Immediately after a truck accident, and even before considering when to call an attorney, you should make sure to get a police report. This means that if the police have not arrived at the scene, you should call 911 and report the accident. If anyone was injured, an ambulance should also be called for and, as soon as possible, you should have your own injuries checked out, no matter how small they may seem. In many cases, internal damage is not immediately visible, and you do not want to be surprised by it later on. Also, not taking your health seriously may mean that the insurance company can deny your claim by saying that you did not think your injuries were serious enough to require treatment.
To document the scene, take pictures of both vehicles and of anything on the road that might have contributed to the incident. And if you suspect that the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, be sure to mention this to the police.
Keep in mind not to admit to any fault. The police will survey the scene and arrive at their own determination, which will be stated on the police report.
Should you contact the insurance company before talking to a truck accident lawyer?
You may think that going straight to your insurance may avoid unnecessary steps and get you the funds you need right away. However, that may result in you receiving a low offer since the insurance is not motivated to give you more than they absolutely have to. As a matter of fact, their motivation is to pay out as little as possible.
Also, if you say anything to them regarding the accident during any of your conversations, they may interpret your words as having admitted that you are even partially at fault and don’t deserve the full amount. In some cases, your claim may be denied outright, leaving you wondering what went wrong and what should have been done differently. But by then, it might already be too late.
In-vehicle accidents, you may have to file a claim with your insurance company, or with the insurance company of the other driver, or maybe with both. Determining when to file a claim with each can be difficult. If you want to make sure to file the right paperwork with the right insurance company, talk to an accident lawyer before submitting your claim.
Talk to A Truck accident Attorney About Your Accident
Make an initial appointment with your accident lawyer to discuss your case. You will get guidance on what type of claim to file, how to approach the insurance company when making a claim, and how much they think your case is worth. Most accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that there are no out-of-pocket costs to you. Do not try to become a legal expert and handle your case on your own. You may end up making a mistake that will end up with your claim being dismissed altogether.
Compensation and Your Accident Attorney
There are many ways to receive compensation after a truck accident, and all may not apply to your particular case. Pursuing the wrong type of compensation will not only eat up your time and resources if you don’t have legal advice but may yield no results.
By working with an experienced truck accident attorney, you will improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. There are some items that are easy to quantify when it comes to knowing how much to ask for, such as the estimate from the mechanic that will work on your car or that from the body shop that will repair the damage and repaint the vehicle. Also, medical bills related to your injuries, treatments, and prescriptions can easily be added up, as well as how much money you have not earned by not being able to work. Your attorney can help you calculate how much your case is worth in economic damages.
However, there are also non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and others, that are more difficult to quantify but may have a great impact on how much money you end up receiving. This is where an experienced accident attorney with great attention to detail can be your best ally. They can come up with the most accurate number for your compensation and explain which damages you are much more likely to receive.
How will your truck accident attorney help you with your case?
Not only will your lawyer answer all your questions, but they will also discuss your legal options, and gather all information needed to build a solid case. With the purpose of demonstrating that the defendant was careless towards you and that this carelessness resulted in your injuries, your lawyer may:
- Obtain the police report and analyze its information
- Interview any witnesses and obtain their testimonies
- Call upon the expertise of specific individuals such as reconstruction specialists and medical experts
- Obtain information from the medical professionals treating you regarding your recovery and medical records
Your attorney will use the information collected to prove your innocence and the four elements of negligence that the other party incurred in. These four elements are:
A duty of care exists – The other driver owed you a duty of care, meaning that they should have been driving with care and respect for the rules of the road.
This duty of care was breached – The other driver acted in such a way that the duty of care was violated.
Causation – This breach of duty by the liable party resulted in losses and injuries.
Damages – As the plaintiff, you suffered economic and non-economic losses and injuries for which you deserve a financial award.
If you have been involved in a truck accident and still have doubts as to how to proceed, you owe it to yourself to find out more about your options and your rights.