Don’t take anything for granted. Many people assume that the police will do a full and thorough investigation after a collision. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Your safety and health are the primary concern after a wreck, so if you need medical care, get it taken care of by going to the hospital or seeking medical help as soon as possible. If you are physically able (or have someone with you who can do it) get the name, address, phone number and driver’s license number of the truck driver. Take photos of the vehicles involved, including any signage on the truck or trailer. Take photos of the license plates of all vehicles involved, as well as the damage to the vehicles. Photos of any skid marks or gouges in the pavement may be helpful.
Get the contact information of any witnesses who are at the scene. Take photos of the witnesses also; it may be helpful when you need to find them later. Get whatever information you can at the scene and get it to your lawyer as soon as possible.
The police agency hopefully will do a full and complete investigation that may result in a lot of things being duplicated with your own efforts. However, there are many times that the police reports generated after a wreck are just plain wrong. Having collected your own information helps when we need to correct any errors or misunderstandings that appear in the police report.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE WITNESSES IN THESE CASES? WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO UTILIZE THEM?
Witnesses come in a couple of different categories. Of course, witnesses to the actual collision itself are very important to the investigation of the rack. These witnesses can provide information regarding the speed, direction, and any movements of the vehicles that were involved. The guy witnesses can also talk about the damage to the vehicles and the injuries that they saw they were caused by the wreck.
The other type of witnesses that are of utmost importance are what we call “before and after” witnesses. These are the people in your life who can come in and talk about how this collision has impacted your daily activities, physical health, mental health and outlook on life. These witnesses are typically family members, close friends, co-workers and others in our life on a day-to-day basis. These witnesses are key in showing a jury ultimately the full impact that these injuries and damages I’ve had in your life.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT SITUATION?
Some of the biggest challenges that you will face following a collision have to do with getting the appropriate professional medical care that you deserve. Many people assume that their health insurance will not pay for medical expenses caused by a truck crash that was someone else’s fault. Some doctors will even tell you that they are not allowed to bill your health insurance for charges as a result of an automobile or truck collision. That’s simply is not true. Health insurance as an obligation and responsibility to pay for your medical expenses, regardless of how they are caused. Most health insurance policies contain a subrogation clause which allows the health insurance company to seek reimbursement from the wrongdoer’s liability insurance. The reason you want to use your health insurance, in my opinion, is so that you can get quality medical care immediately.
Health insurance companies usually have a list of quality medical care providers who have previously agreed to accept the payment of the health insurance company. Often times, the health insurance rate is a rate reduced from the full rate that would be charged by the doctor to a “cash” customer. Unfortunately, some medical care providers do not like to get involved in an auto collision or truck college in cases. I believe they stay away from those types of injuries because they do not want to be involved in the litigation where they may be forced to give their deposition or gift trial testimony regarding their care and treatment. If your doctor refuses to treat under your health insurance for auto injuries, then your options are somewhat limited. That is why it is important to retain a lawyer early in the process to help you navigate this medical care situation.
The next biggest challenges they face and a truck collision cases dealing with the trucking companies adjuster or claims service. Trucking companies are involved in claims on a daily basis. These people are professionals. They keep their jobs by paying as little as possible on claims. The profitability of the company and the insurance company involved is based on paying as little as possible for claims. Period because these people are professionals and deal with this type of situation all the time, they know all the tricks of the trade to Minimize the value of your claim and minimize your loss. They will lie to you, they will trick you and they will try to convince you that your injuries are “no big deal”. They will also try to convince you that you do not need to hire a lawyer. Now, why would they do that?
The reality is that claimants who are represented by skilled, competent attorneys recover more money for their injuries and damages the people who are not represented. They are not saving you money by telling you to not hire a lawyer. Instead, they are saving themselves money by dealing with you directly.
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