When a negligent truck driver causes you to suffer injuries in a truck accident, you deserve justice and compensation for your injuries and the pain and suffering you endure. The last thing that you want to do is to take an action or say something that you later discover was a mistake that weakens your claim and ultimately reduces the amount of compensation that you receive. Here, we discuss some common mistakes that you do not want to make.
Common Mistakes That Hurt Truck Accident Victims’ Claims for Compensation
The good news is that many of the mistakes that truck wreck victims make are avoidable. You can learn from other people’s missteps and avoid some of the problems that they inadvertently caused for themselves. The following are common mistakes that you do not want to make:
- Not obtaining the police report. If you do not contact the police at the accident scene and obtain a copy of the police report, you are giving the insurance company an argument that no accident occurred or that you were the at-fault party. In addition, the report will contain valuable information, such as contact information for the trucker and trucking company, their insurance companies, witnesses, and the police officer’s conclusions as to the cause of the crash.
- Not seeking prompt medical care. By failing to obtain prompt medical attention—even if you do not believe you were injured—you jeopardize your health. Some injuries take days or weeks before symptoms develop. In addition, the trucking company’s insurance adjuster could argue that your injuries were caused by another incident or that you were not injured as seriously as you claim or you would have gone to the doctor sooner. Failure to follow up with necessary medical care can result in similar arguments when negotiating the settlement of your claim.
- Agreeing to give a recorded statement. You are not required to give a recorded statement, which is a tape-recorded question and answer session between the adjuster and you, to settle your claim. If you agree to this, you could accidentally say something that could hurt your claim or that you did not mean to say that can later be used against you at court hearings.
- Signing a blanket medical authorization. While you will need to provide medical records regarding your injuries, you do not want to sign a medical authorization provided by the insurance company. This authorization would allow the insurance company to receive irrelevant and private medical information about you that the adjuster could use to try to deny or reduce your claim.
- Settling your claim too quickly. You do not want to accept the first offer the insurance company makes because the settlement most likely will not fully compensate you. Before making any decisions on settling your claim, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you on the amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive.
- Not hiring an attorney as soon as possible. You want to retain an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your truck crash. He can send the trucking company a spoliation letter to prevent evidence you will need to prove your case from being destroyed. An attorney will also investigate your accident and negotiate a fair settlement for you. In addition, he can file a lawsuit for you before the statute of limitations expires if this becomes necessary.