Semi Truck Accident Case Do’s and Don’ts
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Any kind of road accident is extremely traumatic, but the effects are often disastrous when it involves large trucks. After experiencing this kind of incident, many people are at a loss for how to proceed with insurance claims and lawsuits.
This lack of knowledge can result in victims not receiving the compensation for medical bills and lost earnings they deserve. Read on to find out what you should and shouldn’t do after a semi truck accident. If in doubt, always seek trusted legal advice from the team at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
Do: File a Police Report
No matter how serious or minimal an auto accident seems, you should always call the police immediately and file a police report. Cooperate with the police but do not accept responsibility for the accident or blame another party. If possible, avoid talking about the accident’s details with anyone at the scene, particularly about who is to blame.
Do: Seek Medical Attention
Some injuries don’t instantly show themselves after an accident, even serious issues such as traumatic brain injuries. As a result, many people don’t seek medical attention until some time after the incident.
Not only could this be detrimental to your health, but it can also damage your case since it becomes more difficult to link injuries to the accident as time passes. You should also document any symptoms you experience, however minor.
Don’t: Give a Statement to the Insurance Claims Adjuster
Most insurance claims adjusters encourage victims to give recorded statements or sign a release as soon as possible in an attempt to minimize the damage and injuries the victim can claim for in court. Never sign anything or give statements to the adjuster without first seeking the advice of a Michigan personal injury attorney experienced in semi truck accidents.
Do: Exchange Contact Details
It’s essential to exchange contact details, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information with the other drivers involved for insurance and legal purposes after any truck or car accident.
However, it’s also a good idea to swap details with others present at the scene. Remember that not all eyewitnesses will be on the road. Look for people in surrounding stores or houses since they may have seen the accident. They could provide valuable information to your attorney or act as witnesses in court.
Don’t: Delay Notifying Your Insurance Company
Notify your auto insurance company as soon as you can after an accident. In Michigan, you have one year to let your first-party insurance company know to receive no-fault insurance benefits.
If you wish to file a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver’s third-party insurance for injuries or wrongful death, you must do so within three years. This may sound like a long time, but it is easy to miss your window, and the sooner you file, the sooner you can receive compensation.
Do: Collect Evidence From the Scene
After an accident, the number one priority is to ensure everyone’s safety and ensure all parties receive the appropriate medical attention. However, once this has happened and you’ve alerted the proper authorities, try to collect as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible.
One of the best ways to gather evidence is to take photos of the vehicles, victims’ injuries, the road, and the surrounding areas, including details such as road signs and traffic lights.
Don’t: Miss Medical Appointments
When a truck, car, or motorcycle accident victim files an injury claim against a semi truck driver after an accident, they must realize that the results of medical appointments can be used as evidence to support or disprove their case.
Failing to attend appointments gives the impression that your injuries are not legitimate. You must also keep track of any medical records or evidence of prescriptions.
Do: Write Down Everything That Happened
Consistency is crucial for accident claims, and you would be surprised how quickly you forget the details of an event, even a traumatic one like a semi truck accident.
As soon as possible, write down your account of the accident, including as much detail as possible. The act of writing helps you remember the details and gives you something to refer to as time passes.
Include details such as:
- The exact time and location of where the crash happened.
- A description of what happened and how; include observations about issues such as broken stop lights or if the other driver appeared to be under the influence.
- Injuries and pain suffered by everyone in your vehicle, including minor symptoms.
- The weather conditions at the time of the crash.
- Damage to any vehicles or property.
- The direction other automobiles were traveling at the moment the accident occurred.
- The license plate numbers of all vehicles involved.
- Name, contact details, and badge number of police officers at the scene of the accident.
- Admissions of guilt or responsibility by other drivers.
- Statements made by other parties that indicate they are not hurt, or their vehicle isn’t damaged after the crash.
Don’t: Post Anything About Your Accident Online
These days it’s common to share every detail of your life on social media platforms, so it’s no surprise that people post about accidents they are in. However, anything you post online may be found by the insurance company and used to deny your case. This includes posting pictures that could make your injury claims look suspicious. Try posting minimally or not at all to avoid any negative effects on your claim. It’s not uncommon for the other party’s attorney to request a copy of your text messages on the day of the accident.
Do: Seek Legal Advice
Knowing the right steps to take after being involved in a semi truck accident can be incredibly daunting, especially if you are also dealing with significant injuries and changes to your lifestyle as a result of the crash. The best way to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve is to seek advice and support from an attorney experienced in this kind of incident.
Your lawyer communicates with the insurance and trucking companies on your behalf and fights for your best interests. Collaborating with a reliable law firm such as Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., makes this process less stressful and gives you a higher chance of success.
Call 866-MICH-LAW today for more information and to book your free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.