Truck accidents can have major consequences on the people involved in them. In addition to the hefty size and weight of a semi-truck, the average semi-truck also takes 20%-40% longer to brake than a passenger vehicle. All of these factors can create a dangerous situation for drivers on major roads and highways. Hopefully, you'll never be involved in an accident with a semi-truck--but if you are, it is important to take the right steps to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Declining Medical Attention
When you're involved in an accident, you're sure to have plenty of adrenaline running through your veins. This hormone is designed to protect you, but it can mask pain and other symptoms immediately following an accident. This means that even if you don't have any obvious injuries right away, you should still be checked out by a doctor after being involved in a truck accident.
At the very least, seeing a doctor can give you the peace of mind that comes with a clean bill of health. But if symptoms do arise a day or two after your accident, having already been to the doctor to establish your injuries can help when it comes to settling your claim.
Settling Too Early
There's also a good chance that you'll receive a settlement offer from the truck driver's insurance company, especially if it is believed that the truck driver was the one at fault. Unfortunately, these are often "low-ball" offers that are not enough to truly cover your expenses related to the accident. Rather than accepting the first offer you receive, you may want to hold out for a larger offer that will cover all your medical expenses, property damage, and even damages for pain and suffering.
Foregoing a Police Report
When a truck accident occurs, the state highway patrol will typically respond and take a statement from everybody involved. From there, a report will be generated that may be used to help reach your settlement. Just keep in mind that not all police departments and state highway patrols will assign fault in a truck accident. Regardless, you'll want to file a police report and obtain a copy of it as soon as possible.
Not Scheduling a Legal Consultation
Don't go through the process of trying to reach a truck accident settlement without some help. Make sure you're fairly represented by somebody who has your rights and best interests in mind. Schedule a legal consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney for the guidance you need moving forward and the help you need to reach a fair settlement.
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