You could suffer long-term injuries, or a loved one could be killed if a negligent truck driver causes your truck accident in Norfolk. The trucking company, trucker, and other negligent parties could be responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
However, the responsible party may fight longer and harder to deny your claim or reduce the amount they pay you because your claim's value is higher. You can defeat their strategies by taking these seven steps to build a winning case.
Seek Medical Care Even If the Truck Crash Is Minor
While you know to obtain prompt medical care if you or a family member suffered obvious injuries, you may not realize how important this step is if you do not believe you were hurt or think that your injuries were minor. The reality is that many serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding and organ damage, and spinal injuries, may not be apparent for days or weeks after your truck collision.
You protect your health and avoid your injury becoming more serious by being examined by a physician within 48 hours of your wreck. In addition, taking this step can help you avoid disputes with the insurance company about the cause of your injuries and their seriousness.
You should call the police at the accident scene. A police officer will investigate the cause of your crash and interview you, the trucker, and any witnesses. They will also write a police report that will contain helpful information, such as details about how the accident happened, their conclusions as to who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued. You can obtain a copy of the police report and use it to prove the truck driver’s liability when negotiating your settlement with the insurance company.
Obtain Important Contact Information
You should not rely on the police to collect the contact information you need to file your claim. While you are waiting for law enforcement to arrive, you should obtain it for the following:
- Trucking company
- Their insurance company
- Any eyewitnesses who saw the collision occur
Take Pictures With Your Cell Phone Camera
Another step you need to take while waiting for the police to arrive is to take pictures with your smartphone camera or have someone do it for you if you cannot due to your injuries. You should take photos of the damage to the truck and your car, the crash scene, road and weather conditions, and your injuries.
Watch What You Say
Be careful what you say when talking to the trucker, police, and the trucker’s insurance company. Avoid making statements, such as “I’m sorry,” that could be misconstrued as an admission of fault or agreeing to anything without first consulting with a lawyer.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Although you do not have to file a claim with your own insurance company, you should notify them of your truck accident. You are most likely required to do this under your insurance policy, and you protect your right to file a claim if you discover that the trucker does not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate you.
Hire a Lawyer Immediately
While it is always a good idea to retain an attorney quickly if you were involved in a car, pedestrian, motorcycle, or bicycle crash, it is crucial to take this step right away after a truck accident. Why is this so important? The trucking company could have documents and data from the truck’s black box that could be destroyed if you do not act quickly to get it.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will know what information you need from them to win your case. They will send the trucking company a spoliation letter immediately notifying them of your claim and of the documents that they should not destroy.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.