Being injured in a truck accident can be painful, stressful, and completely overwhelming. Due to the large size of commercial vehicles, collisions involving trucks are more likely to result in severe injuries. Many truck wrecks are tragically fatal and surviving loved ones and family members are left with the task of filing wrongful death claims while grieving their loved one.
People who survive may face financial devastation from mounting medical bills and being unable to work. A truck crash lawyer at The Graham Firm can help you protect your legal rights and recover the maximum compensation for medical care expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Worst Mistakes To Avoid After A Truck Accident
1) Failing to Get a Police Report
After a truck crash, the first thing to do is dial 911 (or ask someone to call for you). Local police or Georgia State Patrol (GSP) will be dispatched to a crash scene and usually, will promptly take a report which will be available to you a few days after the accident. In rare cases, such as during extreme weather conditions, or if law enforcement resources are diverted to other accidents or incidents, you may have to wait a while for law enforcement to arrive and take a report. If the police do not take a report, you will need to self-report the crash. You should never agree to not report the accident, under any circumstances.
You should do everything possible to have a Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report written at the scene, even if it means waiting for police to respond. The crash report will contain important information which you will need to access later. There is also a special section that applies to accidents involving commercial motor vehicles. The officer taking the police report will have to report the name of the commercial carrier, the number of axles, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and other important information.
For the personal injury claims process, it is always better to have a police report. If there is no report, the insurance company will use the “there wasn’t even a police report” defense to suggest the accident was not serious.
2) Failing to Get Medical Care
Most people who suffer obvious or catastrophic injuries, like bone fractures or spinal cord injuries, will seek medical treatment promptly. However, many people who suffer mild to moderate injuries will delay treatment, opting to go home and see how they feel later or the next day. Waiting even a day to seek treatment can significantly decrease the value of a Georgia truck accident personal injury claim.
If you are involved in a collision and suffer any injury, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. If your treating doctor recommends you follow up with your primary care provider or a specialist in a few days, make sure to follow-through with the recommendation. When you pursue a personal injury claim later, any failure to get medical care will be raised by the opposing party.
3) Posting on Social Media About Your Accident
Many individuals use social media as a means of keeping in touch and sharing information with friends and family members. However, things can be taken out of context and used against you. For example, a comment to a relative on Facebook saying “I’m fine,” can dismiss or downplay your actual injuries. When you file a claim which states that you have severe headaches and are unable to walk, the insurance company may produce your comment as “evidence” that your injuries are not as serious as you say they are.
Judges have ruled repeatedly that there is no expectation of privacy on social media. Even accounts set to private may be accessed through other friends’ accounts. When hundreds of thousands of dollars are potentially on the line, trucking companies and their corporate counsel will use every opportunity to decrease the value of your claim. It’s better to keep completely quiet on social media until the case is resolved.
4) Providing a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
After an accident, you will need to provide information to the trucking company’s insurance company. Insurance adjusters often will ask for a recorded statement to gather information or “expedite” a claim. All personal injury lawyers always advise against providing a recorded statement, as adjusters use the information to reduce the value of a claim, either by getting you to admit your injuries are not as serious as they are or by suggesting you were partially at fault.
5) Accepting a Low Settlement Offer
Trucking companies will be quick to recognize a serious or moderately serious injury. In the initial stages of the claim, adjusters will do everything possible to get you to accept a claim for as little as possible. Do not make the critical mistake of accepting far less than your claim is worth.
6) Not Speaking With An Experienced Big Truck Lawyer
Perhaps the biggest “mistake” you can make after an accident is not at least consulting with a qualified and experienced Georgia truck crash lawyer. Following any injury or fatality collision involving an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle, a Georgia truck wreck attorney at The Graham Firm can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you don’t make mistakes that could affect the value of your claim. If we represent you in your claim, under our contingency fee basis, there are no fees, unless we recover money for you.
We are available 24/7 to take your call and discuss your case. Call us at (404) 526-9955 to schedule your free phone consultation.