A crash of any caliber can be scary and result in massive damage sustained to yourself and your vehicle. Unfortunately, crashes involving commercial trucks—such as semi-trucks—prove to be even deadlier. No matter the extent of damage sustained, there are some actions you shouldn’t take following a truck accident of any magnitude:
- Don’t Admit Fault to the Driver or Any Other Parties
It’s normal for people to be polite and to apologize for actions like bumping into someone on the street. Even if the other person bumps into us first, we may still be tempted to apologize. In a situation like a truck accident, however, you shouldn’t apologize to the driver or law enforcement. Even if you believe the accident was your fault, saying “I’m sorry” can be seen as an admission of guilt.
- Don’t Accuse the Other Party of Wrongdoing While on the Scene
You may have many reasons to highlight why the other person caused the accident, but you shouldn’t accuse the other person of wrongdoing until you’ve communicated with an attorney. While you can explain the situation from your point of view if a cop asks, don’t use language that overly suggests the other person is at fault. You should also refrain from being rude to the other party.
- Don’t Forget to Seek Medical Attention
Likely, you, the truck driver, or another party will have already called the necessary authorities, and it’s likely they sent a team of EMTs or similar parties. You and everyone present should always seek medical attention even if no major injuries are present. That minor bruise or scratch can be hiding further issues that can cause internal bleeding, for example. Seeking medical attention can also provide you with documentation you can use to build your case.
- Don’t Accept the First Settlement You Receive
You must report the incident to your insurance and, depending on the case, you may receive a call from your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. While the agents are usually friendly, their goal is often to make parties accept a low settlement. Don’t be rude, but do make it clear that you must speak with your attorney before accepting any settlement. If they start to employ tactics like guilt-tripping you into accepting an offer or suggesting that your case wouldn’t hold up in court, simply tell them you’re unable to continue the conversation.
- Don’t Forget to Have an Attorney On Your Side
Automobile accidents can range from minor bumps to massive injuries. When it comes to the latter, having the correct legal assistance can go a long way in helping you secure a better settlement. Working with an attorney ensures you receive the right legal representation. The correct truck accident lawyer can help by negotiating with the insurance companies, helping you secure a better settlement, applying legal pressure, and even representing you in the courts if necessary — actions our friends at Barry P. Goldberg have dealt with first hand through representing various clients.