After a truck accident, you should take these three steps to safeguard your health and well-being and protect your right to compensation for your losses.
Get Medical Attention
First of all, go to the appropriate healthcare facility for professional medical care; getting prompt medical attention will give you the best opportunity for an optimal outcome. The emergency room personnel will treat your known injuries and evaluate you for injuries that you might not have noticed.
Sometimes truck accident injuries do not show signs immediately, but you could still be experiencing significant harm. For example, you might be bleeding internally and not be aware of it. If you wait too long to get evaluated by a healthcare professional, it could be too late.
Head trauma and back and neck injuries can also have delayed symptoms. With a head injury, the patient might have a blood clot or bleeding in the brain that could do catastrophic and permanent harm. If you have a spinal injury, merely moving around like sitting, standing, or turning your head could make the damage worse, causing paralysis or death.
Additional benefits of getting prompt medical care:
Your medical records will be valuable evidence in your truck accident case. We can use these documents to:
- Show when your injury happened. The defendant (at-fault driver) might claim that you looked fine at the scene of the accident so you must be faking your injuries. If you wait several days or longer to go to the doctor or emergency room, the defendant will argue that you got hurt from something else and you are trying to blame the truck accident. Medical records from right after the accident can defeat this argument.
- Link your injuries to the truck accident. When you go to the doctor or emergency room, the intake person asks you why you are there. The nurse or doctor writes in your medical notes that you are there because you got hurt in a truck accident. These intake notes will connect your injuries to the truck accident, identifying the cause of the harm you sustained.
- Show the extent of your injuries. People often assume that if you have severe injuries, you will seek medical treatment right away, so if you wait for several days, you must not have been in much discomfort. While there might be other reasons for delay, like not having health insurance, the judge will tend to conclude without evidence to the contrary. On the other hand, the medical file will show the extent of your injuries from the viewpoint of medical professionals.
Secure Your Legal Rights
As soon as the at-fault driver in your truck accident notifies his insurance company of the wreck, the company will go into motion to defend itself from your claim. The insurer will assign the claim to an adjuster, who will investigate the accident and contact you.
The adjuster will likely ask you to give a written or recorded statement. He might make a low-ball offer to get rid of the case cheaply before you know how severe your injuries are and if you will recuperate fully.
Talking with a lawyer right away can protect you from these schemes. A personal injury lawyer can:
- Deal directly with the insurance adjuster so that you do not have to. Adjusters can be pushy and make you feel pressured to do what they want. Let us handle the insurance company so that you can focus on getting well.
- Provide a factual account of the accident to the adjuster instead of you giving a written or recorded statement. The insurance company is not trying to help you when it asks for a statement. Instead, the insurer is looking for things that they can twist or take out of context to deny or reduce the settlement value of your claim.
- Investigate the accident to determine what happened and identify all possible defendants. Sometimes more than one person was at fault in a truck accident. You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for your losses, and you do not want to miss the opportunity to include someone who might be responsible for part of your damages.
- Collect the evidence to prove your case to the judge. We will get the police report to show what happened, your medical records to determine the extent of your injuries, and your employer’s records to establish how much income you lost because of the accident and recuperation. We can also talk to eyewitnesses. Sometimes we work with expert witnesses, depending on the facts of your case.
Protect the Evidence
Talk with your lawyer about all the things you have that might be evidence in the case. For example, you or someone else might have taken photos or videos at the scene. Your lawyer needs to get and preserve this evidence, so do not delete it. Your clothing and things that were inside the car could be useful to prove some essential facts. Even your vehicle can be evidence in some situations.
Get guidance from your lawyer about how you should write down notes of all the facts you can remember. Your records could serve to refresh your memory down the road, as details can fade over time.