5 Tips for Maximizing the Value of Your Truck Accident Case
American roadways are becoming safer, at least in terms of injuries and fatalities. Deaths resulting from vehicular accidents peaked during the late 1960’s and 1970’s and have experienced a steady decline ever since. However, this doesn’t mean our roads are safe. Thousands of people still die each year and trucks, in particular, play a major role in this ongoing issue.
The Lowdown on Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are, unfortunately, quite common in most parts of the country. And when you look at the trends, you’ll notice that most deaths and serious injuries in these accidents are assigned to passenger vehicle occupants.
Passenger vehicle occupants face increased risk for a number of reasons, but it primarily has to do with size. Trucks tend to weigh 20-30-times as much as passenger cars and have greater ground clearance.
Then there’s the issue of truck braking capability. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety explains, “Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.”
In 2016 – the last year in which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has comprehensive data – 3,986 people died in large truck crashes. Roughly two out of every three deaths were occupants of cars. Thousands more were injured.
5 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Case
If you survive a truck accident, then you’ll likely have high medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costly issues that require your full attention. To cover these expenses, it’s imperative that you maximize the value of your case and receive a high claim or settlement.
Here are a few helpful tips:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Nothing matters more than your health. As soon as you’re involved in a truck accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. In addition to ensuring that injuries are treated promptly, your actions also provide a burden of proof that can be used to prove your case when settlement negotiations begin.
In addition to seeking medical attention, you also need to listen to the doctor’s orders and follow them exactly as they’re laid out. A failure to do so could compromise the integrity of your claim.
- Keep All Evidence
You have a burden of proof to show that the truck accident you were involved in has caused expenses and ill effects – both physically and emotionally. To strengthen your case, you should keep as much crash-related evidence as possible.
“Keep your photos, the clothes you wore, your medical bills and receipts of all other out-of-pocket expenses,” Truitt Law Offices suggests. “You should also keep copies of any letters or e-mails from insurance companies.”
It’s better to have too much evidence than not enough evidence. The more organized and detailed your supporting information is, the stronger your claim will be.
- Notify Your Insurance Company
You have a legal obligation to contact your insurance company after an accident, but you should know they aren’t keen on paying out money. When contacting them, answer all of their mandatory questions and nothing more. You don’t want to provide too much information until you have a chance to get some legal advice.
- Hire an Experienced Attorney
There are lots of truck accident lawyers in the industry. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have successful track records. As you search for an attorney for your case, seek out law firms that have experience with cases that are similar to your situation.
- Never Settle Prematurely
Insurance adjusters are professionals at getting truck accident victims to admit partial fault or accept a settlement offer that’s well below the actual value. Never, under any circumstances, should you admit fault or accept the first settlement offer. Speak with your attorney and follow their advice on how to proceed.
What’s Your Case Worth?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you have certain rights. It’s important that you make smart choices and surround yourself with the right people. Every case has its own unique value and you need to make sure that you maximize your payment. By following the steps outlined in this article, you stand a much greater chance of recovery.