Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Truck Accident Claim in Virginia
Injured in a Truck Accident – Here’s What to Do:
Being in a truck accident is something we hope no client ever has to deal with, but unfortunately, it does happen. Dealing with injuries, medical bills, insurance claims, lost income, and legal issues can be confusing and stressful. Filing an accident claim and negotiating a fair settlement wth big insurance companies is challenging without an experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer on your side.
Making the wrong moves when filing your claim can ruin your chances of receiving full and fair compensation. Avoid these 10 common mistakes when filing a truck accident claim in Roanoke and Southwest Virginia.
Hiring the right attorney for your accident is critical to ensuring you receive full compensation to cover medical bills, vehicle damage, and other incurred expenses. For award-winning legal representation after a truck accident, contact an injury lawyer at Altizer Law for a free consultation, or call us at 540.345.2000. We are here to help you, and ready for your free consultation.
Not Calling the Police to the Accident Scene
Calling the police immediately after an accident creates an official record of what happened. The police report contains important evidence like skid marks, debris, weather conditions, witness statements, and more. Having a police report to back up your version of how the crash happened will strengthen your claim for any damages caused by the truck accident. Never leave the accident scene without waiting for the police to arrive and document the situation.
Failing to Collect Contact and Insurance Information
In the stress of a truck crash, it’s easy to forget to exchange insurance and contact details with the other drivers involved. Be sure to collect this key information at the scene:
Full name and contact info of the truck driver
License plate numbers of all vehicles
Make, model, year, and VIN # of the trucks
Name, address, and phone # of the trucking company
Truck driver’s commercial license information
Insurance company name, phone #, policy #, and agent for all vehicles
Having this documentation immediately will give your Roanoke truck accident lawyer what they need to start investigating your claim and notifying the proper insurers.
Not Taking Photos and Video of the Scene
Use your smartphone to photograph and record video of the accident scene from all angles before vehicles are moved. Capture images of property damage, injuries, skid marks, final resting positions of vehicles, hazardous road conditions, and more. Photos help document what happened for your claim.
Failing to Get Witness Statements and Contact Info
Independent eyewitnesses are key for proving fault and liability. Ask witnesses to write down their account of the collision, along with their full name and contact information. Also take statements from trucking company representatives, police officers, first responders, and anyone else present after the crash.
Delaying Medical Treatment for Injuries
Always get checked by emergency services or go to the ER/hospital after a truck wreck, even if you feel fine initially. Injuries like concussions, internal bleeding, spinal damage, and soft tissue injuries often have delayed onsets. Getting prompt medical care creates a paper trail of evidence that you were injured. Waiting to get treatment can decrease the value of your truck accident claim.
Failing to Follow Doctor’s Orders
Not diligently following prescribed treatment plans (medications, therapy, etc) or missing medical appointments after a crash can be used against you. Insurance providers may argue your injuries aren’t serious or accuse you of not mitigating damages. Don’t give them ammunition against you – comply with your doctor’s recovery instructions.
Returning to Work Too Soon After Injury
Rushing back to work before you have fully healed could exacerbate injuries and lead to doctors imposing permanent restrictions. Take the time needed to recover based on your physician’s guidance, even if that means staying out of work for weeks or months. Keep your employer updated on your condition and expected return date.
Trying to Handle Your Truck Accident Claim Alone
Adjusters use tactful questioning to get clues from you that minimize your claim. They may record calls to uncover inconsistencies. Handling a claim yourself creates unnecessary risk. Retain an experienced Virginia truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash to level the playing field and ensure the insurance company treats you fairly.
Accepting the First Settlement Offer
Adjusters often make unreasonably low offers hoping injured victims will accept out of frustration or necessity. Don’t settle for less than full compensation for damages – medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, etc. An attorney can demand the insurers make a reasonable offer or take them to court.
Waiting Too Long to File a Claim
Virginia has strict statutes of limitations requiring injury claims to be filed within 2 years of an accident, but notice should be made as soon as possible. Failing to quickly report the claim can weaken your credibility and impair your lawyer’s ability to gather evidence and establish liability. Call a Roanoke truck accident lawyer promptly so your claim is preserved and properly handled.
Protect Your Rights After a Truck Crash in Roanoke
Being struck by an 80,000 pound truck is likely to cause catastrophic harm. Don’t jeopardize your chance at fair compensation by trying to handle your claim alone. Our experiencedVirginia truck accident lawyers protect victims statewide. Call today for your free consultation – we don’t get paid unless you receive a settlement.
Filing an injury lawsuit is not your only path to financial recovery after a truck crash. Consider these options as well:
Apply for disability benefits if your physician says you cannot work during recovery. This income replacement can ease financial stress.
Use your own auto insurance coverage to pay for repairs, medical bills, and lost wages, if you have these policy benefits.
Access Virginia’s crime victim compensation fund if the at-fault driver faces criminal charges over the crash. This program reimburses victims for many accident-related expenses.
We know this is a difficult time. You are not alone. Our team is here to help with every step of this process. Call us today at (540)-345-2000 for a free consultation, orcontact us online.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Claims
How long do I have to file a truck accident claim in Virginia?
You normally need to file your injury claim within two years after the truck crash due to Virginia’s statute of limitations. In wrongful death cases, you may only have two years from the date of death to file suit against the defendants. Contact a lawyer promptly so your claim is preserved.
Should I give a recorded statement to the trucking insurance company?
Never provide a recorded statement before consulting your attorney. Insurance adjusters use recorded statements to dissect your words and find ways to minimize liability. Politely decline to give a statement until your lawyer can be present.
How much is my truck accident case worth?
Your case value depends on the severity of injuries, length of treatment, amount of verifiable damages (medical bills, lost income, etc.), available insurance coverage, and degree of the trucker’s negligence. An experienced attorney can assess your potential settlement range.
Who pays for my damages if the truck driver caused the accident?
The trucking company and their insurer are responsible for compensating you if their driver was at fault. If their coverage is inadequate, your underinsured motorist coverage could pay additional damages. Your lawyer can identify all potential avenues for full compensation.
How can I prove the truck driver’s fault for my accident?
Police reports, witness statements, ELD (electronic logging device) trucking logs, black box data, photos/video, and records of driver history (training, experience, citations, etc.) are used to establish liability and negligence on behalf of the truck driver and trucking company.
Take Control of Your Case with a Trusted Roanoke Truck Accident Lawyer
Sustaining devastating injuries in a trucking collision can disrupt every aspect of your life. The uphill battle to recover fair compensation should not be faced alone. AtAltizer Law, our experienced Virginia truck accident injury lawyers have obtained millions of dollars for injured clients statewide. We handle every aspect of your claim so you can focus on healing. For dedicated legal representation, call us today at (540)-345-2000 for a free consultation, orcontact us online.