You have several steps you can take to protect your rights after a truck accident. Preserving your options makes sense because of the terrible consequences that truck accidents can inflict upon car drivers or occupants.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,761 people died in crashes with large trucks in 2017. Only 18 percent of those who died in truck accidents were in the truck. The overwhelming majority of fatalities were either car occupants (72 percent) or other road users such as pedestrians or cyclists (10 percent).
If a truck accident victim survives, they could end up with catastrophic life-altering or permanent injuries that might require years of extensive and expensive medical treatments. Knowing what you can do to protect your rights after a truck accident can ensure that you have legal recourse and can pursue justice and compensation.
Here are some important actions you can take to protect your rights after a truck accident.
Seeing a Doctor
Even if you believe you did not suffer serious injuries, you should get a thorough check-up after a truck accident—especially if you experience any pain or other symptoms. Several conditions might have a delayed onset after a car accident, and days could pass before you notice any symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic describes conditions such as whiplash and traumatic brain injury that might not manifest until several days or weeks after an accident. Getting a comprehensive medical exam that details all the injuries suffered in your truck accident could also become pivotal if you later decide to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries and damages through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If you took any pictures at the accident scene, keep them in a safe place together with all the other documents that could serve as evidence if you later pursue a court case. Evidence such as witness contact information and statements, a police report of the accident, invoices detailing any property damage, and your medical reports and bills connected to the accident could all help with your claim.
Making Detailed Notes
If you have not already done so, start jotting down everything you can remember about the accident and how it happened. You might wish to include conversations you had with witnesses, other drivers, and the at-fault party. You could also journal about your injuries, medical treatments, and any pain and suffering you endure. You can use this diary later to show the impact of the accident on your day-to-day activities.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Perhaps the most important call you could make to protect your rights is to a truck accident lawyer. An attorney can protect your rights and prevent the at-fault parties or any insurance adjusters from tricking you out of the justice and compensation you deserve. They can assess the full extent of your damages, gather the necessary evidence, and build your case against the responsible party.
Truck accidents can quickly become more challenging to litigate than car accidents, as you might have several at-fault parties. A truck accident lawyer knows the applicable laws and will fight for your rights and a fair settlement.
Let Your Lawyer Negotiate
One major mistake that can undo all your work protecting your rights would be negotiating with the at-fault parties’ insurance companies or legal teams without having an attorney on your side.
Typically, adjusters with the at-fault parties’ insurance companies will contact a truck accident victim immediately after a crash to settle a claim quickly and cheaply. You must remember that no matter how friendly the adjusters and insurance company representatives might appear, they have their company’s interests in mind and not yours. They will try to keep any payouts as low as possible, attempting to get you to settle a claim out of court.
The insurance company might even request a recorded statement from you. Most personal injury lawyers advise victims to immediately put the brakes on this request and not communicate with the insurance company before getting professional legal advice and help with your claim.
Once you sign an out-of-court settlement agreement, you usually cannot file a lawsuit if the agreement does not cover unexpected future bills. You might underestimate your damages and agree to a settlement that leaves you severely out-of-pocket and without any legal recourse.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Protect Your Rights
Getting professional legal help can prove helpful in protecting your rights and recovering adequate compensation that covers both your present and future needs. If you wonder what you can do to protect your rights after a truck accident, you can call a personal injury lawyer for further information and advice.
Standing up to a trucking company can be daunting and challenging without having a truck accident lawyer to defend your rights. Why struggle when you can get professional legal help without having to pay any upfront attorney’s fees? Many personal injury attorneys work on contingency and only get paid if they win your case.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for a free, no-obligation review of your truck accident case with a team member.