In the wake of a serious truck accident, many victims are likely to be hungry for compensation. Vehicle damage, personal injuries and emotional scars are all matters that demand restitution, and wanting to obtain it as soon as possible is perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons for which getting the compensation you’re owed can prove frustratingly cumbersome. Truck accident victims looking to obtain restitution in a timely manner will be well-served by the following tips.
If you or any passengers have incurred injuries as a result of the accident, take care to photograph them – provided, of course, you’re able to do so without causing yourself or anyone else additional discomfort. Secondly, photograph any damage caused to your vehicle, other vehicles or the surrounding area. These photos will provide the authorities, your insurer and possibly even the courts with a solid understanding of how bad the accident was. Furthermore, request a copy of the police report, as well as the badge numbers of any officers on the scene.
Wait for the Police
Leaving the scene of an accident before the police arrive won’t do your case any favors. For one thing, most states require police to be notified about all accidents that result in vehicle damage or injury. So, by making your exit ahead of their arrival, you may be doing something illegal. Secondly, your absence will provide the responsible party with a good opportunity to shape the narrative surrounding the accident and massively downplay any role they played in causing it. That being the case, make a point of waiting for the authorities, no matter how cut-and-dry the circumstances of the accident appear to be.
Exchange Insurance and Contact Info
In the interest of ensuring timely compensation, take care to swap insurance and contact information with the responsible party and any other drivers who were involved in the accident. Furthermore, request contact information from any witnesses, as their testimony can prove very helpful to your case.
However, if you feel unsafe approaching the responsible party, it’s a good idea to simply wait for the authorities to arrive and obtain the necessary info from them. Being drawn into a verbal or physical altercation is the absolute last thing you want in the wake of an accident, and it can make obtaining restitution considerably harder. So, if the responsible party is acting in an irate, unstable or outright combative manner, avoid engaging them and wait for the police to arrive.
Furthermore, even if you are able to interact cordially with the responsible party, it’s best to avoid discussions about responsibility. Ultimately, the police and the insurance companies will determine who’s responsible, and any conversations you have on the matter will be pointless – and potentially conducive to conflict. So, outside of swapping the necessary information and confirming that everyone’s okay, there isn’t much you should be discussing with this individual.
Don’t Negotiate with the Responsible Party
At the end of the day, determining liability and appropriate compensation should be left to the insurance companies, not individual motorists. With this in mind, avoid negotiating deals with the responsible party, as the compensation you receive from them may prove insufficient. Furthermore, the longer you take to notify your insurer, the more scrutiny your claim is likely to receive. So, no matter how trustworthy or personable the responsible party seems, take care to promptly notify your insurance company of the accident.
Reach Out to a Good Lawyer
Even truck accident cases that appear to be open-and-shut sometimes require the involvement of a good lawyer. So, if you’re being given the runaround by the responsible party or the insurance companies – or are looking to take the case to court – reach out to a dependable truck accident lawyer. The right lawyer will help get you what you’re owed within a reasonable time-frame and provide you with tremendous peace of mind.
It’s easy to see why so many truck accident victims seek to collect compensation in the timeliest possible manner. Between vehicle repairs, medical bills and potentially being unable to work, people who have been involved in truck accidents have no shortage of bills to cover. Should you ever find yourself in such an unenviable position, it’s in your best interest to be equipped with the proper knowledge. As such, make sure to take the pointers outlined above to heart.