As a city located within a desert expanse, Las Vegas heavily depends on trucks to ensure it receives its daily sustenance.
These trucks effectively navigate the complex network of the Interstate highway system, facilitating continuous flow of goods into and out of the city all day and night.
However, these trucks, some of which can even pull multiple trailers at once, unfortunately have a bit of an advantage over you in your Escalade or Prius.
Even a minor collision with one of them can lead to some really terrible consequences, like serious injuries or even the complete loss of your beloved ride.
Luckily, there’s a silver lining.
If you or your loved one has experienced a truck accident in Las Vegas, under Nevada’s personal injury law, you have the legal entitlement to pursue compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
But here’s the thing—the actions you take after a truck accident will make or break your personal injury case.
If you have a clear understanding of what to do or not do, you’ll stay prepared in advance and avoid any pitfalls that can jeopardize your compensation claim.
- Knowing what not to do allows you to preserve crucial evidence such as photographs, witness statements, and accident reports, that can support your version of events and strengthen your case.
- Knowing the right steps to take immediately after a truck accident, such as contacting authorities and reporting the incident, can help ensure a smoother claims process.
- Having a clear understanding of what to avoid can provide you with a sense of confidence and control, allowing you to navigate the aftermath of a truck accident more effectively.
In today’s article, our experienced truck accident attorneys at Vegas Valley Injury Law have pooled their collective wisdom to share with you 17 mistakes you must avoid right after a truck accident.
We want to ensure you have the knowledge you need to navigate this challenging situation with confidence and peace of mind.
So, let’s dive in and explore some helpful tips that can make a real difference when it matters most.
Mistake 1 – Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
We completely understand how you can panic and feel overwhelmed after a serious truck accident.
But no matter how severe or small the accident is, don’t leave the scene of the crash, as it is considered a felony.
Under NRS 484E.010, if you fail to remain at the scene of an accident after it occurs, you risk
- Facing imprisonment for a period between two and fifteen years in the state prison
- Or a fine ranging between $2,000 and $5,000
What you want to do instead is to remain calm and stay put until the law enforcement, medical officers, and tow trucks arrive.
This can also be the perfect time to exchange information with the other driver and document the accident through taking pictures of the scene and damages, writing down their contact information and describing the accident to law enforcement.
Remember, even if the other driver doesn’t seem interested in reporting the accident or suggests waving it off, leaving without exchanging information can potentially lead to false accusations of a hit and run down the road.
So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and make sure all the necessary details are properly exchanged. Your peace of mind is worth it.
Related Reading: How to Handle a Hit and Run Accident: Our 5 Step Process
Mistake 2 – Don’t Speak to Insurance Companies Without an Attorney
One of the greatest errors we’ve noticed is when clients speak with an insurance company representative (claim adjuster) before seeking legal representation.
While they may appear as neutral intermediaries between you and the insurance company, in real sense, the adjusters are employed by the insurance company itself.
Their primary objective is to investigate claims and protect their company’s interests by minimizing payouts. Not to forget that their livelihood is tied to how well they perform their job, which involves saving their company as much money as possible.
This is why you need legal representation before engaging with an insurance adjuster.
Without a legal team, you may end up with very little compensation for your injury claim, or even worse, nothing at all.
Fortunately, experienced truck accident attorneys like those from Vegas Valley Injury Law know that insurance companies are in business to make money, and we’ll do whatever they can to minimize their losses.
As skilled negotiators, we’ll wisefully navigate settlement conversations with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
We’ll also work with you to help determine the full scope of your damages and losses, which can be critical in getting the most favorable settlement possible.
It’s clear at this point that the insurance company wouldn’t have paid nearly as much (or anything at all) without Vegas Valley Injury Law representing me. Garrett was very kind and explained everything I was confused about. I was kept informed throughout. The end result was better than I could have imagined and Garrett made the process painless.”— Jill S., Verified Client
And should it happen that you have to speak to the insurance adjuster after the accident, we’ll guide you in this regard, ensuring that you present the facts in the most advantageous way and that you don’t make any statements that can be used against you.
But in case an adjuster reaches out to you before contacting us, be honest with them, but remember not to offer any unnecessary information.
Here’s what you can provide:
- Your name and names of others involved in the accident, if any
- Date, time, and location of the crush
- The truck’s model and make (if you can remember)
- The at-fault truck driver insurance company’s name (if you know it)
The table below illustrates the stark contrasts between interacting with insurance companies without an attorney and doing so with professional legal representation.
|Without An Attorney
|With An Attorney
|You handle it yourself
|Handled by experienced professionals
|Understanding of Damages
|May not know full scope
|Comprehensive assessment of damages and losses
|Risk of Self-Incrimination
|Lower, as attorney guides you on what to say
|Stress and Time Commitment
|Likely more stressful and time-consuming
|Attorney handles most of the process, less stress on you
Mistake 3 – Don’t Sign Anything Without an Attorney’s Approval
After an accident, the insurance company representing the at-fault party may approach you with a stack of documents to sign.
But don’t put your signature on any of them, at least not just yet.
Below are some of the documents you may be presented with:
1 – Initial Offer After the Truck Accident
It’s not uncommon for the insurance claim adjuster to offer you a quick sum of money to cover your immediate expenses and the damages you’ve incurred.
But before you accept this offer, consider the potential for future medical treatment and therapy needs, lost wages, and funeral expenses.
Signing this offer means forfeiting your right to receive compensation for any of these damages.
2 – Medical Authorization
When the adjuster asks you to sign a medical authorization, remember that it grants the insurance company access to your complete medical history, not just the accident-related records.
So be cautious about sharing too much information without consulting an attorney first.
3 – Affidavit
Signing an affidavit that recounts the details of the accident, from before to after, can be risky. It’s easy to overlook important details or make mistakes.
And once you’ve signed it, you won’t be able to make any changes.
4 – Final Settlement Offer
After completing your medical treatment, the insurance adjuster may present you with a final settlement offer.
Remember that the word “final” holds great significance here.
Think carefully before signing because once you do, there’s no turning back. Consider any potential future medical issues related to the accident, as you won’t be able to seek compensation for them later on.
What we’re trying to emphasize is that you don’t have to feel obligated to sign anything that the insurance company puts in front of you.
Your legal rights matter, which is why we highly recommend consulting us before making any decisions. By doing this, you can ensure your rights are protected and make informed choices regarding your case.
Remember, you’re not alone in this journey; we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Mistake 4 – Don’t Give a Recorded Statement
After an accident, an insurance claim adjuster may call you and request for a recorded statement.
But you want to steer clear of agreeing to provide a recorded statement.
For one, you’re not obligated to give this statement to receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Secondly, you might end up unintentionally saying the wrong things during the statement that can jeopardize the overall value of your claim.
So if an insurance representative tries to get you to talk about the accident or admit fault, simply decline politely and avoid discussing the crash or your injuries in too much detail.
Instead, consult with our truck accident attorneys who know the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies to ensure you’re protected and well-represented.
I highly recommend Vegas Valley Injury Law to anyone who’s been hurt in an accident. Our attorney was incredibly helpful throughout the process. He was accessible day or night, and he fought hard to make the insurance company pay out for my injuries.”— Nathan V., Verified Client
Mistake 5 – Don’t Apologize or Admit Fault
From a young age, we’re taught to be polite and courteous. It’s no surprise that after an accident, you may feel a natural inclination to apologize, even if you’re not at fault.
But this normally doesn’t go well with personal injury lawsuits.
For truck accidents, determining liability is rarely straightforward. Many parties are involved who may have played a role, both directly and indirectly, in causing the crash.
And guess what? These parties might actually owe you compensation.
While it’s tempting to say “I’m sorry,” it can inadvertently be seen as an admission of fault.
Instead of speculating about the accident, why not consider hiring a truck accident attorney? We’ll provide an independent review of your case and gather additional evidence on your behalf.
This way, you can navigate the situation confidently and ensure your rights are protected.
Mistake 6 – Don’t Delay in Getting Medical Attention
After experiencing a truck accident, we may feel fortunate for escaping major injuries and skip the doctor’s visit, or even turn down an examination by a paramedic, thinking they’re perfectly fine.
But this is where we go wrong.
Never delay seeking medical attention after a truck accident, regardless of how you feel initially.
Here are a three key reasons why:
- Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, whiplash, and broken bones, do not manifest immediately, only showing up once the shock of the accident subsides.
A quick medical check up will allow the doctor to diagnose and treat such hidden injuries effectively.
- If you fail to see a doctor within a few days of the truck accident, the insurance company may argue that your injuries weren’t severe or even caused by the crash, potentially harming any personal injury claim you might need to file in the future.
- Delaying medical attention can cause medical conditions to worsen, leading to further pain and suffering.
By promptly seeking medical care, you’ll have essential medical records to support your case when the time comes while maintaining your overall well-being.
Expert Tip: When choosing a medical provider, go for one experienced in treating truck accident-related injuries. Also ensure that they’re in network with your insurance provider to maximize coverage for medical expenses.
Mistake 7 – Don’t Forget to Collect Contact Information
In the aftermath of a truck accident in Las Vegas, remember to collect the contact information of witnesses, if any, together with that of the truck driver and their employer.
This may include:
- The truck driver’s name
- Their insurance policy number
- Their contact details
- The name of the trucking company
- The truck’s license plate number
Even after leaving the accident scene, spare a few minutes to write down everything you remember about the wreck. It’s surprising how quickly details can fade from memory, so capturing them while they’re fresh will be helpful later on when building your case.
However, if your sustained injuries prevented you from gathering evidence at the truck crash site, don’t fret about it.
Our experienced truck lawyers at Vegas Valley Injury Law will step in and launch their own investigation to gather the necessary proof to support your case.
Mistake 8 – Don’t Fail to Notify the Police
No matter how small or seemingly insignificant the truck accident may be, don’t let anyone convince you to avoid reporting it to the police.
Failing to notify the police after a trucking incident can be a costly mistake.
The insurance company may use this against you in their tactics to reduce your settlement.
They may try to argue that you weren’t injured in the accident or that the accident didn’t happen the way you said it did.
If the police had been notified, they would have been able to provide evidence that would have backed up your story.
The best action you can take is to notify the police and get an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
We’ll help you navigate the complex legal system, ensure that evidence is collected properly, and that the insurance company isn’t trying to reduce your settlement.
Pro Tip: Keep the non-emergency police number saved in your phone. This way, you can quickly reach out to the local authorities even in situations that don’t require an emergency response.
Mistake 9 – Don’t Forget to Document Your Evidence
Always remember that after a truck accident, some types of evidence will be lost forever once the scene is cleared.
So have an accurate and detailed record of the incident immediately after the accident occurs (if you’re in a position to).
Any evidence you can collect that proves negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another party is essential to your case.
This may involve:
- Collecting witness accounts of the accident is essential to establish fault.
- Taking photos of the accident scene, collecting debris, and gathering your medical records.
- Storing all evidence in a secure location.
- Capturing important details such as skid marks, road hazards, and the positions of all the vehicles involved in the collision.
- Document any visible injuries by taking photos and videos.
Documenting your evidence can make the difference between winning and losing your case. Don’t overlook it, or you may miss out on the compensation you deserve.
If you’re not in a position to collect evidence on the accident scene, our Las Vegas qualified truck accident attorneys are here to help.
We’ll collect and properly store the needed evidence to support your case and protect your rights.
The service at Vegas Valley Injury Law has been exceptional, they made sure that such a stressful situation was handled in the best way possible by having me do everything remotely from my desktop, calling and making all the doctor appointments for me, following up with me with the latest updates on my case. It was seriously such a smooth process.”— Karmen Villalobos, Verified Client
Mistake 10 – Don’t Rely on the Insurance Company’s Investigation
Relying solely on the insurance company’s investigation after a truck accident is not always in your best interest.
Insurance companies are primarily focused on minimizing their own costs. Their investigation will likely be biased towards protecting their interests rather than ensuring you receive fair compensation.
Besides, while insurance adjusters are knowledgeable about insurance policies and claims processes, they lack the expertise of specialized truck accident attorneys that’s needed in thoroughly investigating an accident to uncover facts and determine faults.
So don’t leave your future and financial security to chance. Take charge of your case by hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you gather your own evidence.
At Vegas Valley Injury Law, our team of expert attorneys is committed to conducting a comprehensive investigation for each truck accident case we handle.
Your case won’t be any different. We’ll meticulously examine the details of your accident to determine if any violations occurred that may have contributed to the accident.
Your safety and well-being are our top priorities, and we leave no stone unturned in pursuing the truth and ensuring that you’re fully compensated for your injuries.
Mistake 11 – Don’t Neglect to Take Photos of the Accident Scene
In the midst of all the chaos following a truck accident, taking photos of the accident scene may not be the first thing on your mind.
But it’s actually more important than you might realize:
- Once you leave the accident scene, evidence can deteriorate rapidly. But by capturing skid marks, debris, weather conditions, and other non-permanent evidence in photographs, you ensure that vital information is not lost.
- By taking as many pictures as possible, you increase the chances of capturing important evidence that you may not have noticed at the time of the crash.
- If your car gets towed or taken to an auto shop shortly after the truck accident, it will be challenging to thoroughly document the visible damage. But by taking pictures of the vehicle damage prior, you gain an advantage during settlement negotiations.
- Taking pictures of any visible injuries at the accident scene is the first step in documenting their severity and how they’ve impacted your life.
Remember, taking pictures at the scene of a car accident can significantly strengthen your case and ensure you receive fair compensation for both property damage and injuries.
Mistake 12 – Don’t Wait Too Long to File a Claim
After taking photos of the scene of your truck accident, don’t wait too long to file a claim.
The filing timeline is important because it can affect your ability to receive compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Every legal claim has a statute of limitations, which sets a specific time limit for filing a lawsuit. Waiting too long may result in the expiration of this deadline, making it impossible for you to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Acting promptly, on the other hand, ensures that you preserve your right to pursue a claim.
But that’s not all:
- When you file your claim promptly, you increase the likelihood of preserving vital evidence that often disappears or becomes less reliable as days pass after the accident.
- You’ll have a higher chance of obtaining accurate witness statements as waiting too long may make it challenging to locate witnesses or obtain reliable testimonies.
- It allows for a more effective investigation of the accident; evidence can swiftly be gathered, accident reconstruction experts consulted, and liability determined efficiently.
- You’ll increase your chances of receiving timely compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
So don’t wait too long to file your compensation claim.
By acting promptly, you’re giving your truck accident attorney the best chance to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.
Mistake 13 – Don’t Ignore Statutes of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a time limit set by the law to give you a specific window to file a lawsuit for damages resulting from a truck crash and other personal injury incidents such as medical malpractice, slips and falls, head injuries, and wrongful death.
These time limits differ from one jurisdiction to another, meaning that the state in which your accident happens will determine which statute of limitations applies to your claim or case.
In Las Vegas, injuries resulting from truck accidents are considered personal injury claims, whose statute of limitations is typically two years from the date of the accident.
You must, therefore, file your lawsuit within this period.
However, we recommend kickstarting the lawsuit process as soon as possible following the truck accident, since this will maximize your chances of receiving the best possible compensation.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you file all the necessary paperwork correctly and on time, and ensure you meet all the necessary deadlines.
Mistake 14 – Don’t Skip Medical Appointments
After a truck accident, the last thing you want to do is skip your medical appointments, as this can hurt your legal claim by showing that you’re not taking your injury seriously.
Missing your doctor’s appointment can give the insurance company a reason to question the seriousness of your injury.
They might even try to use that doubt as an excuse to offer you a lower settlement initially. And if you keep skipping appointments, they’ll start questioning the validity of your injuries altogether.
Skipping your medical appointments can also result in delayed healing and possible exacerbation of your injuries.
Therefore, try as much as possible to heed your doctor’s advice and make it a point to attend your appointments as scheduled. And if you can, avoid rescheduling whenever possible.
Quick Fact: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2018, there were approximately 499,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in the United States. Being involved in a truck accident can have serious implications on your health, and following through with medical appointments is crucial.
Mistake 15 – Don’t Forget to Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Following your doctor’s orders, commonly referred to as medical adherence, is crucial to ensuring you heal well after an accident.
Taking the prescribed medications and going to follow-up appointments are essential to your recovery process.
Also, remember that the recovery process is unique to each individual, and that seeking medical advice is the best way to ensure you’re following the right steps to heal.
Your doctor will be able to provide you with the most accurate information and advice regarding your rehabilitation plan.
Mistake 16 – Don’t Post about the Accident on Social Media
When something as significant as a truck accident happens, it’s natural to feel the urge to share it with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
However, it’s important to take a moment and think twice before hitting that “post” button.
Your posts can be used against you in a court of law or to challenge a settlement. The truck driver’s legal team may potentially use any of your pictures or posts of you to argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as you initially stated.
The best thing to do is to stay away from social media for a while. If you must post, avoid discussing any details of the accident and keep the posts positive and focused on the recovery process.
This will help protect you from potential pitfalls and help maintain your privacy.
And if you’re ever unsure about what to post, speak to our qualified attorneys who will provide the necessary guidance and support throughout your legal process during this time.
Mistake 17 – Don’t Hesitate to Seek Professional Legal Advice
Never hesitate to seek professional legal advice after you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Las Vegas.
Truck companies often have the backing of big insurance companies who are determined to keep payouts as low as possible.
It’s unfortunate, but due to the potential value of truck accident claims, it’s no surprise that insurers may try to deny or downplay your injury claim.
Luckily, a truck accident lawyer understands the ins and outs of the insurance industry and can identify when you’re being taken advantage of.
By teaming up with our attorneys, you gain not only protection but also a strong advocate in your corner, fighting for your rights. With our expertise, you can rest assured that you have someone looking out for you every step of the way.
These guys are the best of the best. The settlement was not looking good after I had my accident, but after hiring this law firm they refused to stop until I got a fair settlement. They clearly worked hard to make sure I was properly represented.”— Jeffrey H., Verified Client
Learn more about what truck accident attorneys do in the video below.
Contact Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas Today
If you or your loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Las Vegas, reach out to Vegas Valley Injury Law as soon as possible.
Our team of dedicated truck accident attorneys will tirelessly work to secure the recovery you rightfully deserve.
Call us at (702) 444-5555, or simply reach out to us through our convenient online request form.
We’re more than happy to offer you a free consultation, where you can openly discuss all the details of your accident, ask any questions about your legal options, and find out if you’re eligible to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
I was very happy with Garrett’s assistance on my case. It’s a small firm but that’s a good thing in my opinion. Everyone was super personable and they really care about their clients.”— James B., Verified Client