If you’ve been in a tractor trailer accident, you may be eligible for substantial relief for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. However, the success of your case largely depends on knowing what to do — and what not to do — after a collision with a commercial vehicle. Here are some crucial mistakes to avoid:
Don’t Leave the Scene
Stay put and wait until the police or first responders arrive. Fleeing the scene will jeopardize your personal injury claim and may even lead to criminal charges.
Don’t Discuss the Accident
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, write down the names and contact information of the truck driver and any eyewitnesses and explain what happened to the police.
Other than that, don’t discuss the accident with anyone — not even your family and friends — until you have consulted with an attorney. Insurers and trucking companies can and will use anything you say against you.
Don’t Admit Fault
Never, ever admit fault in a tractor trailer accident. That includes even something as innocuous as saying, “I’m sorry; are you okay?” to the truck driver. Insurance company representatives can twist everything you say and use it to minimize your payout.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Don’t post anything about the crash online. It’s also a good idea to stay away from social media and not post anything at all until your claim settles.
Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys routinely scour the social media profiles of accident victims. They will search for anything that could throw into question the severity of your injuries. Sometimes, even a picture of you smiling after the accident could be used to undermine your claim.
Don’t Wait to Seek Medical Attention
Always seek immediate medical attention after a tractor-trailer crash. Some serious injuries, such as brain injuries or internal organ damage, may not present symptoms at first. You should see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out hidden injuries, even if you feel fine.
Besides, if you put off your medical treatment, the insurer or the trucking company could argue that your injuries weren’t as serious as you claim.
Don’t Miss Your Medical Appointments
Merely seeking medical attention after a tractor trailer accident isn’t enough. You must also complete your full course of treatment as prescribed by your physician. Make sure to also go to all follow-up appointments.
Don’t Sign Anything
Never sign anything without running it by your attorney first.
The trucking company’s insurer may try to talk you into signing an initial settlement and a release soon after the accident. Don’t do it. An early settlement offer is likely to be significantly lower than what you might be able to receive if you hold out a little longer and let your lawyer conduct negotiations.
Also, keep in mind that by signing a release, you could be signing away your right to initiate a personal injury lawsuit later.
Don’t Represent Yourself
Personal injury law is complicated. If you try to go it alone, you risk jeopardizing your claim and even your right to seek compensation altogether. All it takes is one missed deadline or wrong form. To maximize your chances of recovery, you should partner with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Talk to an Indiana Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a tractor trailer accident, you are probably stressed out about it. Let our team at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys handle the legal legwork while you focus on your recovery and piecing your life back together. Call us at 1-866-926-2419 to schedule your free case evaluation.