In the aftermath of any serious motor vehicle accident, it can be difficult to know what to do and what options you have. The situation can be particularly overwhelming after a trucking accident.
Because crashes involving trucks are often catastrophic, the fact is that there is a lot at stake for victims. These high stakes, combined with the complexity of the situation means that any missteps have the potential to be exceptionally costly. More specifically, it is important to avoid the following mistakes.
Accepting less than you deserve
You may be overwhelmed by massive medical bills and other expenses after a crash, making it tempting to accept an initial offer from insurance companies or another party.
Often, though, these offers do not reflect the full extent of damages. Other parties are interested in paying as little as possible. They typically will not take into account the emotional distress and future medical expenses you may experience. Therefore, accepting these offers prematurely could mean accepting less than you deserve.
Taking other parties at their word
Some parties are so determined to avoid taking responsibility for a crash that they lie about details of the crash. For instance, truckers may falsify logbooks showing they violated Hours-of-Service regulations; trucking companies may claim the victims carry more liability than they really do; witnesses may have inaccurate recollections about the crash.
Know that you do not have to accept other parties’ account of a crash. You can work with an attorney to conduct an investigation and consult experts who were not hired by insurance or trucking companies.
Assuming you cannot recover damages
Too many people believe that being partly at fault for an accident bars them from recovering any money from the other parties.
That is not true. Mississippi is a state of pure comparative fault. This means that even if you are at fault for an accident, you can still pursue compensation from other at-fault parties. The amount you ultimately recover will be decreased in proportion to your responsibility, but do not assume that being partly to blame for an accident means you cannot recover damages.
Knowing what to do – or not do – after a crash can be difficult. However, consulting an attorney and being mindful of these missteps can help you avoid making costly missteps after a serious accident.