Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Settle Your Truck Accident Case
Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2016.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a semi-truck, you likely want to put it behind you as soon as you can. It’s tempting to wait to call a lawyer until you see if the truck driver’s insurance company offers a nice big settlement, in which case you may plan to “take the money and run” in the interest of getting on with your life. However, that might be a mistake you come to regret down the road. Although calling an attorney could complicate an already potentially messy situation, it’s something you should strongly consider if you want to ensure you get everything you’re due in the event of a truck accident.
It’s true – if you call a lawyer, you could be increasing how long it takes to settle your case. However, you should weigh that potential drawback against the likelihood that a good attorney with a lot experience can help you navigate the settlement process more easily – and help you get a lot more out of it.
1. Thinking Long-Term
In the aftermath of a serious truck accident, you’re most likely thinking about your most immediate needs and concerns – getting out of the hospital, covering immediate medical expenses, repairing or replacing damaged property, and getting those costs covered. It’s quite likely that the truck’s insurance company will offer a settlement that covers those immediate costs. That’s why it can be so tempting to simply take the settlement, avoid a long legal process, and move on.
The issue, however, is that full recovery from the serious injuries you likely sustained in a truck accident takes much longer that you might expect. Depending on the nature of your injuries, even after you’re released from the hospital you’re likely to require continued treatment in the form of expensive pain medications, physical therapy, and follow-up visits. Often, the full extent of your injuries won’t be clear right away; it can take weeks or even months for doctors to determine the extent of the damage and your ultimate prognosis. The initial settlement that the insurance company offers isn’t likely to cover or take into consideration those future costs – meaning, several months down the road you’ll find yourself getting hit with medical bills you can’t pay. A seasoned truck accident attorney will be able to help you seek damages for any of these future needs as well as your immediate medical costs.
2. Gathering Evidence
Additionally, there’s a lot of valuable evidence that you need to gather fairly quickly in the aftermath of a truck accident. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to be able to compile all the information you need to get the fairest settlement possible. Your attorney can get to work gathering information from the scene of the accident, any video footage that exists, cell phone records, and GPS data, all while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Your lawyer’s work on your behalf may seem like it’s taking longer, but in actuality it helps make the entire settlement process go more smoothly, with as little stress as possible for you and your loved ones.
3. Waiting to Sign a Release
Once the insurance company offers a settlement, the adjuster will ask you to sign a release before you can receive compensation. This is another time when it really pays to have an experienced attorney on your side. In signing a release, you waive any additional claims against the trucker’s insurance company – some of which you may be entitled to but not aware of. It’s crucial to run everything by your lawyer before you sign. Once again, your lawyer can be your advocate and make sure you’re getting everything you’re rightfully due.