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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

3 Things To Do After A Truck Accident

by Andrew Martin

In 2019, there were 4,119 fatalities due to accidents involving large trucks. Crashes involving large trucks disproportionately impact passengers in vehicles other than the truck. If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, there are a few things you should do to preserve your rights and increase your chances of procuring an equitable settlement from the trucking and insurance companies. 

1. Contact the Authorities

It's imperative to call 911 as soon you can after an accident. Even if you don't think the incident is serious, it's common for trucking accidents to involve numerous vehicles; you don't know the condition of the passengers in the other vehicles.

Or, you may not feel injured due to adrenaline from the crash, but in the moments after the crash, it's possible to experience aches and pains that indicate an injury. If you refuse treatment or neglect to call for help, the companies involved in your settlement may use this as proof that your injuries aren't severe. 

Having first responders on hand can also assist you with your settlement negotiations. The police will create a report that provides objective information about the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Not only will the report likely include the time, date, roadway, and weather conditions for the accident, but it will also contain valuable contact info for witnesses to the accident. A police report also includes info about the accident itself (such as the positioning of the truck and involved vehicles) and damage from the incident. 

All of this info can be imperative for arguing for a fair settlement figure or demonstrating that you weren't at fault. 

2. Call an Attorney Experienced in Truck Accident Litigation

Even if you feel like you can obtain a settlement on your own, it's best to consult a lawyer with experience dealing with truck accidents. It's normal for companies to offer the smallest settlement that they feel you'll accept, but this doesn't guarantee that the amount is sufficient for your accident-related injuries, lost income, and property damage. 

Meet with an attorney before you answer any questions from the trucking company or insurance adjuster. A seemingly innocuous reply or offhand command can potentially be twisted and used against you.

Your attorney will tell you what details your answers should include. They can also warn you as to what info you shouldn't provide or certain things that you shouldn't say. Some companies are more likely to offer a reasonable settlement when they realize you have access to legal representation. 

If your case goes to court, an attorney will ensure that all deadlines are followed and that you have the appropriate info to argue for a larger settlement. 

3. Keep Quiet After the Accident (and Don't Use Your Social Media Accounts)

It's natural to make apologetic or kind comments directly after an accident. However, these comments can be misconstrued by the insurance company as an admission of guilt or contributing to the accident. Say as little as possible. 

While you may feel like discussing the accident on your social media accounts is therapeutic, an insurance company can use your comments to argue for a lower settlement. For example, you may post that you're thankful the accident wasn't more serious. An insurance company can attempt to use this as proof that you're overdramatizing your injuries. 

Even posts and pictures that aren't related to the accident are potential ammo that can impact your settlement. Posting about a relaxing walk or exercise session is potential evidence that your injuries aren't as serious as you claim. Or, old posts that indicate unsafe driving habits may be used to prove that you were engaging in unsafe behavior prior to the accident. 

Contact a company like Bradley Drendel & Jeanney to learn more.