The first thing you should do after filing a police report and receiving medical treatment for injuries is contact an experienced trucking accident attorney who can then use his or her investigation skills and network of resources to put together a full and accurate picture of the crash that will uncover the facts and tell your side of the story.
Most importantly, insurance adjusters representing the trucking company will likely try to contact you after the crash to ask you for a statement; you are not legally required to talk to them, and you should never speak to an insurance adjuster for the trucking company before consulting with an attorney. The insurance adjuster’s job is to serve their employer’s interests–not yours; the only reason they want your statement is to minimize their liability and build a defense against your personal injury claim.
Although a large truck or bus crash is usually an event that’s out of your control, avoiding these common mistakes can help you or a loved one receive compensation and justice through a successful personal injury claim. Remember that time is not on your side in a personal injury case: Witnesses forget details and information and evidence can become lost as time passes, so it’s important to contact an experienced trucking attorney right away if you’ve been injured in a large vehicle crash.
Contact Truck Wreck Justice if You’ve Been Injured in a Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a large truck or bus, Truck Wreck Justice Attorney Morgan Adams can help. With years of experience and a sole focus on large vehicle cases, Morgan Adams has the skill and experience required to help you tackle the tough legal challenges surrounding a trucking accident.
Please contact Truck Wreck Justice at (432) 265-2020 or fill out our online contact form if you are seeking legal representation or assistance. We offer free consultations to help you gain a better understanding of your situation, and we handle cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you won’t pay for fees or case expenses unless or until you get the compensation you deserve.