What Not to Say to a Truck Driver After an Accident
Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021
The moments following a truck accident can be shocking, scary, and overwhelming. If you suffered injuries, you’re likely in pain and unable to process what just happened. You might not know what steps you should take next. Unfortunately, if you say the wrong thing, your words could come back later to haunt you.
There are a few specific phrases you should avoid saying to the truck driver after an accident. You must remain at the scene to exchange insurance information, and you should wait for an officer to arrive and investigate.
The police report they write could help you with your insurance claim. However, be sure you refrain from making damaging statements if you plan to seek compensation from the at-fault truck driver.
Don’t Apologize for the Accident
Whatever you do, don’t tell the truck driver that you’re sorry. You should never apologize, even if you feel bad that they were injured or believe the crash might have been your fault. An apology is an admission of guilt to insurance companies. The adjuster handling your claim will likely assume you caused the accident if they discover the trucker says in their statement that you told them you were sorry.
The immediate aftermath of a truck accident isn’t the time to discuss what just happened. You can check on the well-being of anyone involved in the crash and ask the truck driver for their name, contact information, and insurance details, but that’s it. Showing any indication that you feel bad about the injured trucker makes you a kind human being but won’t work in your favor during an insurance claim.
Don’t Say You Don’t Need Medical Care
Sometimes, shock sets in after an accident, and injuries don’t seem that bad. You might think you suffered a bump on the head requiring rest at home. However, a couple of days later, you could experience debilitating symptoms and discover you have a traumatic brain injury.
If the truck driver asks if you need an ambulance, say yes. Even if your injury is minor, you should allow a healthcare professional to examine you. There could be an underlying problem you can’t see or don’t notice because the shock is masking your pain.
The issue with saying you’re fine following a truck accident is that if you discover a serious injury afterward, the insurance company might assume you’re exaggerating your injury to get more money. You could end up without the compensation you need to cover the expensive medical bills you incur while trying to recover.
Don’t Admit Fault
You should never admit partial fault for a truck accident to anyone, especially not the truck driver. You might think your actions contributed to the collision, but admitting to it could result in much lower compensation than you need. The trucker could repeat what you said to the investigating officer at the accident scene or inform their insurance carrier of what you told them.
If you need to file a lawsuit, the truck driver’s defense attorneys could use your admission to diminish your financial award. According to Missouri’s pure comparative negligence statute, the jury can reduce a plaintiff’s compensation by their percentage of shared fault for the injuries you sustained.
In other words, if you suffered $100,000 in losses, but the jury discovers you were 20 percent to blame for the crash, you would receive no more than $80,000. That’s not enough money to compensate for your total losses, leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses.
Don’t Say You Can Resolve this Together
You might feel tempted to avoid calling the police to report the crash. You assume you and the truck driver can work things out together or individually without involving your insurance companies. Unfortunately, if you don’t report the crash, you won’t have a police report from an investigating officer to indicate what might have happened.
Law enforcement should investigate the crash site and write a report with their opinion of how the accident happened and who was at fault. It could be useful evidence to show the truck driver is responsible for causing your injuries. If you don’t have the report, you have one less piece of evidence to support your case.
If your injury is minor, you also might not want to go through the trouble of pursuing compensation from an insurance claim. You think you probably won’t get much money anyway and don’t want to waste your time.
The problem here is that if you don’t ask for the trucker’s insurance information and discover your injury is more severe than you realized, you could require ongoing treatment you can’t afford to pay. Without the necessary insurance details, you can’t file a claim with the truck driver’s insurer to compensate you for the losses you suffered.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC Today
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident due to the truck driver’s negligent actions, do not hesitate to contact OnderLaw, LLC. One of our truck accident lawyers in Missouri could help you hold the at-fault party liable and seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Call us at (314) 963-9000 for your free consultation today. Let us put our years of experience to work for you.