Commercial truck accidents are capable of creating serious injuries, which can run the gamut from concussions and whiplash to permanently disabling afflictions. If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries in an accident with a big rig or semi-truck, you might be wondering what to do next. Here’s what to do in the days and weeks following your accident:
Seek Medical Care
Getting appropriate medical treatment is not only important for you to recover, it’s also essential to the health of your claim. Should you choose to file a personal injury claim, an insurance company (or a jury) will look at your medical bills and your treatments to determine the full extent of your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Do Not Admit Fault
This might seem like an obvious one, but you might admit your fault in an accident without even realizing it. For example, it’s natural to want to apologize following an accident, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. However, apologizing implies that you shared fault for the accident, and you might lose some compensation for your injuries as a result.
Don’t Sign Any Statements from the Insurance Company
Whether you’re in the hospital recovering from your injuries or at home, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might approach you with paperwork to sign. Never sign any document from an insurance company unless a personal injury attorney reviews it first. Insurance companies may take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the system and give you a lowball offer that doesn’t adequately reflect your injuries. A personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and can accurately calculate the worth of your claim.
Ask for a Police Report
The police must respond to the scene of an accident when there are injuries. The officer on scene gathers information like eyewitness contact information, photographic evidence of skid marks, damage to the vehicles and more. After reviewing the evidence, the responding officer will write a report which includes an initial fault designation.
Since you were likely en route to the hospital for your injuries, you probably did not have a chance to provide a statement for the police report or obtain a copy. As soon as you have the opportunity to do so, add your version of events to the police report and ask for your own copy. While these reports are technically “hearsay”, and not admissible in a trial, insurance companies often use them when conducting their own investigation into an accident.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, arrange for a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney as soon as you’re feeling up to it. The Chula Vista personal injury lawyers at Howard Kitay provide bedside visits, so we can come to you and talk to you about your legal options wherever you’re most comfortable. This first free meeting provides you with a sense of your case and whether or not you may be eligible for compensation. You can take advantage of our contingency-fee schedule, which means you’ll only owe attorney’s fees if you win a settlement or court judgment.