Truck Accident Claim
Colliding with a semi-truck can result in devastating injuries or death. According to the National Safety Council, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks has risen sharply in the past decade. In 2021, there were 5,700 crashes, which is 18% more than in 2020 and 49% more than in 2011. Large trucks are classified as any vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, excluding buses and motorhomes.
If you suffered injuries after a truck accident in California, you may be eligible to receive compensation in a truck accident claim. However, you could risk losing out on a settlement if you wait too long or delay medical treatment. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you secure your financial future while holding the negligent party accountable.
Avoid these common mistakes that could jeopardize your claim:
1. Delaying medical treatment
After a truck accident, your health and well-being should be your top priority. Even if you think your injuries are minor or you feel fine, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some truck accident injuries may not show symptoms right away, but could worsen over time or have long-term consequences.
Seeking medical attention will not only help you diagnose and treat your injuries, but also provide you with medical records that can serve as evidence of your damages. Medical expenses can also help establish the link between the accident and your injuries, which is essential for proving liability and negligence.
2. Not reporting the accident
Another mistake to avoid is failing to report the accident to the police. Reporting the accident to the police will create an official record of the incident, which can help you prove what happened and who was at fault. The police report may also contain important information such as witness statements, citations, and measurements of the scene.
Reporting the accident to your insurance company will initiate the claim process and allow you to access your benefits. However, you should be careful not to admit fault or accept a truck accident settlement offer without consulting with an attorney first.
3. Failing to gather evidence
Evidence is crucial for supporting your truck accident claim and proving your damages. Unless you are too injured to do so, try to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident, such as:
- Photos and/or videos of the accident scene
- Information from the truck driver, including their phone number, address, and insurance company details, and trucking company information
- Contact information of any witnesses
After the accident, keep track of your medical expenses, pay stubs, and any other expenses or losses related to the accident.
4. Posting on social media
While you may feel tempted to post about your accident on social media, you should know that insurance adjusters will be looking for any reason to deny or reduce your claim. Even if your accounts are private, you never know who may be looking. You do not want to be involved in a battle with the insurance company about something you posted.
5. Waiting too long
There is a strict statute of limitations for truck accident claims in California. Once the accident occurs, you have two years to file a claim against the liable party. If you wait longer than two years, your case will likely be dismissed and you will lose out on the right to pursue compensation.
6. Settling too early
One of the biggest mistakes people make is accepting an offer from the insurance company too soon. Insurance companies are in the business of making, not losing, money. Therefore, they will try to offer truck accident victims far less than they deserve. If you receive a settlement offer, make sure you review it with an attorney before you accept it. Once you sign and accept the offer, you cannot go back and ask for more.
7. Not hiring an attorney
You may believe you can handle your truck accident case on your own without legal representation. However, truck accident claims are different from regular car accident claims in many ways. Truck accidents involve multiple parties with different degrees of liability, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo owner, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, and other third parties.
Truck accidents are also subject to various federal and state regulations, such as hours of service rules and weight limits. All of these factors can add stress and confusion to an already difficult situation. A truck accident lawyer will simplify the process for you so you can focus on your recovery.
How Do Truck Accident Claims Work?
With the help of a skilled truck accident lawyer, you can begin the process of filing a truck accident claim. It can be a lengthy endeavor, but with the right legal representation, you can reach the finish line much faster. Here are the steps:
- Investigation: Based on the evidence you have given, your attorney will begin a thorough investigation into the accident, including reviewing police reports, medical records, accident reconstruction, and contacting witnesses.
- Demand letter: Once your legal team has collected and reviewed the evidence, they will send a personal injury demand letter to the truck company’s legal or insurance company teams. The letter will give a breakdown of the victim’s damages and what they are requesting as compensation.
- Negotiations: The insurance company will review the demand letter and decide whether to move forward with the settlement or negotiate. This can take some time if both sides go back and forth.
- Go to trial: If your demands go unheard or the other side fails to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer may take your case to trial. A judge or jury will then make the final decision for your personal injury claim settlement.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in San Bernardino
Even if you make some of these mistakes, do not lose hope on filing a truck accident claim. With an experienced truck accident attorney, you can have a good chance of obtaining compensation and preventing future errors.
Arrowhead Accident Attorneys is here for you if you plan to file a personal injury claim. Schedule a free consultation with our legal team at (909) 677-2674 or by filling out our contact form.