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When we handle trucking cases, which are their own unique type of case among personal injury cases, we’ll tell clients some of the big mistakes that an injured person, a victim, can make when you’re involved in an accident or an injury or a case. There are three big things to look out for, what I call the three Ds – don’t delay, don’t discuss, and do your diligence. Let’s talk through those three.
1) Don’t Delay
When you’re involved in a crash or an injury or a wrongful death involving a tractor trailer company, don’t delay getting medical treatment. That is one of the big things that we see people do that causes problems in their cases. If you are injured, get checked out. Frankly, if you’re involved in a wreck involving a tractor trailer, period, or some other big commercial vehicle, you need to go get checked out. Those vehicles are just so much larger, they weigh so much more, and there’s just so much more force by orders of magnitude involved in a collision involving one of those types of vehicles compared to anything else that’s on the road out there. You need to get checked out, even if it’s a low-speed impact, just to make sure you’re okay, because your body doesn’t always recognize it immediately.
By all means, if you are feeling pain, if you’re having problems of any type, any form of injury, you need to get that checked out and you need to do so immediately. One of the biggest issues we see in cases is people who have legitimate injuries, but they try to play tough, and they try to be strong and put off getting treatment. That causes all kinds of problems with their cases because they’re basically handing the trucking company and their insurance adjusters a reason to deny a claim or try to reduce the value of it by pointing out that the clients didn’t seek treatment for several days or several weeks after. If you have any injuries, seek that medical attention right away. That’s the first— “don’t delay.”
The second “don’t delay” is do not delay in getting legal representation when you’re involved in a tractor trailer wreck. The reason for that is that these types of cases are much more complex, nuanced, and specialized than other types of personal injury cases. You want to make sure that you’re hiring an attorney early on in the case because there’s so many aspects to a tractor trailer or trucking case that need to be addressed early on – preservation of evidence, access to documents, identifying witnesses, and surveying the crash scene by a qualified expert or reconstructionist. You need to be doing all of those things, but you’re only going to be able to do them right if you have qualified counsel helping you. You need to be doing these things because I can assure you in every single wreck involving a tractor trailer or other commercial vehicle, the trucking company and/or their insurance carrier immediately have people doing that for them. They have people doing that because they are looking for ways to reduce the value or deny your claim. Do not delay. Do not give them an advantage by waiting. You need someone on your side who can do that for you. Don’t delay.
2) Don’t Discuss
The second D is “don’t discuss.” Do not voluntarily give statements to the insurance company for the trucking company or to representatives from the trucking company about the wreck or about your injuries. That’s good advice even in a car wreck or other injury situation, but in these types of cases in particular, other than speaking with law enforcement on the scene, you just do not need to be giving any kind of statement or answering questions or making yourself available to discuss the case with anyone other than law enforcement at the scene and your attorney. Again, these are specialized cases and, because they’re specialized, these trucking companies’ insurance companies have it down to an art form of how to respond to these wrecks. I assure you, they’re not there looking out for your interest, they’re there looking out for themselves. You need for your interests to be protected by only communicating through an attorney. That’s why, one, you don’t delay in getting an attorney, but, two, you don’t just discuss this with anyone other than police at the scene and the attorney that you hire.
3) Do Your Diligence
That gets us to the third D, your “due diligence.” What I mean by that is making sure you hire the appropriate attorney for this type of case. We have some other materials out there that help walk you through that process, but what you’re looking for in an attorney on a trucking case is an attorney with experience and a proven track record of success in not just personal injury cases and car wrecks, but trucking cases. You need an attorney with the experience and the success record. You also need an attorney that has a caseload that is small enough that they can give your trucking case the attention it deserves. Finally, you need an attorney with a reputation, experience, and a history of working up these cases the right way and getting them ready for trial. It’s only by working up the cases the right way with the right attorney that insurance companies know are ready to go to trial that you going to get full and fair value on these types of cases.
I hope this helps answer an important question of what the biggest dangers or mistakes are that people make when they are injured in a trucking case. The Brad Morris Law Firm is always available for a free consultation. If you have a personal injury case involving an 18-wheeler, we’re here for you and we’re happy to answer your questions.
Were you or a loved one injured in a commercial vehicle wreck and have questions about the 3 mistakes to avoid after a truck accident?
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