Large truck accidents have the potential to cause devastating, even catastrophic injuries that result in lifelong disabilities. Because of the size and weight of large trucks, victims’ injuries tend to be more severe. Truck accident cases are also quite different and more complex compared to car accident injury lawsuits due to the federal regulations that govern truck drivers and the trucking industry.
It is also important to remember that truck accident claims are worth a lot more than car accident claims. So, insurance companies tend to fight harder to avoid settling legitimate claims or to pay less than what the claims are actually worth. If you were injured in a truck accident, you deserve to receive fair and full compensation for your injuries and losses. One of the best ways to do that is to understand how to avoid making the mistakes that potentially jeopardize your truck accident case.
Eight Common Mistakes
Here are eight common mistakes that may affect your case:
1. Not filing a police report. When you don’t file a police report, it becomes more challenging to establish the time, date, facts and circumstances of the case. The police report also includes valuable information such as contact information for all involved in the truck accident, statements from the truck driver and witnesses and the responding law enforcement officer’s determinations as to what caused the crash.
2. Providing a recorded statement. It would be in your best interest not to agree to a recorded statement, even though the insurance company may request it in a very polite manner. This is essentially a tape-recorded question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster, which probably would be used against you in court. You are not required under any law to provide this statement to the insurance company in order to receive compensation for your losses. In addition, there is the possibility that you may inadvertently say something that affects the value of your truck accident case.
3. Failing to preserve evidence. If you do not act to collect and preserve evidence immediately after the accident, you are losing valuable information and evidence that may help significantly strengthen your case. You need to take photos and video of the accident scene, the truck, damaged vehicles and your injuries. It is also important to locate and obtain contact information for eyewitnesses before they leave the scene.
4. Not getting crucial contact information at the scene of the crash can hurt your claim. You also want to get contact information for the truck driver, the trucking company and its insurance company. If you are injured and unable to get this information, ask a family member, friend or your truck accident lawyer to help you gather this valuable information and evidence.
5. Signing a medical authorization. Do not sign a medical authorization that will provide the insurance company access to all your medical information. By doing so, you may give them information they can use against you to reduce the value of your case. Do not sign any documents or authorization without first having your personal injury lawyer review them. You should allow your lawyer to handle providing your medical records to the insurance company.
6. Not sending a spoliation letter. You should have your attorney send the trucking company a spoliation letter advising them of your claim and demanding that the evidence not be destroyed soon after the accident. Otherwise, the trucking company may get rid of vital documents such as truck driver logs, maintenance records and black box information.
7. Rushing to settle your claim. If you settle your claim too soon, you may not receive full compensation for all your losses. If you sign the agreement, your case may be considered closed and you may not be able to, for instance, seek compensation for surgeries or ongoing treatments you need to fully recover from your truck accident injuries. This is why you should not settle your case without first seeking the counsel of an experienced truck accident lawyer.
8. Not retaining the services of a lawyer. You may put yourself at a serious disadvantage if you do not get an experienced truck accident lawyer in your corner at the earliest. Trucking companies and their insurers have powerful legal defense teams who will fight hard to protect their best interests. You need a strong and resourceful lawyer on your side who will fight for your rights.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 49 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com