Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous and stressful auto accidents. Seeking compensation for your damages after a truck accident can also be really complicated, as it often means dealing with the truck driver and the trucking company that employs them. To make sure you don’t get stuck footing the bill for someone else’s mistakes, it’s imperative that you protect your rights after a truck accident.
Many people have never been in a truck accident before, so it can be hard to know where to turn first. Thankfully, there are ways you can begin protecting your legal rights immediately. You’ll also want to avoid doing anything that may hurt your case.
At John Foy & Associates, our truck accident lawyers have been helping injury victims win the money they deserve for more than 20 years. We know what it takes to win complex cases like these—and we don’t take a fee unless we win you money. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today to get started with a FREE consultation.
Six Ways to Protect Your Legal Rights After a Truck Accident
Here are some of the most important things you can do to protect your rights after being injured in a truck accident that was not your fault.
1. Gather Information at the Scene
Truck accidents can be incredibly serious, leaving victims with severe or life-threatening injuries. Your well-being is the number one priority, so you should get immediate medical treatment if you need it. Otherwise, if you are able to stay at the scene long enough to gather some information, here are some things you can do:
- Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage.
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Exchange information with the truck driver, including names, contact information, insurance information, license plate number, driver’s license.
- Get the name and contact information of the driver’s trucking company.
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information.
The more information you can get about the accident at the scene, the better. This will help you and your lawyer demonstrate what happened and build a strong insurance claim.
2. Do NOT Admit Any Fault in the Accident
It’s human nature to say “sorry” or be apologetic after something like an accident. However, this is a situation where you want to be careful what you say. The at-fault party’s insurance company will be looking for ways to reduce what they have to pay you, so you don’t want anything to get misconstrued as you admitting fault for the accident.
Stick with the facts when you report the accident, avoid too much communication with the truck driver, and do not talk to the insurance company until you’ve spoken to a truck accident lawyer.
3. Get Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
If you didn’t get treatment right after the accident, you’ll want to see a doctor as soon as you can. A lot of injuries that happen during truck accidents can worsen quickly, and they are often more serious than they initially seem. Your body is flooded with adrenaline during an accident, and you may not feel the full extent of your injuries until hours or days later.
To protect your rights, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible. If anything worsens or changes about your injuries, schedule a follow-up appointment right away. Seeing a doctor creates a record of your injuries and also shows the insurance company that you were seriously hurt.
If you wait too long to get medical treatment, the insurance company might try to say you were not hurt as badly as your claim portrays. It could greatly reduce what you’re able to receive as compensation.
4. Keep Track of All Expenses
Truck accidents can be incredibly expensive for victims. You will likely have losses like:
- Many medical bills
- Doctor co-pays or out-of-pocket costs
- Prescription medications
- Tests, surgeries, and other procedures
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Loss of earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Pain and suffering damages (and other non-economic damages)
Keep track of all the costs that you face because of the accident. Don’t throw away any bills, receipts, or quotes you receive related to the accident. You might want to keep a folder just for these documents. When you file your personal injury claim, you’ll need to provide this documentation as proof of your damages.
5. Never Accept the First Settlement Offer
A common tactic insurance companies use to try and get you to accept less money is offering a lowball settlement. You might be contacted by an insurance adjuster or attorney who tries to get you to sign a release form and accept a lump sum of money.
Even if the money sounds good and/or the person who contacts you seems concerned about you, don’t trust it. Never accept the first offer from the insurance company. After talking to a truck accident lawyer, you’ll realize just how much more your case is worth.
To provide your rights, do not sign anything, accept any money, or agree to give a recorded statement without consulting a lawyer first. Otherwise, you might sign away your legal rights and not be able to seek further compensation.
6. Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself after an accident is to contact a truck accident lawyer. It’s crucial to have a lawyer on your side after a truck accident. These crashes are so much more serious and legally complex than other types of accidents.
Many personal injury lawyers will say they take on truck accident cases, but you should work specifically with an experienced truck accident lawyer. They will understand the complexity of these types of cases and, most importantly, how to pursue a fair settlement.
Time is of the essence after a truck accident. In Georgia, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your personal injury claim (Georgia Code § 9-3-33). If you try to file for damages after that timeframe, you will not be able to get compensation for the accident. To make sure you don’t miss your chance at financial recovery, contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to get started on your case.
Talk to a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping truck accident victims with their cases for more than 20 years. Let’s discuss the details of your case and how we can help during a FREE consultation. To schedule your FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.