Truck accidents present unique challenges. Pursuing compensation after you have been injured in a crash with a commercial vehicle is more complicated than getting money from an at-fault driver’s car insurance. The injuries are often more severe. Truck drivers and trucking companies have to maintain higher amounts of liability insurance, so the financial stakes are higher. More potentially liable parties exist in a commercial truck accident than in a passenger vehicle collision.
Pursuing compensation in such a situation can add more stress to an already difficult situation. You should understand your rights after a truck accident. It’s important to know whether you have a right to demand compensation for your medical bills and other expenses from the driver who caused the crash. You should not have to deal with the trucking company or their insurance company alone. An experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney with Sam & Ash Injury Law can review the details of your 18-wheeler accident and explain your rights. Call today for a free consultation.
Overview of Your Rights After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident in Las Vegas, an insurance adjuster will investigate the case. The adjuster may contact you and urge you to settle the claim quickly. It is easy to feel pressure in such situations and start providing information immediately.
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you have certain rights, including:
- A right to decline to speak to insurance companies other than your insurer and to decline to allow access to your medical file
- A right to consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer about whether you are entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses
- The right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you were harmed by others’ negligence
Many insurance adjusters start calling while you are still recovering from your injuries and feeling overwhelmed. They hope you will be ready to make a quick settlement. This is a common strategy since many people feel shaken after an accident, especially a serious one involving a large tractor-trailer. But you should not give up your rights.
How To Seek Compensation After a Truck Accident
You may be eligible to claim compensation for the following types of losses after a truck accident:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Losses related to a wrongful death
- Expenses for long-term disability, including home and vehicle modifications, mobility devices, and continued rehabilitation
You must be able to prove that your medical expenses and related losses were caused by injuries suffered in a truck accident to be compensated for them.
As soon after the accident as possible, you should write down everything you can remember about the crash. Note whether there were witnesses. Record the location of the accident, the weather conditions, and whether you noticed anything in the behavior of the truck driver who hit you. Note whether the driver was swerving, speeding, driving erratically, or texting while driving. When you hire an attorney, the attorney can follow up on your notes to pursue evidence about the crash. The attorney will request the police report and verify the facts.
You should seek medical attention after a truck accident. That first medical visit establishes your injuries and documents what happened to you. Even if you leave your vehicle without assistance and don’t feel pain immediately, it is a good idea to have a prompt medical evaluation. You may have head trauma or an internal injury that isn’t apparent immediately. Sometimes, adrenaline after an accident masks pain and keeps you from realizing you are injured.
Once you start medical treatment, obey your doctor’s recommendations. Keep follow-up appointments with the doctor. If you must miss one, reschedule it immediately. Many cases fail to reach their maximum value because people skip appointments or fail to follow their doctor’s recommendations. Any gap in treatment can seem to an insurance adjuster as if your injury isn’t serious and give them a reason to reduce the value of your claim.
Consider keeping a journal. Note how your injuries affect your ability to perform your regular activities. Note your medical appointments. Write down whether the injury affects your mood or your relationship with others.
Because you can recover lost wages if you miss work because of your injuries, it’s important that you keep your paystubs. They can be used as evidence to show your reduced hours after the accident and any paid time off you used for the accident.
Keep receipts of additional expenses. Injured people often need more help with childcare, home maintenance, yard work, and house cleaning. Do not take these expenses for granted. Instead, track them so your attorney can include them when calculating the value of your claim.