Large commercial trucks are a reality on American roadways. They haul cargo, build and maintain structures, excavate land, repair utilities, remove waste, and provide fire rescue services. Unfortunately, due to their massive size and weight, when large commercial trucks collide with smaller passenger vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists, the result is often deadly.
With approximately 500,000 truck accidents in the country on any given day and 5,000 of those resulting in at least one fatality, there’s a good chance you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a truck accident.
Legal Representation in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents almost always require legal representation because these personal injury claims are complex, often involve multiple parties, and usually result in extensive property damage and loss of life. For these reasons, the cases take months, often years, to settle, and they often involve larger monetary awards than smaller vehicle accident claims. During the process, it’s imperative that you work with your truck accident lawyer and not do anything to harm your case.
Actions That Can Harm Your Case
Failing to do certain things and also doing certain things can make it virtually impossible for your lawyer to fight your truck accident claim and win.
- Failing to call the police at the time of the accident is a big mistake. A police report must be filed for all vehicle accident claims, and even if you were partly or completely at fault, the police must be called. In all motor vehicle accidents, the police must be called to do their part in documenting the accident.
- Failing to do your own documentation of the accident will hurt you, also. If you’re physically able, take videos and pictures of the accident and surrounding area. You should document your injuries and the injuries of your passengers and the other driver. Collect contact information from witnesses and other people involved in the accident. You can jot down notes about the weather at the time of the accident, lighting, traffic patterns, and anything else you think your lawyer would need to know to properly handle your case.
- Admitting fault at the scene of the accident could destroy all chances of ever receiving monetary compensation for your losses. If you live in a state with comparative negligence, your award will be affected by how much at fault you were in the accident. Admitting it was your fault to the other driver or the police is a mistake you must avoid.
- Refusing to get medical attention at the scene of the accident or right after the accident is another big mistake. If you don’t see a doctor within 24 hours of the accident, there is a very good chance you will never receive money to help pay for medical expenses you may accrue down the road. All medical treatment from the moment of your truck accident must be recorded and receipts must be kept. One of the main reasons it’s so important to seek medical attention is that not all accident injuries are visible immediately. You may not feel a soft tissue injury to your neck or back for several hours, days, or even weeks later. By seeing a doctor right away, you can have the necessary tests to diagnose any injuries not immediately felt or seen.
- Discussing your case with anyone online could be used against you, even if what you say seems completely innocent. If you post about a trip to a concert, the opposing counsel will point out the accident did not affect your quality of life and that you’re able to get around and enjoy activities. Failing to cease social media posting can make it very difficult for your truck accident attorney to recover full compensation for you. Please ask your friends and family to keep their posts involving you off the Internet until further notice because even posts on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram feeds can hurt you.
- Failing to contact an attorney the day of the accident is a common mistake. When there is not much property damage and only minor injuries, some people think they can handle the vehicle accident process without legal representation. If injuries manifest themselves at a later date and you realize you’re more injured than you thought you were, it will be impossible to get legal help weeks or months after the accident. Let an experienced truck accident attorney decide if you need legal representation.