A truck accident can result in more severe injuries than a collision of 2 passenger vehicles. What’s more, it can pose more complex legal issues and complicate the process of filing a claim for compensation. If you’ve been in a truck accident, you deserve to be fully compensated for your injuries. However, getting a fair settlement can be a bit tricky. Ed Bernstein, a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer, shares 10 common mistakes people make while filing a truck accident claim. Keep on reading to learn what you should avoid!
- Neglecting police report
If a trucker causes your accident, not filing a police report is a huge mistake. It’s an easy argument for insurance adjusters that the accident didn’t happen, or it was partially your fault. Additionally, without a police report, you could lose important information such as investigation notes, a determining cause of the crash, or contact information for drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
2. Failing to collect contact information
While most drivers don’t forget to collect contact information from the negligent trucker, they may not gather this information from crash witnesses, if there were any. If you fail to collect data regarding witnesses at the scene, they may be lost forever and won’t help you during a potential trial.
3. Neglecting medical care
Unless you seek medical attention right away, your insurance company may see it as negligence. They may call into question the validity of your insurance claim regarding the cause and severity of your injuries. Even if you think you’re not hurt, you should see a physician right away, as some injuries may not be immediately visible.
4. Not following medical treatment
Similarly, if you decide not to follow your doctor’s advice or neglect your treatment, it can reduce the value of your claim as it will undermine the severity of your injuries. As a result, even if you ask a professional truck accident attorney for help, they may not be able to settle your claim for its real worth.
5. Signing a medical authorization
The insurance company may give you a blanket medical authorization to sign. Don’t do that! Otherwise, you’ll provide the insurance adjuster with access to all of the medical records that could potentially contain private and irrelevant information about you. Insurance adjusters don’t need all your records; they only need your medical records regarding your injuries from the accident. To avoid waving your essential legal rights, such as your right to a lawsuit, never sign any documents without having consulted them with a professional truck accident attorney.
6. Failing to preserve evidence
You need to act immediately after your accident. If you (or someone on your behalf) fail to secure evidence from the crash site, you could lose important information that can help your case later on. Try to take pictures or make videos at the accident scene; pay attention to the truck, damaged vehicles, and your injuries, while also trying to locate potential witnesses.
7. Giving consent to a recorded statement
A recorded statement is a tape-recorded question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster. Never agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance company! You’ll be paid what you’re owed regardless, as you’re not required to give such a statement. Additionally, you could say something that could inadvertently damage your case and be used against you during a trial.
8. Accepting early settlement
Although it may be tempting, settling your claim too quickly is never a good idea. If you agree to one of the first offers made by your insurance company, you may receive far less than what your claim is truly worth. Don’t settle your claim before obtaining advice from a professional truck accident attorney.
9. Oversharing on social media
Imagine you have a pending lawsuit or an insurance claim, following your truck accident. However, you remain active on social media, sharing pictures from your daily life. During the claims process, adjusters are going to check your social media sites multiple times. If they find damaging statements or compromising pictures showing activities you’re supposedly too injured to be performing, they can have solid reasons to weaken your claim.
10. Not hiring an attorney
Truck accidents can pose lots of problems for laypeople. If you’re faced with a lawsuit, some matters may be too complex, and your lack of legal knowledge may be used against you. Hiring an attorney is one of the best decisions you can make right after your truck accident. A professional will fight for the compensation you deserve and lead you through the entire legal process.
As you can see, this list is quite extensive. However, if you’ve made one of these mistakes, not all is lost! If you haven’t done it already, hire an attorney and ask for professional help. A legal specialist can help you navigate through your case and pursue your claim against a negligent trucker or trucker company.