Victims of trucking accidents often suffer severe injuries and disabilities that require long-term medical care, so maximizing compensation for an injury claim will ensure better treatment and faster recovery.
Maximizing a Truck Accident Claim
After a trucking accident, taking certain actions to support an injury claim can maximize compensation for damages. Many commercial trucking accidents cause serious injuries, even death, so maximum compensation is necessary for proper medical care, physical rehabilitation, loss of income, temporary or permanent disabilities, or funeral expenses if the injury victim dies from his/her injuries.
The following actions will help ensure victims are awarded maximum compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a Timely Personal Injury Claim
After an injury occurs, there are time limits, referred to as the Statute of Limitations, to file a claim. If a claim is filed after the Statute of Limitations expires, the court will likely refuse to hear the case. In Illinois, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. The Statute of Limitations for property damages is five years. Filing a timely claim will ensure proper time to gather the necessary evidence and prepare a stronger case before proceeding to trial.
Seeking Immediate Medical Treatment
Truck accident injury victims should seek medical treatment for their injuries from a licensed physician, urgent care facility, or hospital emergency department as soon as possible after the accident occurs. To ensure maximum compensation for damages, injuries must be photographed and documented quickly to substantiate the claim. A licensed physician will prepare medical reports that validate injuries and provide a necessary treatment plan for recovery.
Gathering and Preserving Evidence
Preserving evidence to support a claim can help to win a lawsuit. When a traffic accident occurs, law enforcement officers are called to the scene to investigate the crash. Taking photos of the accident scene and sustained injuries can help to determine liability for the accident. Injury victims should get a police report of the accident and collect names and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. A truck accident lawyer will follow up on this information to collect detailed witness statements and prepare a personal injury lawsuit.
Putting Value on the Claim
Substantial evidence and medical records will help to put a realistic value on a personal injury claim. Liability for the accident and documented medical records will substantiate the injury victims damages to ensure adequate compensation for:
- Medical care and prescribed medications
- Surgical procedures
- Physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation
- Loss of income (present and future)
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
Considering Future Damages
Many people injured in commercial trucking accidents suffer injuries that don’t show up right away. Since truck-related injuries are often severe, many injury victims experience future health problems that require extended medical care for facial or body disfigurement, crushed or broken limbs, amputations, damage to internal organs, temporary or permanent paralysis, head trauma, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Future damages must be considered as part of a personal injury claim. When a lawsuit is filed, an injury victim from a truck-related crash will likely not recover fully before the case goes to trial. If injuries are severe, it may take years for recovery.
Beware of Settlement Offers
After a commercial trucking accident, an injury victim will likely be approached by the carrier’s insurance company with a settlement offer. Insurance companies commonly offer low settlement offers to avoid engaging in lengthy trials and damaging verdicts. These quick settlement offers may be tempting, but they are rarely enough to cover the basic cost of a victim’s injuries. To receive a fair award for damages, it is often necessary to reject first, second, or even third settlement offers from insurers. A Chicago truck accident lawyer can explain the advantages and disadvantages of a settlement offer versus proceeding to court for a jury trial.
Part of getting appropriate compensation in a personal injury case means convincing the other side of a strong case with documented proof. Documented evidence and a good lawyer go a long way in convincing the other side that a settlement offer is unacceptable.
Avoiding Social Media Posts
After an accident, some people post comments about the accident and photos of their injuries on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. If a personal injury lawsuit is filed and the case proceeds to trial, the opposing side can use social media posts to derail the claim. It’s important to remember court rules “ anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law,” and it usually is.