It's not unusual to feel confused, frightened, frustrated, or overwhelmed in the moments following a serious large truck crash. However, as tempting as it might be to give in to these emotions, a victim's ability to obtain a fair financial recovery depends largely on what is said and done immediately after the accident.
If you were injured in a devastating collision with a semi, big-rig, or other large commercial truck, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Here's what should be avoided so you can protect the integrity of a future insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Fleeing the Scene
After the serious truck accident, the last thing you need is to face hit-and-run charges. Fleeing the scene of even a minor accident is illegal under Texas state law, which requires motorists to stop and wait for the arrival of law enforcement after being in crashes involving injuries, property damage, or death.
Neglecting to Call the Police After the Accident
Some motorists may be reluctant to call the police after a truck accident, particularly if the crash miraculously caused little-to-no property damage or injuries.
However, always request law enforcement to the scene. Filing an accident report with the authorities is required by law, and a completed report can be extremely valuable evidence when seeking compensation. Police reports often include helpful information on where, when, and under what circumstances the accident occurred.
Turning Down Medical Attention
No one likes going to the doctor, but after a truck accident, receiving a full examination from a qualified physician is absolutely imperative, both for your physical health and the health of your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Waiting too long to seek medical attention after a truck crash opens the door for insurance adjusters and defense attorneys to doubt the cause and extent of your injuries. Additionally, your condition may be more serious than you think. Doctors trained to work with accident victims may be able to diagnose soft-tissue injuries that won't emerge until hours or days later.
Forgetting to Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
All insurance companies are businesses with an eye toward the bottom line. As a result, these companies often look for excuses to deny claims or minimize financial responsibilities—even to their policyholders. Don't give your insurance company a reason to deny your claim; report the truck accident as soon as you can, preferably the same day as the crash.
Sharing Too Much Information With the Insurance Companies
An insurance company representative will try to use the information he or she has against you in order to reduce or deny the claim, which is why it's so important to give them as little information as possible. Always refuse to provide the insurance company—whether it's yours or the commercial truck driver's—with a written or recorded statement until you've had the opportunity to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney.
Discussing the Accident With the Truck Driver
After a commercial vehicle accident, say as little as possible to the truck operator, as whatever you say can potentially be used against you when pursing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Specifically, avoid apologizing or accepting responsibility for the accident. Even if you apologize just to be nice, doing so may hinder your ability to collect compensation for your injuries.
Allowing Valuable Evidence to Be Lost
How the scene of an accident looks in the moments after a truck crash can paint a powerful picture for an insurance adjuster, or judge and jury. Have you or someone else take photos of the scene, paying special attention to road or weather conditions that contributed to the crash, as well the damage to your vehicle and any injuries sustained.
Trying to Handle the Truck Crash Claim or Lawsuit Yourself
In a truck accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, crash victims often go head-to-head with polished corporate counsel. But when they hire a trustworthy and reputable truck accident attorney, this can help level the playing field.
Don't let a misstep ruin your chances for compensation. Contact McGartland Law's award-winning legal team to schedule an appointment for a free initial analysis of your truck accident case.