A California truck accident can cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle and leave everyone in your vehicle with severe injuries that can require substantial medical treatment. Not only do you need to quickly seek medical treatment so you can recover as fully as possible from your injuries, but you also need to protect your right to compensation for those injuries.
How can you protect your right to compensation and ensure you receive what you deserve for your injuries? A truck accident claim can prove incredibly complicated. Trucking companies often have strong legal teams that will aggressively fight against paying compensation to the victim of a severe truck accident.
Unfortunately, their determination to protect their funds can make it incredibly difficult for you to recover the full compensation you may deserve for your injuries.
Following these steps after your truck accident can help protect your right to compensation.
Get a copy of the police report and review it for accuracy.
Submit a request to the California Highway Patrol to get a copy of the police report associated with your accident. As a party injured in the accident, you have the right to access the police report and any information provided. Make sure you review the police report to make sure it accurately reflects the accident’s date, time, and place. The police report may also contain vital information about who likely caused the accident and what outside factors may have contributed to the accident.
If you notice that the police report contains inaccurate information about your accident, you should contact the department that issued your police report to correct the data. You need an accurate police report that reflects what led to your accident so that you can use it as part of the evidence for your claim.
Start a file for all your medical bills, including any payments you may make for your medical treatment.
Medical treatment often causes a substantial financial burden as you manage the aftermath of a serious injury. For severe injuries, medical bills may continue to add up long after the initial incident, leaving you struggling to manage your finances and make sure you pay those bills on time.
Start a file that contains all the medical bills you may receive after the accident. Remember that you may ultimately receive multiple medical bills for the same procedure. For example, if you need emergency surgery, you may receive a bill from the hospital, a bill from the surgeon, and a bill from the anesthesiologist. Keep track of all those bills in one location, both so that you can track what bills you have paid and so that you have a clear record of what your medical treatment has cost.
Don’t forget about any co-pays or deductible amounts that you may pay at the time of treatment. Tuck the receipts into the same folder as your medical bills. Not only can this help you keep track of what payments you have made, but it can also ensure that you can provide an accurate representation of everything you have spent on medical treatment when the time comes to file an injury claim.
Keep up with all recommendations made by your doctor.
Your doctor may provide a specific list of recommendations you need to follow to increase your odds of making a full recovery. For example, your doctor may recommend that you have specific procedures designed to help you heal from your injuries. You may need to go through physical or occupational therapy to help you regain strength or learn to cope with the permanent limitations you may face because of your injuries.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations to the best of your ability. If you fail to follow your doctor’s recommendations, the insurance company that covers the truck driver may claim you limited your recovery. This could prevent you from getting the full compensation you deserve.
Furthermore, your doctor may recommend that you avoid certain activities while recovering after your accident. If you have a traumatic brain injury, your doctor might recommend that you avoid anything that could cause further head trauma, including sports and vigorous activities. If you have a broken leg, your doctor might recommend that you avoid any activity that could cause you to bear weight on the injured limb until you have had a chance to recover.
Failure to follow those critical guidelines could cause you to worsen your injuries or, in some cases, to suffer worse injuries than the ones you sustained in the accident.
If you worsen your injuries or suffer further injuries in an additional accident, the insurance company may refuse to cover any damages associated with those increased injuries. In many cases, you must pay your medical costs, which could create a deeper financial burden. Following your doctor’s instructions can increase the odds that you will recover the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Document the course of your recovery and the challenges you may face.
As you recover from your injuries, you may face many challenges. Many people find that their emotions go up and down throughout that recovery period. Some struggle with the losses they have faced. You may, for example, struggle with the overall loss of independence associated with severe injuries, or you may have a hard time with the activities you can no longer enjoy due to your injuries.
Very active people, especially those who may have relied on high activity levels to support mental health, may have a harder time adjusting to those limitations.
Carefully document the course of your recovery in a journal. Note any mental health challenges you may face along the way, including depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
You may also want to take photos of yourself during your recovery:
- Your injuries.
- The progression of healing.
- Any other vital information you may need to keep up with during your recovery.
As part of your truck accident claim, you will often claim compensation for the pain and suffering you went through during your recovery from the accident. Pain and suffering can prove much more difficult to quantify since they do not have a definable measurement or financial value. However, with clear documentation of the recovery process, you can more easily display exactly how your injuries and limitations impacted you.
Contact a California truck accident lawyer to help deal with your claim.
A truck accident claim can prove incredibly complicated. Never attempt to deal with your truck accident claim alone. Doing so could result in an ongoing struggle to get the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Instead, contact a truck accident lawyer.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Review the Evidence
Truck accident claims often involve considerable investigations. Not only do you need someone to look into the accident itself and clearly identify the party that caused your accident, often the truck driver, but you need an investigation that will take into account the other factors that may have contributed to the truck accident.
For example, did the trucking company contribute to your accident? The trucking company might bear liability for the accident because of truck maintenance that did not happen according to schedule or because of dangerous policies that increased the risk of serious injuries. The trucking company might share liability for failing to properly monitor or train its drivers.
On your own, you might have difficulty accessing the information you need to fully investigate the trucking company, not to mention sifting through all that information. A California truck accident attorney, on the other hand, can easily access and go through all that vital information.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Assess the Compensation You Deserve
Truck accidents often involve substantial claims. You may have severe injuries because of your truck accident, which would entitle you to significant compensation. Trucking companies and truck drivers frequently have the insurance coverage needed to help you get the compensation you may need. However, the insurance company may make it very difficult to access that vital compensation.
The insurance company may pressure you to accept a lower settlement offer than you deserve—and many people take it because they do not fully recognize the compensation they deserve.
A lawyer can help break down all the losses you may have faced because of your accident and your injuries, which can help you fight for the full compensation you deserve.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Fight for You
Dealing with the insurance company as you try to recover compensation for your truck accident injuries can feel incredibly frustrating. You may end up getting offer after offer that simply does not reflect the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained in the accident. The insurance company may not seem to take your claim and losses seriously.
A lawyer, however, can help fight for you, increasing the odds that you will get the full compensation you deserve.
Learn About Your Insurance Coverage
Truck accidents frequently result in severe injuries, many of which can have long-term medical consequences and lead to ongoing medical costs. Your insurance coverage can help you get the treatment you need and cover the cost of ongoing medical bills.
California offers MedPay insurance, which adds on to your auto insurance to cover the cost of medical bills if you suffer any injuries in an accident. MedPay insurance kicks in regardless of who causes the accident, so you can use your MedPay coverage to cover some of the cost of your medical bills after your truck accident. The extent of your MedPay coverage will depend on your policy.
Your health insurance can help with the immediate cost of care for your injuries and the long-term cost of care for severe injuries. If you or your doctor expect ongoing medical needs related to your truck accident injuries, you may need to talk to your insurance company about what coverage you have.
Ask about coverage for:
- Durable medical equipment, if needed
- Long-term care, especially if you need to move into a long-term care facility temporarily
- In-home care
- In-network vs. out-of-network coverage
- Co-pays and deductibles for your medical care
When you have a solid idea of what insurance coverage you have, you can make decisions about your medical care that will make it easier to ensure that you can pay for care.
Make a plan for working with your employer, if needed.
Truck accident injuries can interfere heavily with your ability to take care of usual work tasks. How much your injuries impact your income may depend on what injuries you sustained and the limitations that come from them.
In addition, your employer’s policies may govern when you can come back to work and what modifications your employer can make to allow you to work despite your injuries. Make sure you have a clear plan in place, including a plan for communication with your employer, so that you can get back to work as soon as possible.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you cannot navigate the road to compensation alone. Contact a California truck accident lawyer who can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for truck accident injuries and provide access to resources that may help you navigate the many challenges ahead.