A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds; about 30 times more than a standard passenger vehicle. Their immense size and weight make them difficult to handle and extremely dangerous in an accident. A publication by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveals that over 100,000 vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks take place every year, and of those, roughly 5,000 are fatal. Immediately after being involved in a truck accident, many victims are injured and overwhelmed. Unfortunately, this is why they often make crucial mistakes, such as foregoing medical care and not gathering evidence, that can jeopardize their chances for a successful truck accident lawsuit. If you were injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, you need to speak with a reputable Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp as soon as possible. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Common Truck Accident Mistakes
In the chaos that follows a trucking accident, it is understandable that many people forget what steps they are supposed to take. Regrettably, failing to take certain actions can ultimately harm your claim for compensation. Some of the biggest mistakes commonly made by truck accident victims are:
Failing to Seek Prompt Medical Attention
Many people make this mistake because their injuries seem mild. They may even think they managed to escape completely unharmed. However, not all injuries are immediately apparent after a truck accident. If you delay seeking proper medical care, it could not only allow your injuries to worsen but will also weaken your injury claim because the Insurance company will not hesitate to use this delay to claim that your injuries were not caused by the crash.
Failing to Notify Law Enforcement
Regardless of the apparent severity of the truck accident, you should always call 911 and have an officer examine the scene. This will generate an official police report which can be an important piece of evidence when it comes to documenting the crash and establishing liability.
Failing to Keep Quiet
Whether you are a serial apologizer or simply have good manners, admitting fault, and even apologizing, at the scene could be damaging to your truck accident case. The smart move is to say nothing and leave fault determination to the responding officer and insurers.
Failing to Collect Evidence
The collection and cataloging of relevant evidence like pictures, videos, eyewitness statements, and the contact details of the truck driver after an accident is paramount to the strength of your case. Without evidence, proving the truck driver was at fault will be considerably more difficult.
Failing to Seek Legal Advice Before Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
No matter how concerned and amiable the insurance adjuster seems, don’t forget that their goal is to reduce their employer’s financial liability by as much as possible. You are under absolutely no legal obligation to provide them with a written or recorded statement without first seeking advice from your attorney. Consulting with an attorney first will help protect you from accidental self-incrimination and inadequate financial compensation.
Failing to Work With a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Attorney
One of the most critical steps you need to take after a truck accident is to partner with an experienced Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we offer all prospective clients a free consultation where we will review the facts of your accident, listen to your concerns, explain how we can protect your rights, and help you avoid mistakes that could be detrimental to the success of your case. That is exactly what we did when we secured a $3.5 million settlement for the family of a man who was killed when his disabled vehicle was rear-ended by a flatbed truck. Contact us today by calling (833) 997-1774 to schedule a free consultation regarding your trucking accident. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton.