Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Accident in Beaufort
A traffic collision involving a truck is a terrifying, traumatic experience. Most commercial tractor-trailers are twenty times heavier than the average passenger vehicle, so they often cause significant damage in traffic wrecks. Unfortunately, when the exterior of a commuter car is impacted by such mass, it offers little protection to occupants who may be severely injured or even killed in the collision.
Negligence contributes to many truck crashes, and people who are injured due to someone else’s carelessness could be entitled to sue for damages. However, pursuing a personal injury claim is a complicated process that could involve multiple defendants, accusations and cross-accusations, crash reconstructions, and several competing narratives. It is best to let an experienced truck accident attorney represent you in fighting for a fair settlement.
The actions you take in the hours, weeks, and months following a tractor-trailer crash can help or hinder your potential case. The first recommended step is to contact a skilled legal advocate in your area. To further increase your chances of a successful outcome in civil litigation, learn the following mistakes to avoid after a truck accident in Beaufort.
Do not Delay Medical Attention for Accident Injuries
The first mistake to avoid following a tractor-trailer collision is waiting to seek treatment from a Beaufort medical professional. Few people walk away from a semi-truck collision without any physical harm. Even those who show no immediate signs of injury after an accident should go to the hospital to get checked out.
Shock and adrenaline can mask physical pain, so it is important that an accident victim receives a medical examination to ensure that there are no hidden or silent injuries. Additionally, a defendant’s lawyer may point to a delay in seeking medical care as proof that a plaintiff is not injured and does not deserve compensation in a truck accident claim.
Another common mistake following a tractor-trailer crash is failing to document all injury-related expenses. During the recovery period, it is important for victims to keep track of every cost they incur—to the penny, if possible. Keep receipts and all records from the hospital, physicians, pharmacies, mental health counselors, and any other healthcare providers consulted after an accident. Additionally, an injured victim should take note of these lesser-known but potentially recoverable details:
- Mileage driven to medical appointments
- Parking fees
- Ride-for-hire service fees
- Hours a spouse or family member had to take off work to accompany the victim to appointments
With the guidance of a skilled Beaufort litigator in pursuing a claim, all of these truck accident-related expenses are potentially reimbursable if they are documented.
Avoid Admitting Wrongdoing or Fault after a Tractor-Trailer Collision
The best thing to say after a truck accident is nothing at all. A conscious traffic wreck victim might wish to speak to the other drivers or witnesses, but it is best for them to remain silent until they have sought medical care and counsel from a nearby truck accident attorney.
Negligence Laws in Beaufort Truck Crash Claims
Talking about the accident could affect a personal injury claim against any potential defendants. South Carolina Code §15-38-15 establishes the state’s comparative negligence rule that a judge or jury must apportion fault between all negligent parties in a lawsuit seeking damages. A plaintiff who bears some responsibility can collect damages only from defendants who carry more of the blame.
Insurance company lawyers will attempt to assign fault to the plaintiff in order to reduce the amount they will have to pay to settle a claim. A plaintiff who admits to an infraction like speeding or talking on their phone while driving—or even being nervous driving in bad weather—gives defense lawyers a golden opportunity to shift blame away from their client. It is necessary to retain a seasoned civil litigator to counter these claims and advise an injured victim on what they should and should not say following their truck accident in Beaufort.
Retain a Beaufort Attorney to Avoid Mistakes after a Truck Collision
In the aftermath of a tractor-trailer accident, it is natural that a victim would want to focus on healing and leave the business of seeking compensation until later. However, this can be a serious mistake.
Proving negligence in a truck accident case often requires subpoenaing records from trucking employers, maintenance businesses, cell phone companies, local government entities, law enforcement agencies, and others. Witnesses need to be deposed before their memories fade, and materials such as the truck’s driving log need to be secured. The more time that passes after an accident, the more difficult it is to obtain evidence and reliable witnesses.
You can protect yourself, preserve your rights, and enhance your chances of receiving an appropriate settlement by contacting a local legal professional as soon as possible after a traffic collision. Call Schiller & Hamilton today for a no-obligation consultation with a seasoned Beaufort truck accident attorney.