Accidents can be among the most frightening experiences a person has. If you’ve been in an accident, you have to deal not only with the emotional shock of the situation but also with a ton of legal and insurance stuff that you’re probably not super comfortable with.
How many times did you read your insurance policy? Do you know what you’re entitled to? You’re aware that the other party has their own interests to focus on and that your insurance provider is looking to spend as little as possible, but you might not know what that means for you and your best interest.
The following will explore a few key legal tips that can help you if you’re dealing with an accident. The focus will be on truck accidents, but many of these tips apply to accidents involving other vehicles as well.
If you’re able, take photos of the accident scene on your phone. Err on the side of too many photos rather than too few. You want wide shots of the entire scene but also close-up shots of all the little details, like any parts that fell off a vehicle or the scattering of glass on the road.
This documentation can be given to a lawyer as potential evidence. Do not give this documentation to anyone but your lawyer.
You also want to keep good records of anything related to the accident. This might include visits to the mechanic, medical appointments, bills, and receipts for purchases made that you otherwise wouldn’t have made, like painkillers or replacements of things that were in your vehicle and damaged by the accident.
You might even want to keep a journal where you write down details about all your appointments, any missed days at work, any physical symptoms of injuries, and any emotional or mental experiences you’re having. All of this information might be utilized by a lawyer to help advocate for your needs.
Stay Off Social Media
While a comment about social media might not seem like it has anything to do with legal advice, it does. Law enforcement, lawyers, insurance companies, and judges can all access social media. Anything you do online can be used against you in a legal proceeding.
And sometimes, things you don’t expect to be problematic, like sharing something funny your niece said while you drove her to soccer, can be interpreted as you not being as injured as you have said you are.
Because of this, unless explicitly told to do otherwise by your lawyer, you should avoid all social media interactions until your legal situation has been dealt with. This includes liking, sharing, commenting, and posting.
Speak To A Lawyer First
Before you sign anything, talk to the insurance company or even give a statement to law enforcement, speak to a lawyer. It’s okay to share your information with the police and other parties after the accident, but withhold all further commentary until you’ve sought legal advice.
All too often, pursuing one course of action after an accident involves legally forfeiting all other possible responses. It’s not unheard of for insurance companies to convince someone that they’re getting the best possible outcome by signing a document, only to have them learn later on that a different course of action was actually in their best interest.
Meet with a lawyer and ask them about all the options available to you. This can help you make a better choice for yourself and your well-being.
Talk To A Lawyer Specializing In Truck Accidents
It’s not just enough to reach out to a lawyer; you want to talk to someone who specializes in the particular type of incident you’ve experienced. It doesn’t matter if your cousin is a divorce lawyer, a truck accident is a completely different thing.
These Reno, NV truck accident attorneys, for instance, point out that there are different standards for safe and aware driving for truck drivers than for people operating standard-sized vehicles. They are required to give other vehicles more space on the road and drive slower than the speed limit if it’s not safe to go any faster.
Advocate For Yourself Medically As Well
It’s not enough to ensure you’re getting adequate legal protection. If you’ve been in an accident, you need to make sure you’re getting high-quality medical treatment. Foremost, it’s important that you seek out a medical professional after the accident.
Many common injuries that result from accidents don’t reveal themselves immediately, so a thorough check-up is vital if you want to have all the information about the impact the accident has had on you.
Beyond this, it’s important that you follow medical recommendations. If you’re listening to your doctor’s advice, this shows that you’re taking your injuries seriously and are trying to get better, which can be viewed favorably in court.
If you feel the medical advice you’ve been given isn’t right for you and your lifestyle, seek a second opinion. Talk to as many doctors as you need to before you find a treatment plan that is right for you. It’s completely okay to ask for alternatives if you’re worried about a particular prescription or approach. Medicine and healing are not one-size-fits-all.
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Legal proceedings can be stressful. Most people are not their sharpest when they’re stressed, injured, overwhelmed, and confused. Make sure to take time every day to step back and breathe. Seek emotional support, especially if you’re finding that you’re not able to go about your daily life as you were before the accident.
There’s nothing wrong with you if you can’t—in fact, making adjustments is a common response to a traumatic event—but it’s a good idea to remain aware of how you’re changing and whether you’re pleased with these changes or not.
No one wants to get into a truck accident, but sometimes we have to deal with the things we didn’t want. There’s nothing you can do about the incident once it’s occurred, but you can take steps to care for yourself legally, physically, financially, and emotionally.
An attorney who has been made aware of the details of your particular accident should be able to give further advice that is more tailored to the accident you experienced.
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