With millions of yearly car accidents resulting in injuries requiring medical attention, car crashes bring pain, suffering, and financial stress to Americans every day. When your accident involves a large commercial truck, the damage can be even greater and more dangerous due to the size and weight of most commercial tractor-trailers.
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck in California, you may be struggling to recover and afford growing expenses related to the crash. You may be in urgent need of funds for continuing medical appointments and therapy, and you may be concerned about your financial wellbeing due to lost work.
Ernst Law Group has been representing the victims of car and truck accidents in California for 35 years. We are passionate about helping our clients recover the maximum amount to cover the damages from an accident.
If you’ve recently been in a car or truck accident in San Luis Obispo or the surrounding area, our dedicated group of San Luis Obispo car accident attorneys will stick by your side throughout the entire process. Give us a call at (805) 541-0300 for a free consultation, and we can show you the path to adequate compensation.
General Timeline of a California Truck Accident
The First 24 Hours
If you’re in an accident in California, the first thing you should do is contact the police. They will generate a report that will be key in proving fault later on in your case.
If you’re seriously injured, paramedics should take you to a hospital immediately. If not, spend some time documenting the scene of the accident by taking pictures and video of the vehicles and surrounding area.
Speak with the other drivers and exchange insurance and contact information. If your accident involved a commercial driver, ask to see their commercial driver’s license (CDL), their liability policy number, and any information on their employer or contract awarder. Be sure to get the identification number on the side of the cab and the trailer.
If you don’t need immediate medical attention, see a doctor within 24 hours of the accident to ensure all injuries are properly documented and treated.
The First Few Weeks
Contact your insurance company within the first few days after the accident. You will want to ensure the accident is on their records but should avoid admitting blame when dealing with them. If the other driver’s insurance contacts you, you have no legal obligation to tell them anything other than your name, basic contact information, and confirmation of the details listed on the police report.
It’s always important to remember that an insurance company’s primary motive is their own profit. They will look for every way to decrease the amount you’re owed in damages, and will usually attempt to get you to settle for far less than you deserve. For this reason, you should contact a skilled San Luis Obispo truck accident lawyer shortly after your accident, and preferably before speaking to insurance companies.
By enlisting the help of a seasoned accident attorney, you boost your chances of recovering all the damages you suffered in the truck accident. We will be able to speak with the insurance companies on your behalf and advise you on whether to accept or deny an initial settlement offer.
The Next Months
Based on the complexity of determining fault in the accident, the amount of damages, opposing insurance companies, and the skills of your legal representation, your truck accident case could take weeks or months to resolve. Some take a year or more. A quality lawyer will keep you informed during this time, and help you understand each milestone along the way.
Differences Between Settling a Car Accident Case and Truck Accident Case
While the general progression of a car accident and truck accident case is similar in California, some factors differentiate the two. Make sure you look for a San Luis Obispo accident lawyer with experience dealing with truck accident cases.
Due to the value of their vehicles and the amount of potential damage they can cause, freight companies and their truck operators usually have much more insurance coverage than a typical passenger motorist. These insurance companies are often highly aggressive and utilize tactics that can slow down your attempts to recover the proper damages.
The average cost in total damages for a commercial truck accident is $120,000, which is significantly higher than a regular car accident. These costs often contribute to longer delays when going through the claims process, and can lead to months of waiting and deliberating.
A skilled California truck accident lawyer will explore every avenue when seeking damages for your accident. This includes examining potential negligence on behalf of the truck driver or their employer. That can take more time than a normal car accident, but will ultimately improve the chances of you receiving a settlement that properly covers all of your damages.
A San Luis Obispo Truck Accident Lawyer for Your Case
When looking for a California truck accident attorney to represent you and seek reparation for your injuries and suffering, ensure they’ve got a history of winning cases like yours. You’ll want a team with good standing in their community and recognition or awards from law associations.
Ernst Law Group has been representing the victims of California truck accidents for decades. We understand the physical and mental pain you’re in. With a free, no-obligation phone call, you can find out if you’re entitled to a larger settlement than an insurance company may be offering. Talk to us at (805) 541-0300 and we can help get you on the path to a proper financial recovery quickly.
Home » Practice Areas » Truck Accident Lawyer » How Much Should You Settle for After a Truck Accident?
How much you should settle for after a truck accident depends on your specific case. This is because no two truck accidents are alike—each case possesses its own unique details that determine one’s settlement.
There is no way to easily know how much compensation someone should settle for right after a truck accident. If you file a claim against the trucking company, for example, their insurance company may offer you a settlement lower than you deserve.
A truck accident lawyer can help ensure you are not being lowballed. They can set a value on your damages and negotiate with the insurance company, so you are compensated fairly.
A lawyer can help you secure a reasonable financial award. If an insurance company refuses to agree to a just settlement, a lawyer will take the case to court to fight for the award you deserve.
Damages You May Be Entitled to After Your Truck Accident
Truck accidents can be far more catastrophic than an accident between two cars. It is not uncommon for there to be severe bodily injuries and property damage. You may be eligible to receive economic and non-economic damages, depending on the nature of your accident.
You may have mounting medical bills that include:
- Transportation to the hospital
- Surgical procedures
- Prescription medication
- Doctor visits
- Ongoing care costs
It is imperative to keep records of everything so you will have all your expenses documented and potentially be compensated for all of it.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are the accident’s effects on your physical and emotional state. You may pursue a financial award for pain and suffering if you experienced stress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, or disfigurement after the truck accident. Some states place a limit on how much you are able to recover in non-economic damages like these. For example, Tennessee places a cap of $750,000 for most injuries, according to Tennessee Code § 29-39-102.
If your car needs to be replaced, or if there is significant damage, and it needs repairs, you may qualify for compensation for property damage.
Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Capacity
If you had to miss work due to your accident, you might be compensated for the pay you lost out on. If you are unable to work the same occupation you did prior to the accident, you may be eligible to receive a financial award due to making less income.
This is a non-exhaustive list of damages that one can endure after a truck accident, and this is only one aspect of your case that affects your settlement amount.
Liable Parties in Your Truck Accident
Truck accidents can be more complex than a regular auto accident in that there may be multiple liable parties, which affects your settlement. It is vital for there to be an investigation of the accident to determine how many responsible parties there are. You may initially assume the truck driver is the at-fault party, but there might be more people involved than you might think.
If the driver acted negligently, the trucking company could also be held accountable because they hired the driver. If a defective part of the truck caused the accident, the truck manufacturer or inspector could be held liable. If you also contributed to the accident, this can also affect your settlement. A lawyer can help you understand your state’s liability and negligence laws.
Take Legal Action as Soon as Possible
Make sure you know how long you have to file a lawsuit in your state if you wish to do so. You generally have a few years to take action against the negligent party or parties, and a lawyer can help ensure you do not miss the deadline.
Truck accidents can upend your life, so you do not want to miss out on your chance to receive the financial award you are entitled to. Sometimes, no amount of money can restore the life you had before an accident, but it can ease the financial burden you are facing.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC for Legal Guidance Today
When you are wondering how much you should settle for after a truck accident, know that your truck accident settlement is affected by a number of elements. Your injuries, the liable parties and insurance companies involved, and the special and general damages all play crucial roles in your settlement negotiation. A truck accident lawyer wants the best possible outcome for you and can work tirelessly to achieve that.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for your free consultation with a member of our team at (800) 235-0444 today.
Whenever you’re in an accident of any kind and you suffer a serious injury, it’s a scary and confusing time. When the other vehicle is a big rig, it’s even worse. The damage from such accidents can be catastrophic. It can result in lifelong and debilitating injuries, even the inability to work, and irreparable harm to your quality of life and relationships.
When this happens, you deserve compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. You deserve to have your medical bills paid, your lost wages reimbursed and to collect damages for your emotional suffering and lost comfort.
The question many people have, however, is whether they will have to suffer through a long trial. Let’s examine whether most truck accidents go to trial or settle, and how a truck accident lawyer can make the difference in the amount you’re able to recover.
Understanding a Truck Accident Case
There are a lot of factors that make truck accident cases much more complex than other vehicular accidents. Truck drivers don’t have the ability to react as quickly to sudden emergencies as drivers of smaller vehicles. They have limited visibility, and their vehicles are more prone to go out of control. Unfortunately, too many truckers don’t exercise the extra degree of care required to make up for these limitations.
Even worse, when you pursue compensation, you’ll have to deal with attorneys and claims adjusters from multiple corners—the driver, the trucking company, the maintenance crew, the shipping company and more. All will try to get out of paying your claim.
Higher Value Settlements
On the upside, truck accidents are often open to higher value settlements because the trucking companies, truck driver, and other parties will have larger limits on their insurance policies. It also means, however, that insurers will fight harder to avoid payouts. This can cause the case to drag out longer than other auto accident cases.
Do Truck Accident Cases Go to Court?
In truth, most accidents that involve vehicles settle out of court. There are many reasons for this. In general, it’s not the best result for anyone involved in a case to go to trial. For one thing, court trials are exceedingly expensive, and the longer the trial goes on, the more it costs. This can eat into your settlement, as you may have to pay attorney fees and court costs (though often these fall upon the loser of the case).
Also, a court case is, for the most part, an “all or nothing” affair. You’ll pursue your settlement and there won’t be negotiations up or down; the courts will simply rule on how much you are entitled to receive, or they’ll rule that you’re not entitled to receive a settlement at all. Trucking companies and insurers generally don’t want to risk being liable for a high payout, and you don’t want to risk losing everything.
How Long Does a Case Take to Settle?
Again, truck cases can take longer to settle than normal auto accident cases. This is both because of the larger amounts involved and the multiple parties that can be held accountable. Most accident injury cases begin when the victim files a complaint with the courts and issues a demand letter, which is then justified with the facts of the case.
The defendant(s) will then read the complaint and respond with counterarguments, pointing out flaws and holes in the claim, and usually responding with a counteroffer. This process goes back and forth through a process of discovery and evidence-gathering until both sides reach an agreement that’s somewhere in the middle.
In cases involving big commercial vehicles, it can become necessary to bring in experts to address questions involving things like speed, steering, air brakes, maintenance issues, driver fatigue and similar issues. Sometimes the accident case becomes conflated with a product liability case, such as when a defective part on the truck is the cause of the accident.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’re in an accident with an 18-wheeler and are seeking compensation, don’t sign anything, don’t admit to anything and don’t go it alone. Call on the services of an experienced truck accident lawyer.
The right lawyer can stand up against the insurance companies, the non-payment tactics, and the bullying. They can give you the best shot at significant compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, loss of consortium and other damages.
In 2015, there were a total of 24,066 collisions reported in the state of Delaware that were responsible for killing several and leaving many innocent individuals suffering from long-term disabilities [Source: Delaware State Police]. One woman in Harrington was recently killed after a dump trump neglected to stop at a stop sign at an intersection causing his vehicle to slam into hers. 62-year-old Michele Handy was behind the wheel of that car that was hit and although she stood no chance at surviving, the driver of the truck was able to walk away from the scene suffering no injuries at all, according to Delaware Online.
Sadly, many truck collisions end this way, with a truck driver who was protected by their massive vehicle allowing them to live, and a vulnerable motorist killed. Although these accidents cannot be reversed and the pain cannot be taken away, victims of these accidents who manage to survive along with families who lost a loved one can seek justice with the right kind of help. And that help comes from truck accident attorneys in Delaware.
After an accident occurs and it can be proven that it was caused out of negligence, a victim or their surviving family might be entitled to compensation that covers various things like pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, etc. How much compensation you might wonder? Well, that all depends on the severity of the accident and the damage done. But, in order to recover this compensation, you need to know which parties you can turn to for it. Insurance companies are usually where you start and they sometimes make cases more difficult for the victim or their family simply because they don’t want to pay out what these individuals are rightfully due. And here’s how we know.
Truck Crash Lawyers Have the Ability to Get You the Maximum Compensation Your Accident Entitles You to
Seitz, Van Ogtrop & Green, P.A., which is a prominent law firm located in Delaware, took on a case where a plaintiff was first offered $18,000 from a claims adjuster. After attorney Bernard A. Van Ogtrop got involved, the insurance company then increased their offer to $20,000. Unfortunately, because they appeared to be acting out of bad faith, the lawyer decided to point this out to the insurance company and gave them a deadline to respond. Like most insurance companies, the adjuster attempted to provide a low-ball settlement offer but after realizing they weren’t going to get away with it, they increased their offer to $100,000.
It is not in your best interest to agree to a settlement offer until a truck accident lawyer has reviewed it and is sure that it is a fair offer.
While the victim had already gone through enough, you would think that the insurance company wouldn’t want to contribute to the stress they were already experiencing, however, in very few instances do they care.
I was rear ended by a car that was hit by another car. I was stopped and saw it coming so I unfortunately braced for impact. The was minimal damage to my car, but I was hit with enough force that there was an imprint of the license plate in my bumper.
My back starting hurting later that day and I went to the acute care center. I ended up with 10 weeks of chiropractor visits (2-3 times a week) and an MRI to rule out serious injury.
Those were difficult weeks due to the pain I was in and not being able to pull my weight at work and at home. I have 2 young children and one is autistic, so it was an added burden not being home to help out while I was gone at therapy.
They didn’t understand why I was gone so often and why I couldn’t be there for them and play with them like I used to. I started feeling overwhelmed, anxious and depressed, and the muscle relaxers that were prescribed only caused me to be lethargic and sleepy.
The other driver was at fault and her company accepted liability and gave me a check for $280.00 to fix my bumper.
My treatment is now finished and all the bills are submitted:
Chiropractor = $2052.00 Acute care = $179.00 MRI & reading = $3,739
Total medical bills-$5,970
I realize these are soft tissue injuries which has a lower multiplier than hard tissue/permanent injuries. The settlement offer I was given was $6670.00 – so my medical bills are paid for and that leaves $700.00 for pain and suffering. That offer seems really low after all I went through.
Is this a fair offer or is this just part of the negotiations and I should ask for more? And if so, what’s a fair amount to negotiate for? Thanks for any perspective you can give.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Consider yourself fortunate. It’s rare for insurance companies to agree to pay all chiropractic bills. Insurance companies rarely consider chiropractic treatment as “medical” treatment. In most cases, insurance companies regard chiropractic treatment as nothing more than a glorified massage. Your true medical bills are the MRI and its reading, and the emergency room or emergency clinic acute care.
You are right about soft tissue injuries. Insurance companies rarely pay more than two times medicals for soft tissue injury treatment, especially when that treatment is predominantly chiropractic. In a similar fact scenario, it would not be inappropriate for a victim to counter at $9,000 and hope to settle at about $8,000.
You might reconsider using your absence from your children, especially your autistic child, as additional grounds for a higher settlement. But mentioning your autistic child to the insurance company in an effort to obtain a higher settlement may be considered untoward, especially as the child’s autism has no role in the accident or settlement.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.
Houston sees its fair share of truck accidents and many of these accidents result in either personal injuries or damage being done to the vehicles involved. Unfortunately, many accidents involving trucks and other commercial vehicles result in catastrophic injury to the parties involved.
What to Do Immediately After an Accident with a Truck
If you need emergency medical attention, you should always heed the advice of the medical professionals at the scene of the accident. If none of the parties involved need immediate medical attention, it is critical to gather as much information as possible. Start with obtaining the driver’s license information of the truck driver — operators of a commercial vehicle are required to have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) by federal and state laws . If the CDL holder works for a company, it is important to get that company’s information as well. Many times, a company may be found to be vicariously liable for the employee’s actions if the employee was performing work-related duties when the incident occurred. Make sure to obtain the insurance information for all involved parties.
Documenting the Scene of the Incident
In addition to gathering driver’s license and insurance information, it is important to take pictures and obtain information from any potential witnesses who would be willing to testify. When taking photographs, make note of any nearby street signs (if any) or potholes in the nearby area. Take as many pictures as necessary to document the scene fully.
Seek Counsel Before Talking to the Insurance Company
Many people who have been in a truck accident make the common mistake of communicating with insurance companies immediately after the accident without first speaking with an attorney. Insurance companies are businesses and mainly worry about their profit margins. If there is any reason to deny or limit liability on a claim, an insurance adjuster will find a way under the policy agreement. Policy agreements can be rather lengthy and complicated to understand. An attorney will be able to properly argue the terms of the insurance policy and why they should be enforced. Saying the wrong thing to the insurance company could lead to a lower offer for settlement or flat out denial.
A truck company may claim that the accident was not the result of the driver, but instead the result of a manufacturer’s failure to properly install the brakes or a mechanic’s failure to properly service the brakes, or due to another truck defect. These types of multi-party claims can be extremely complicated and require the help of a highly experienced truck accident attorney who has handled such complex cases before.
Speak with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Houston
If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of being involved in a truck accident, contact a Houston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible at the office of Stewart J. Guss . An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to effectively guide you through the process of filing a claim with an insurance company and negotiating a settlement, so please call today at 800-898-4877 to discuss your situation for free.
Serious car accidents can have life-altering consequences, so it is important to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Here at Guldjian & Fasel Accident Attorneys, we are dedicated to helping our clients receive the help they deserve after a car accident. We can help set up doctor appointments, negotiate with insurance companies, and even go to trial if required to achieve the best possible settlement for our clients.
Trucking accidents tend to cause the most severe injuries because of their size and weight. Even a low-speed collision with a large eighteen-wheeler or other commercial truck can cause severe injuries. Our Tacoma truck accident lawyers have the experience and resources to determine what exactly caused an accident and we fight to ensure our clients recover the full amount of compensation according to current Washington State personal injury laws.
Riding a motorcycle in the beautiful Tacoma area can be very enjoyable, but unfortunately, it can also end in disaster. As we all know, Tacoma receives a lot of rain, and wet roadways can contribute to serious motorcycle accidents as well as other drivers not paying attention to motorcyclists. Our Tacoma motorcycle accident attorneys are experienced in handling all aspects of motorcycle accidents, and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the best possible settlement.
Tacoma is home to a lot of bicyclists that commute back and forth to work as well as for recreation. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents happen and can cause significant injuries, especially if motor vehicles are involved. Our Tacoma bike accident attorneys are experienced in handling all aspects of bicycle accidents. If you’ve been injured in a Tacoma bicycle accident, please contact our law firm today for a FREE consultation.
Our Experienced Tacoma Personal Injury Accident Lawyers Are Here To Help!
Determining Fault After A Tacoma, WA Accident
In many cases, each party involved in an accident believe the other party caused the accident. Also, many times initial police reports about the cause of an accident are proven inaccurate. It is important to work with personal injury accident lawyers that have experience determining the exact cause of an accident. Our Tacoma accident attorneys have experience and access to experts in accident reconstruction and investigation to ensure that the cause of an accident and where the fault lies is determined accurately.
We Can Negotiate Medical Bills After A Tacoma Injury Accident
Being involved in a serious car, truck, motorcycle or another type of accident can require extensive medical treatment. As you most likely already know, medical treatment is very expensive and even with valid auto insurance you may find yourself overwhelmed with medical bills. Our Tacoma accident lawyers will negotiate on your behalf with medical providers to get your medical bills lowered, and our goal will be to get all current and future medical costs included in any accident settlement we negotiate for you.
Let Our Tacoma Accident Attorneys Negotiate With Insurance Companies
After a serious accident, you do not need to be stressed or worried about negotiating with Insurance companies. Insurance companies are businesses that must create profits for their investors, and one way they can increase profits is to deny or limit settlement claims. Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with insurance adjusters and companies, and we will fight to ensure you receive the full compensation entitled to you according to current Washington State laws!
We Attempt To Negotiate The Best Possible Accident Injury Settlement
As mentioned previously, our experienced Tacoma personal injury lawyers are trained in all aspects of injury law and fight to ensure our clients receive the full compensation that they are entitled to according to current laws. If we are unable to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement for our clients, we will prepare the best possible case and represent them at trial. We won’t settle a case for a lower amount, just to get a quick settlement. We are dedicated to getting the maximum allowable settlement for our clients, and we work diligently to obtain the best results.
Contact our experienced Tacoma personal injury accident attorneys if you or someone you know has been injured in a car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, bicycle, slip, and fall or work related accident.
We can help if you’ve been injured in accidents throughout the Tacoma / Seattle areas including Puyallup, Auburn, Bonney Lak, Spanaway, Lakewood, Parkland, South Hill, Elk Plain, Enumclaw, Kent, Covington, SeaTac, Tukwila, Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Gig Harbor, and other areas of Washington State.
After a truck accident, finances often become an immediate concern. Not only are you facing medical bills and property damage expenses, but you might not be able to work, which could have a significant impact on your income.
For truck accident victims, this can be a difficult, overwhelming situation. Some claimants accept low-ball settlement offers from insurance companies to receive financial help as quickly as possible.
While accepting less than you need and deserve might be a concern, many think that hiring a lawyer to defend their rights may just burden them with additional expenses. And yet, when you understand how truck accident attorneys are paid and how much they can improve the outcome of your case, it becomes clear why hiring an attorney is usually the best course of action.
Here, we are going to take a look at how and when truck accident lawyers are paid for their work, which we hope clarifies what you should expect when working with an attorney. If you have any questions about how the truck accident lawyers at Colombo Law charge for our legal services, we are more than happy to give you honest, straightforward answers.
Your Initial Consultation Is Free
The first thing you should know is that consultations with injury attorneys are typically free. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your situation with an experienced, qualified lawyer who can help you better understand your options. It also gives you the chance to ask any questions you might have about how lawyers structure their fees, when they require payment, and if they think you have a viable claim – all without having to pay anything upfront.
While there is surely no shortage of information online, the best advice and insight is always given when it can be tailored to your situation, especially considering you have nothing to lose. This is why, even if you are not sure if you have a viable case, it is always best to reach out to an attorney to discuss your legal rights and options after a truck accident.
Your Lawyer Advances the Costs
When building a case, there are costs involved above and beyond your lawyer’s time. For example, hiring an expert to develop an accident reconstruction model could give you a better chance of winning, but doing so is not free. Nor is it cheap.
Luckily, when you work with a truck accident lawyer, the firm should be willing to cover these types of fees for you. With this arrangement, you do not face a greater financial burden to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
You Only Pay a Fee If Your Case Is Successful
Most personal injury firms work on what is called a contingency fee basis. This means they only require payment if they recover compensation for you, at which point their fees are typically a percentage of the total compensation won. At Colombo Law, we call this our No Fee Promise.
This type of arrangement is ideal for truck accident victims because it means they risk nothing by working with a truck accident lawyer. Your attorney will pursue maximum compensation on your behalf, and your fee will be calculated from the amount recovered.
Hiring a Lawyer Can Improve the Amount of Your Recovery
Usually, contingency fees are around 30 percent. So, for example, if you collect $100,000 in damages, your attorney’s fees would be around $30,000.
While this might sound like a lot, there is a good chance you will still end up with more compensation than you would have recovered if you tried to handle the case on your own.
Attorneys at insurance companies are very good at fighting claims – especially claims that involve significant damages, like most truck accident claims – and they will try to pay you as little compensation as possible. By hiring a truck accident lawyer, you will have a skilled negotiator of your own who knows how to prevent the insurance companies from taking advantage of you.
After a truck accident, it is difficult to know what you deserve, and it is very difficult to know if an insurance company is being honest. Working with a lawyer will even the playing field and give you the representation you need to fight back. Also, if your case goes to trial, you will be able to rely on your attorney to present your case in court with an understanding of what it takes to achieve a favorable result.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
At Colombo Law, a significant portion of the cases we handle are semi truck accident claims. We have helped many clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia pursue the compensation they need and deserve after being injured in truck accidents due to someone else’s negligence.
We understand that knowing what to do and whom to trust after a truck accident can be extremely stressful. Our mission is to make it as easy as possible on your family while doing everything we can to help.
Please call (304) 599-4229 today to get started on your case. Your initial consultation is free, and our truck accident lawyers do not charge a fee unless and until we recover fair compensation on your behalf.
A car accident can be one of the most terrifying experiences a person can live through. The impact of the wreck is likely to leave you shaky, disoriented, stressed, and possibly even injured.
However, it is important to understand that the action you take immediately following a car wreck, and in the days after, can have a major effect on your insurance claim or personal injury claim. Being a responsible driver includes being familiar with a few key do and don’t tips that can help to minimize the stress and confusion that follows after a car accident.
Your Houston car wreck attorneys at Lapeze & Johns want to ensure that you receive the dedicated expertise and passionate care to achieve the results you deserve. With a history built on excellence, find comfort and guidance in the following information.
Tips To Follow After A Car Accident
- If you are not injured. Assuming this will not place you in a harm’s way (should the accident occur on a busy street for instance), then check on the condition of any passengers in your vehicle and in the other vehicles involved. Should somebody be seriously injured, call 911 and request immediate assistance.
- Get the medical treatment you need. If you are injured in the car accident, then it is absolutely vital that you get medical treatment immediately. Do not hesitate to request that an ambulance take you to the hospital.Even if your injury seems small to you, don’t ignore the signs of pain, as these may be symptoms of something much more serious. It is also important to remember that the longer you wait to visit a doctor after a car wreck, the harder it becomes to prove those injuries happened as a result of the accident. This can make your personal injury claim or insurance claim much more challenging to prove.
- Gather information. Assuming you and the other parties involved in the accident are not injured, you should do your best to collect as much information as possible including: name(s) of the other driver(s), their contact information, license information, insurance information, witness information, and license plate numbers of the cars, as well as noting the make, year, and model.Another strategy is to use your camera phone to take pictures of the accident, car damage, road conditions, road signs, skid marks (if any), and weather.
- Make sure to get law enforcement involved. Even if the car accident only caused minor damages, it may be in the best interest of all parties involved to call the police. A police officer will document the accident and file an official report that can be used by insurance companies in a settlement.Don’t forget to get the contact information of the police officer(s) that respond to the crash and takes down the report.
- Follow up with medical treatment. From the very first trip to the hospital and during the entire process of receiving medical treatment, there are a number of very important rules that you need to always follow:
- Always tell your doctor the truth from the get-go. Discuss previous injuries or illness and be honest about where you are feeling pain.
- Always follow medical instructions and take all medication prescribed to you. If you do not feel comfortable taking a certain medication, ask your doctor to see if there is another option.
- Attend all follow-up appointments. Skipping any will look bad on your medical record and can have a negative effect on your personal injury claim.
- Do not stop treatment at any time during the personal injury claim.
- Keep a track of your injuries by documenting them with pictures and detailed notes.
- Police reports will include the officer’s understanding of what happened, traffic violations broken by the negligent party, and whether or not a citation was issued.
- Medical documents are needed for both insurance and legal claims. These include admitting charts, physician’s notes, diagnosis and prognosis reports, consultations, referrals, test results, and medication receipts.
- Photos of the accident and your injuries can prove to be crucial evidence.
What Not To Do After a Car Accident
- Do not admit fault to anyone. Do not apologize or admit fault to anyone involved in the car accident. Your words can be used against you in an insurance or legal claim.
- Avoid discussing the incident or any legal proceedings to anyone – especially on social media. It is in your best interest to completely avoid using social media while following a legal claim for the car accident. You should also ask all friends and family members to avoid mentioning you or discussing your case online. Comments, posts, and images can all be used against you by an insurer or defense lawyer to undermine your claim.
- Avoid discussing the accident with at-fault driver’s insurance company. It is very likely the at-fault driver’s insurer will reach out to you in some form. Avoid conversations with these adjusters and do not allow them to record a statement. Never sign any form or documents as well, as in most cases they will seek to place fault on you. Always refer the adjuster to your attorney.
When you’ve been injured in a car wreck, get the help you deserve. The Houston car accident lawyers at Lapeze & Johns are ready to fight for you.
With 35 years of total experience, a 95% success rate, and over $350 million recovered for clients, Lapeze & Johns are the car accident attorneys you deserve to have on your side.
About Christopher Johns
Christopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.