After an accident with a semi-truck, getting the compensation you deserve quickly rises to the top of your priority list. You may have sustained substantial injuries, causing you to rack up massive medical bills that may impact your finances long after the initial incident.
How can you make sure you get what you deserve in a semi-truck accident settlement?
Always report the accident.
Do not drive away from the scene of even a minor semi-truck accident. You may have sustained more severe injuries than you realize. Instead, contact the closest police department and wait for an officer to respond to the scene.
When you talk to the officer, do not make any statements that take accountability for the accident or brush off the other driver’s actions. Establishing liability with the responding officer can go a long way toward helping your claim.
Get medical care.
Even if you do not think that you sustained injuries in the accident, you should see a doctor as soon after your accident as possible. Severe injuries like a traumatic brain injury may masquerade as mere shock after an accident. You may also suffer back and neck injuries, including herniated discs or whiplash that could become symptomatic well after the accident.
Follow the advice of your medical care team.
When you visit a hospital, whether you suffered catastrophic injuries or minor ones, you will receive comprehensive advice from a medical care team to help you have a smooth recovery. They may instruct you to avoid certain activities immediately after your accident or recommend that you undergo physical therapy to improve your recovery.
Follow all of their instructions. Do not ignore your medical care provider’s advice, even if you feel fine. For example, if you have a broken arm, your medical care provider may recommend avoiding using the arm as much as possible while you recover. If you have suffered a brain injury, your doctor may recommend avoiding contact sports or returning to work for the time being.
Ignoring the advice of your medical care team can impede your recovery and cause you complications. Additionally, the insurance company may claim that you worsened your injuries and that, as a result, you do not deserve compensation for those additional complications. By following your doctor’s critical instructions, you can protect your right to seek compensation.
Work with a lawyer to handle your claim.
Semi-truck accident investigations can quickly become more complicated than you expected. A lawyer may need to investigate the trucking company and the truck driver to determine liability for the accident. A lawyer may also want to review the driver’s history, the load in the truck and who loaded it, and other critical details that may have affected your accident.
Gathering all that information on your own can be highly complicated. In many cases, your lawyer may have better access than you do to access that information. Having that information can make a huge difference in your semi-truck accident claim.
Furthermore, working with a lawyer can give you leverage in negotiations with an insurance company. Insurance companies frequently try to minimize the compensation they have to pay out after a bad accident. This is especially true if they have any reason to doubt their driver’s liability or if they think they can get away with pushing you to accept a low settlement. Having a lawyer on your side can keep the insurance company in line and prevent them from using tricky tactics to deny or devalue your claim.
Do not post on social media about your semi-truck accident.
Social media often feels all-encompassing. You may naturally want to share details about your accident and your progress toward recovery on your social media pages. However, posting on social media can reduce the amount of compensation you can recover from a semi-truck accident.
Often, insurance companies will use social media posts against you. For example, they might use a post to show that you bear partial liability for the accident. Or, they might use information about your activities to show that your injuries were not as bad as you initially claimed. Keep information about your accident off social media until after closing your claim.
You may also want to avoid posting information about your activities during your recovery, particularly any actions that your injuries should prevent. For example, if the semi-truck accident injured your shoulder, you should not post pictures of yourself playing basketball. It is much better to be overly cautious about using social media than to have to explain things later.
Talk honestly with your attorney about your accident.
When your attorney asks questions about your accident, injuries, and recovery, give an honest answer. Your lawyer will work with you to build a solid case. However, if they do not have all the information about your injuries or accident, it could make it challenging to put together your claim accurately.
Keep track of your medical costs.
Your medical costs are a critical component of your injury claim. If you do not know how much money you have paid for medical care, you may struggle to recover compensation for those costs. Tracking your medical bills will help your lawyer include them accurately in your claim.
Did you suffer injuries in a semi-truck accident? Do you have questions about how to seek compensation or how much compensation you may deserve? Contact a lawyer for a free consultation to get the answers you need.