Immediately after a serious truck crash, it’s not easy to think clearly. You may be relieved to be alive and experiencing severe pain. Unfortunately, in the chaos, you may make mistakes that can reduce the value of your legal claims.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we believe that when you’re injured through no fault of your own, you deserve a fair shot at getting the financial resources you need to rebuild. In this blog, we outline common mistakes victims make after a truck crash, and how to avoid them.
1. You Don’t Call the Police and Get an Accident Report
After a crash, even one that seems “minor,” you should always call the police and have them come to the scene of the crash. Under Alabama and Mississippi law, you must report an accident if there are any possible injuries or property damage. Unfortunately, many truck drivers will try to convince you that reporting the crash is just a waste of time.
While police reports are not failproof, calling 911 is essential to your injury claim. The police report may identify factors that contributed to your wreck, such as driver fatigue, intoxication, road conditions, and traffic violations. This summary can help you and your lawyer build your case.
2. You “Tough It Out” and Avoid the Doctor
During a crash, your body fills with adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can mask the signs of injury, and trick you into thinking you’re okay. Hidden injuries, like concussions, internal bleeding, and back injuries also can take time to develop.
If you have even minor aches and pain, you need to see a physician. When a doctor examines you, they will write down your symptoms, how you injured yourself, a diagnosis, and a recommended treatment plan. All of this information can strengthen your legal claims.
For example, suppose a big rig sideswipes your car. You have minor neck pain and decide to get it checked out at the ER. At the hospital, the doctors and nurses document your neck pain and its connection to the crash. They diagnose you with a neck strain and tell you to follow up with your doctor.
Three days later, your neck pain is worse, and you start noticing a shooting pain down your right arm. You visit your doctor, telling him about the crash and the ER’s diagnosis. They schedule an MRI, which shows a herniated disc in your neck. Under these circumstances, you may have a strong argument that your neck injury is related to the crash and that you deserve compensation.
If you had decided to ignore your symptoms, the insurance company may argue that your injuries weren’t “bad enough” to seek attention right away and deny your claims.
3. You Don’t Preserve the Truck’s Driving Logs and Electronic Data
You may not realize that trucking companies keep detailed records about their drivers’ activities. Federal law limits the amount of time a driver can operate an 18-wheeler – and they must keep track of their time on the road. On top of that, many big rigs contain sophisticated electronics that monitor the driver and truck’s behavior in real-time.
In the hands of the right lawyer, these logbooks and electronic “black boxes” are valuable evidence. They can determine whether a driver was fatigued or distracted, and can identify preventable maintenance issues that contributed to your crash.
However, trucking companies don’t keep this information forever. If you don’t act quickly, the truck’s logs and electronic data will be destroyed – and you’ll lose information that could increase the value of your case.
4. You Settle Your Truck Wreck Claim Without a Lawyer
Insurance companies and their employees may seem nice, but they want to close your case as quickly and cheaply as possible. This means their first offer will likely be far lower than you deserve.
Instead of accepting the first offer, consult with an experienced truck crash lawyer. Unlike the insurance company, a lawyer will give you an honest and fair assessment of your claim’s value. Consultations are free and at no risk to you at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys. Getting a lawyer’s opinion is always a good idea because once you settle, you can’t go back and demand more money.
Hurt in a Truck Crash? Call Andy Citrin
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we believe that everyone deserves fair compensation after a crash. That’s why we offer every potential client a free, no-risk consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to help them understand the value of their case, their options, and what to do next.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by during a semi-truck crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! You can request your free consultation today by calling our office at 251-888-8888 or by complete this brief online form.
We look forward to speaking with you!
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.