No one likes to be hit by a truck, but sadly, it happens more often than we know it. Truckers don’t always follow road rules; sometimes, they’re inclined to speed or drive distracted. Trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, and they sometimes carry cargo like flammable or dangerous materials. Because of this, truck accidents often come with more severe consequences than other motor vehicle accidents. These incidents can be devastating, resulting in serious injuries, property damage, and even fatalities.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you’re probably wondering what your rights are and how you can protect them. It is essential to protect your legal rights to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
In this article, learn about what you can do after a truck accident and how to protect your legal rights.
Damages that a Truck Accident can Cause You
If you are the injured party of a truck accident, you’ll face many problems and bills. With the help of a lawyer, you can take measures that work to hold the liable party accountable for your losses, so you may be able to recover the cost of your economic damages.
Accidents can cause economic damages, such as:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damage expenses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Funeral expenses
A truck accident can result in the loss of your mobility, independence, or even a loved one. Depending on your case, you may also be eligible to pursue the cost of your non-economic damages, including physical and emotional losses, such as:
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
How to Protect Your Legal Rights after a Truck Accident
Listed below are ways you can protect your right in case of a truck accident:
Seek medical attention
Your health and safety are the most important things to consider after a truck accident. The sooner you get medical care, the sooner you can recover. Even if you do not feel injured, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is important. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent, but they can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Some conditions have a delayed onset after a car accident, and days may pass before you notice any symptoms. Conditions like whiplash and traumatic brain injury might not manifest until several days or weeks after the accident, so it’s best to get a comprehensive medical exam immediately.
Seeking immediate medical attention is not only beneficial for your health and well-being – it also protects your personal injury claim in many ways. Going to the doctor or hospital is a piece of strong evidence that you did all you could to mitigate your damages – in other words, you didn’t do anything to make your injuries worse.
Keep your medical records that result from these visits, as it could help protect your rights. Medical records that existed during your accident could establish that your injuries are real and that medical treatments were necessary. The bills you incur may also serve as strong evidence for damages in your personal injury case. These documents are essential if you later decide to hold the at-fault party accountable for your damages and injuries through a lawsuit or insurance claim.
Document the accident scene
Truck accidents are very serious, leading victims with severe or life-threatening injuries. Your well-being is a priority, so you must get immediate medical treatment once you need it. If you’re able to stay at the scene long enough to gather information, these are the things you may need to do:
- Take photos of the damage to your vehicle, the truck, any other vehicles involved, and any injuries you have sustained.
- Exchange information with the truck driver, including their names, contact information, license plate number, driver’s license, insurance information, etc.
- If there were witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information.
- Make a note of the weather conditions, road conditions, and any other factors that may have contributed to the accident.
- Look for street cameras or businesses with CCTVs that might have caught the accident.
Report the accident
Report the accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide accurate and detailed information about the accident and any injuries or damages you have sustained. Be honest and forthright in your statements, as any inconsistencies or falsehoods could later harm your legal case.
If you took any photos of the accident scene, keep them in a safe place, together with all other documents that could serve as evidence should you pursue a court case.
Do not admit fault
While it’s human nature to say “sorry” or be apologetic after an accident, this is a situation where you want to be careful with what you say.
Do not admit fault for the accident, even if you believe you were partially responsible. The insurance company of the party at fault will look for ways to reduce how much they have to pay you, so don’t say anything that can get misconstrued as you admitting fault for the accident. Apologetic behavior can be used against you in a legal case, so it is best to let the investigation determine fault.
Hire a truck accident lawyer
A lawyer can help you protect your legal rights and navigate the complex legal process of a truck accident case. Having a lawyer on your side is important to plead your case after an accident, as these incidents are usually more severe and legally complex than other types of accidents. They can advise you on your legal options, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.
There are personal injury lawyers that will take on a truck accident case, but you can also opt for an experienced truck accident lawyer. They understand the complexity of these types of cases and, most importantly, how to negotiate for a fair settlement. They can assess the full extent of your damages, gather necessary evidence, and build your case against the responsible party.
Truck accidents can be trickier to litigate than car accidents since there can be several at-fault parties. A truck accident lawyer is knowledgeable about the applicable laws and can help you fight for your rights and a proper settlement.
Keep track of expenses
Truck accidents can be very expensive for victims. You’ll likely deal with the following:
- Medical bills
- Doctor co-pays and out-of-pocket costs
- Prescription medications
- Lost income from missed work time
- Tests, surgeries, and other procedures
- Vehicle replacement or replacement
Keep track of the costs that you may face because of the accident. Don’t throw away receipts, bills, or quotes you’ve received that are related to your accident. Keep them in a safe and organized place, like a folder or envelope just for these documents. This documentation is proof of your damages when you file a personal injury claim.
Preserve all evidence related to the accident, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any correspondence with insurance companies or lawyers. This evidence can be used to support your case and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Do not accept the first settlement offer
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to make people accept a much lower settlement than they deserve. No matter how apologetic or concerned the party at fault may seem, you should not be influenced into accepting a low settlement.
Sometimes the money offered may seem good at first, but you have to speak to your lawyer to ensure you get what you deserve. Insurance adjusters or attorneys may try to get you to sign a release form and accept a lump sum of money. Don’t trust this feeling even if it sounds good enough or if the person who contacts you seems concerned about you. Never accept the first settlement offer from n insurance company. Talk to a FedEx truck accident settlement process lawyer first, and you’ll realize how much your case is worth.
Also, you should beware of signing anything or recording any statement without consulting a lawyer. Otherwise, you may sign away your rights to seek further compensation.
Do not discuss your claim with others
It’s also important to avoid discussing your injury claims with anyone outside your legal team, especially with the other drivers involved. While it’s human nature to be concerned and want to check in with the truck driver or other drivers involved and discuss what happened, the less you say, the better.
Anything you say to the other driver can be used against you, and it’s not uncommon for an action of sympathy to be misconstrued as an admission of fault. So, limit your communication with the other driver as much as possible.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your legal rights. Time is of the essence when it comes to truck accidents, so start taking action to receive your proper compensation immediately.