The time immediately following your truck accident is often one of confusion and stress. When you decide you need to speak with an attorney, having the right information readily available for your consultation can help your truck accident lawyers determine the best course of action for you.
Here is some of the information you might want to bring to an initial consultation with a truck accident attorney, if you have it available. If not, your truck accident lawyer can help you track it down.
A police report serves as an official account of the accident. The responding officer may determine fault based on the evidence at the scene. If the accident requires further investigation, officers may delay their official conclusions.
Providing the police with your account of what occurred is always a smart idea. An official report can serve as valuable documentation for future civil action. Speaking with the officer is important; however, it is equally important that you use caution in speaking with others. Anything you say to the other driver or others at the scene may work against you later.
Never admit fault or apologize to the other driver. Statements like an apology can and often are used against accident victims who experienced serious injury due to the negligence of another driver.
Chances are that witnesses who observed your accident were close to becoming accident victims themselves. Collecting the contact information for any witnesses that stop at the scene can help with your case. In addition to witness statements to police, a personal injury lawyer can use the contact information to follow-up with them once your case is underway.
Some witnesses may feel uncomfortable becoming involved in a legal matter, while others may express a willingness to help. Their relief that they escaped injury and their anger toward the reckless truck driver may propel them to assist your quest for justice.
Accident Scene Photos and/or Video
A smartphone can capture quality photos and/or videos of your accident. If your injuries are too severe, ask a witness to take photos for you. The presence of mind to take photos and possible video can help when it comes time to take civil action.
A truck accident lawyer can also ask witnesses if they have pictures of the scene or possible dashcam video of the crash. According to Google’s Automotive Trends report, dashcams are a large consumer-led trend as drivers want another set of eyes and documentation for possible accidents.
An accident with a large truck puts you at risk for serious and often catastrophic injuries. The medical bills associated with the following types of injuries can far exceed your insurance and personal budget:
- Spinal cord injury – A spinal cord injury is especially devastating due to the paralysis that can result. The use of a power chair, the need for home modifications, and other expenses can escalate into the millions of dollars each year, throughout your lifetime.
- Traumatic brain injury – A severe traumatic brain injury impacts such functions as thinking, movement, and sensations. The need for 24-hour care for your loved one may require placing your loved one in a skilled nursing facility. The costs associated with such care in Illinois averages between $5,900 to $6,700 per month.
- Broken bones – The severity of an impact with a large truck can leave you with more than just a broken arm. With more than 200 bones in the human body, the possibility of breaking more than one is very real. Depending upon the severity of your break you may face future surgeries, extensive physical therapy, and possible amputation.
- Internal injuries – An internal injury often exhibits no outward signs or symptoms. Internal injuries are why you should always accept emergency transport to the hospital following a serious accident. Only a trained medical professional using the appropriate testing can diagnose and treat an internal injury. If left untreated, a serious internal injury can result in death.
These are just a few examples of the serious injuries that can result from an accident with a truck. Bringing any medical reports and expenses that you have can help with your free case evaluation. If you haven’t received any, don’t worry, your accident lawyer will order all of your records and bills as the case progresses.
Insurance companies may offer you a settlement soon after your accident. The initial settlement offer may seem like a large sum to you and your family. The reality is that the initial settlement offer is most likely not enough to cover your future medical needs. If you accept their offer, you may lose your right to pursue compensation later.
Do not speak with insurance company representatives, and secure legal representation instead. Insurance companies want to protect their best interests, and not yours. Hiring an attorney experienced with truck accident cases is a smart way to protect your best interests.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A truck accident is a sudden event that turns your world upside down. Dealing with your injuries is difficult enough. You do not need the high pressure of insurance company representatives who want to settle your case quickly and for the least amount possible.
Knowing that someone is on your side can afford you valuable peace-of-mind. A truck accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance companies for the compensation you deserve while treating you and your family with a companion.
Most truck accident lawyers offer free case evaluations, leaving you with nothing to lose by contacting a lawyer today. Preparing for your free case evaluation by gathering essential documents and information can make the process smoother and less time-consuming.
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case requires quick action. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you may miss your opportunity for possible compensation forever. If you experienced serious injuries due to a negligent truck driver, give careful thought to consulting with a personal injury attorney today.