Going through the truck accident claims process can be emotionally taxing. However, when you make mistakes, it can delay your settlement and potentially have a negative impact on the amount of compensation you recover.
Fortunately, when you have a dedicated truck accident lawyer working for you, you do not have to worry about mistakes like these. Here are some of the top mistakes you should avoid when pursuing a truck accident insurance or civil claim.
Admitting Shared Liability
One of the top mistakes truck accident victims make is admitting that they might share liability for causing the accident or the injuries they sustained.
In the aftermath of the accident, you may unintentionally make a comment to law-enforcement officials, witnesses, passengers, or other involved parties that can hurt your claim. For this reason, if you hope to protect yourself and your future settlement, it is crucial never to express guilt or accept blame for contributing to the accident.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Depending on where you live, your settlement could be dependent on it. Georgia, for example, follows a modified comparative negligence system with a 50% threshold. If your portion of the liability is not greater than 50%, you can still recover compensation for your damages.
Unfortunately, sharing liability means your settlement will result in a reduction proportionate to your percentage of the blame. For example, if the judge found you 30% responsible for causing your accident, your settlement would be reduced by 30%. With this in mind, having an experienced truck accident attorney on your side to ensure liability is accurately evaluated is critical.
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Failing to Get Medical Help Immediately
If you do not get medical attention immediately after your accident, it could have a devastating impact on you not only financially but physically as well. After your truck accident, there will likely be adrenaline coursing through your body that makes it difficult or impossible for you to feel the full impact of the injuries you have sustained.
If your injuries are not treated, you could wind up with far worse symptoms, and your condition could rapidly deteriorate. Furthermore, those who do not get medical help after an accident may find the defendant accuses them of exaggerating the extent of their injuries. Alternatively, they could even argue that your injuries did not occur in the accident but in another way.
Posting on Social Media
Do not make the mistake of posting about your commercial truck accident on social media. Even if your profiles and pages are all private, you never know who could be lurking.
Do not post about your injuries, the way your life has been affected, or the fact that you were injured in a truck accident at all. You do not want a social media post to be screenshot, misconstrued, and used against you by the liable party.
Failing to File a Police Report
It is not unusual for defendants to hope to resolve truck accident cases without contacting the police. They may offer to Venmo you, pay cash for your damages, or otherwise compensate you without filing an insurance claim or bringing your case to court.
However, the law might require you to notify the police of your collision if there were severe property damages or injuries. Furthermore, the police will document the accident scene and gather compelling evidence that can be used to prove the defendant’s negligence so you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Giving the Insurance Company a Statement
One of the top mistakes truck accident victims make after a collision is giving a statement to the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are going to be polite and concerned. However, that does not mean that they are on your side.
Anything you say to the insurance company could be manipulated and used against you to reduce the insurance company’s financial obligation. You do not want to accidentally express guilt or make any other statement that the insurance adjuster could use to deny or delay the processing of your claim.
Fortunately, you do not need to deal with the insurance company alone. You can direct them to your truck accident lawyer, who will ensure they have the information and details they need to move forward with your claim without putting your settlement at risk.
Failing to Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene
Unless your injuries prevent you from doing so, it is critical to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of your truck accident. Some examples of such evidence could include:
- Photos of the truck driver’s license plate
- Photos of your injuries
- Panoramic videos of the roadways
- Video footage of the weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Writing down a detailed note about how the accident occurred
- Witness names and contact information
- Photos of damage to surrounding property and vehicles
Failing to Keep Track of Accident-Related Expenses
Do not make the mistake of throwing out receipts and failing to document your accident-related expenses. You are entitled to total compensation for your damages. This includes any expenses you covered out of your pocket, such as:
- Home accommodations
- Medical equipment and devices
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Costs of prescription medications
- Vehicle repairs
- Rental car costs
Accepting a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company
It would help if you never accepted a settlement offer from the insurance company unless you have reviewed it with your truck accident lawyer. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to make insultingly low settlement offers or make offers quickly to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
If the insurance company does make you an offer, make sure you have your attorney review it compared to your damages so we can determine whether the offer is fair and reasonable. If not, we can renegotiate for a more realistic figure and prepare to bring your case to court.
Get Help from a Truck Accident Lawyer Today and Demand Justice
If you make any of the previously mentioned mistakes, that does not necessarily mean you will lose out on the compensation that is rightfully yours. With the right legal advocate on your side, errors can be addressed and prevented from the start.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a reputable truck accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates today. You can reach us through our convenient contact form or phone to get started on your truck accident case.