If you were involved in an accident with a big rig, you may find yourself with substantial injuries. Unfortunately, while recovering from these injuries, you may be overwhelmed, nervous or scared about the prospect of paying your bills. As such, many people work witgh insurance companies to settle out their claims quickly. However, if you do this, you may not be getting the maximum amount of money that your claim is worth. As such, it is important that you consult with a truck accident lawyer. They can evaluate your claim and give you legal advice. Here are four thins you should never do before speaking with a lawyer, as they can impact your future claim.
Do Not Give a Written or Recorded Statement
It is very common for an insurance company to ask you for a written or recorded statement following any type of motor vehicle accident. This is because, over time, you may forget important details of the accident, and the insurance company wants a record of exactly what you remember before details are forgotten. However, following an accident, you may still be shaken up or in pain. This can cloud your memory and make you think something happened that didn't. Additionally, insurance companies may ask questions that you don't fully understand or know how to correctly answer. Unfortunately, once you have given a written or recorded statement, that statement is admissible in court. If you didn't understand a question or if your memory was foggy, what you say can be used against you. This is why you should never give a written or recorded statement until you have had the change to talk to a truck accident lawyer.
Do Not Sign Anything
Before consulting with a truck accident lawyer you will be asked by your employer and the insurance companies to provide statements and to sign documents. The documents can consist of a variety of things include medical releases, prior driving history, employment checks or even an admission of fault for the accident. It is imperative that you do not sign anything before seeking legal help with this matter to ensure you don't sign anything that would give an insurance company access to something that could negatively impact your claim.
Do Not Negotiate or Agree to a Settlement
One of the biggest mistakes people make following a truck accident is to begin negotiating or agreeing to a settlement with the insurance company. You may be unable to work and have medical bills piling up, enticing you to settle quickly. However, many people don't realize the value of their case, nor do they know how much future medical care they will need. If you negotiate, you may be tipping your hand to the insurance company as to what you will accept, which can make it harder to get a higher settlement in the future. And unfortunately, once you agree to and sign a settlement, there is no going back. As such, you should always consult with a truck accident lawyer to find out the value of your case before you sign any settlement documentation.
Do Not Delay in Seeking Medical Attention
The biggest mistake that most people make is waiting to seek medical treatment. Do not delay in seeking treatment as this could potentially harm your case. The insurance company can make a case if you delay the treatment by indicating that you could not have been significantly hurt if you waited to seek medical attention. Furthermore, some states limit the amount of time you have to seek medical attention after an accident. If you don't seek treatment within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek medical treatment and have it covered. A truck accident lawyer can help you find a doctor who can assist you with treating your injuries and filling out the proper medical documents for a personal injury claim.
Following a truck accident, you need to be careful who you speak to, what you say and what you agree to. Anything you say to the police, the insurance company or the other driver can be used against you should you file a personal injury claim. Speaking with a truck accident lawyer early on in the process can help you learn who you should be talking to, what questions you should be answering and which you should avoid, what type of settlement you should be looking at and helps ensure you get the medical reports you need to support your injuries and future medical expenses.