What Not to Do After a Trucking Accident in Fort Pierce
Despite reports of the slowing trucking industry, more and more trucking accidents are taking place in Florida. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reports that there were more than 3,000 commercial vehicle crashes just in January 2019. With the rising number of trucking accidents in Florida, the drivers in the community of Fort Pierce and St. Lucie are at a daily risk of personal injury because of the close proximity to the Florida Turnpike.
In the event you’re a victim of a trucking accident involving a tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, semi-truck, big rig, dump truck, or any other type of commercial vehicle, here are some things you should not do after the trucking accident.
- Assume you know who is at fault for the accident.
The on-scene police officer will assess the situation through a detailed investigation to determine who is at fault. The officer will then list the responsible party in the accident report.
- Apologize for the accident.
An apology is essentially the same as taking responsibility for the accident. It’s understandable that you want to show compassion and make sure the other driver is okay. Simply ask if they are okay, no more and no less. If you apologize and say you’re sorry, in the end, it may be difficult to recover compensation for the injuries you received, as any statement you make can be used against you.
- Opt out of Medical Attention or Delay Seeking Medical Attention.
After the trucking accident, you should see a medical provider immediately. At the time of the accident, you may not feel pain right away due to the high adrenaline rush to your body. This does not mean you should neglect to seek medical attention right after the accident.
Some people feel their pain levels are minor at the time of the accident, so they opt out. But the level of pain you experience may progress and get worse. This is why it’s important to see a medical professional now. If it does get worse, at least there will be a record showing that it is getting worse and that the doctor needs to treat you for a certain condition.
Doing both of these – opting out of medical attention and delaying medical attention — will reduce your chances of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
- Forget to Document the Trucking Accident
If you are able to do so, make sure you take pictures to document the trucking accident. Take notes of the weather and the condition of the road, because all of these are determining factors that the insurance companies and even attorneys will consider in your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
- Going Pro Se or Handling the Claim or Lawsuit on Your Own
Trucking accidents are very complicated. They are very different from car accidents because truck accidents affect not only state laws but federal laws as well. For example, truck drivers are only allowed to drive for a certain number of hours each day. The United States Department of Transportation regulates this rule.
For these reasons, it’s necessary for you to gain advice from a personal injury attorney who has years of experience in trucking accidents. The trucking company will be well-represented, so should you. Your attorney will work with you to develop a strategy ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Your attorney will also do his or her due diligence to determine who to sue. A complaint may be filed against the driver, the trucking company or even both.
One of the strategies your attorney will use includes immediately sending a preservation of evidence or spoliation of evidence letter to formally request that the trucking company save and maintain all evidence pertaining to the case – meaning the truck itself, paper and electronic records, files and maintenance logs. This letter is important because without a formal request, the necessary records you need to build your case may be destroyed.
Sholtes Law, Fort Pierce Personal Injury Attorney is Here to Help You.
If you’re the victim of a trucking accident and need a personal injury attorney, contact Sholtes Law, PLLC. Andrew Sholtes is a knowledgeable Fort Pierce truck accident lawyer serving St. Lucie and Martin County who provides professional and personalized representation for accident victims. Call 855-LEGAL-09 for a complimentary case analysis today.