Three Mistakes to Avoid After an LA County Truck Accident
Sharing the road with other cars can be a challenge—especially on highways and during rush hour. But driving alongside semi-trucks, also known as tractor-trailers, can be absolutely terrifying. Weighing nearly 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, a semi-truck is far harder to maneuver than a car and more likely to cause catastrophic injuries in an accident.
If you're injured in a truck accident, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of filing a personal injury claim. The confusion and complexity over what to do first cause many victims to make critical mistakes that hurt their chances of fair compensation in a settlement or lawsuit. That's why it's important to hire a skilled Orange County truck accident attorney to help ensure that you don't make these mistakes and you receive the financial recovery you deserve.
Three Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Semi-Truck Accident
When you're injured by a negligent truck driver, there are certain steps you should take to have a better chance at a fair recovery. However, there are also errors you can make that can harm your case. We want to help you take the right actions and help you avoid making mistakes in the days following the crash.
Mistake 1: Neglecting to Seek Immediate Medical Care
In most truck accidents, the victim will need serious medical attention. If you crash with a semi-truck, you could suffer significant injuries—some catastrophic. So, it's likely you'll be taken to the hospital right away. However, it's possible that your injuries won't appear for a day or two—or even a week. Adrenaline can mask pain, and you might feel fine after the crash, even if you're a little shaken up.
It's important that you seek medical attention right away, no matter how you feel—for two important reasons. One, you need to prioritize your health and ensure that you don't have symptoms of a serious injury that haven't yet manifested. Two, it's critical that you're evaluated by a medical professional to help ensure fair compensation if you pursue a personal injury claim. Having a record of your medical visit and diagnosis helps you establish that the cause of the injuries you suffered was, in fact, due to the crash. Additionally, this medical record helps prove you suffered losses in the crash.
Mistake 2: Neglecting to Gather Evidence
If you're seriously injured in a truck crash, it may be impossible for you to collect evidence at the crash site. Once the police clear the roadway for other traffic, key evidence may be lost, and getting the evidence you need to help prove liability can be even more difficult. However, if you're able, or there was a passenger in your car who can do it, take photos of the crash site. These photos can include skid marks, curbs, guardrails, the final positions of the car and truck, weather conditions, and other important details. Photos and videos of the area, as well as the damage to the vehicles, can help you obtain a fair settlement.
There is other critical evidence you should gather to help prove your claim, including:
- Police report
- Bills for your medical treatment, including surgeries and rehabilitation
- Receipts for prescriptions
- Pay stubs that show your lost income
- Repair invoices for your car
As you recover from your injuries, it can also be helpful to maintain a log of your progress. Write down how the accident affected your daily routine and interfered with your life. This can help you prove that you did, indeed, experience pain and suffering and emotional distress. A truck crash attorney can help gather this evidence to show how your life has been compromised.
Mistake 3: Communicating With the Insurance Company
The insurance adjusters for a truck company have one job: to pay you as little as possible. They will do whatever they can to reduce their liability. They may do this by trying to get you to admit some fault in the accident, give a recorded statement that they'll use against you later, give them access to your full medical history, or agree to a low-ball settlement, especially while you're still in the hospital.
Before you communicate with any insurance adjuster, you should obtain the legal representation of a Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer. Experienced truck crash attorneys understand the underhanded tactics of insurance companies and know how to deal with them. Don't speak to an insurance adjuster for the truck company on your own. Leave it to a skilled attorney so you can recover in peace.