Being involved in a collision with a tractor trailer or large commercial truck can be dramatically different than a similar collision between two passenger motor vehicles. Almost all clients we’ve represented in commercial truck accidents have been injured to the point they were transported by ambulance to the hospital with significant or catastrophic injuries, most resulted in extended hospital stays.
A truck accident victim being rushed away from the accident scene and not having the ability to gather information at the time of the accident can be detrimental to a Massachusetts injury case. However, there are steps you can take after a serious truck crash to preserve evidence and strengthen your case to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Trucking Companies Act Quickly After a Crash
You may have heard that trucking companies act quickly upon notice of an accident. Our trucking injury lawyers can assure you that they do. Case in point, we represented a trucking accident victim who was severely injured while stopped at a red light in Brighton. The commercial vehicle crashed into his car resulting in the fire department and emergency personnel having to extricate him from the wreckage. The following day the commercial vehicle was towed out of state to the mid-west. This action certainly made it more difficult – but not impossible – to obtain necessary information about the commercial truck.
In another case involving a nationwide delivery company, their vehicle was towed from the accident scene in Southborough to a secure location hundreds of miles away. These tactics by the trucking insurance company makes it difficult to inspect the commercial trucking vehicle and secure evidence of how the crash occurred.
Likewise, trucking insurance companies immediately commence investigations into the crash. They quickly employ adjusters, experts, and their own team of accident attorneys to gather evidence and begin mounting a defense to make it difficult for accident victims to sustain their burden of proof all in hopes of paying nothing or as little as possible.
These are precisely the reasons why it is so important to get our truck accident lawyers in Framingham involved as soon as possible after a commercial vehicle accident. We have skilled and experienced injury lawyers that understand the significance of getting to work right away on your case. Our investigators also recognize the crucial importance of collecting and securing evidence necessary to prosecute a successful injury case.
Aside from the professionals and experts working on your behalf, there are several steps you should take that will put your legal team in the best possible position to fight for the money you deserve in compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and other damages.
Actions You Can Take for a Successful Truck Accident Injury Case
Following the steps below after a serious crash with a commercial truck in Massachusetts will help put you and your legal team in the best possible position to make sure you are fully compensated.
- Seek Medical Attention Right Away
First and most importantly, seek medical attention. Your health is the most important thing of all. No matter how complicated a situation may be, competent counsel can help you navigate through the predicament. Attend to your injuries and follow the advice of your medical providers. Be aware of all physical indications of injury that your body is telling you. Make sure you communicate all areas of concern with your treating physicians. Keep in mind, however, your statements and complaints to doctors and nurses will be memorialized in medical notes and scrutinized by insurance adjusters later on during the negotiation and settlement phase of your injury claim. Be cognizant of this when speaking with your treating physicians.
- Don’t Give Statements or Speak to the Trucking Insurance Company’s Agents
As tempting as it may be, you shouldn’t speak to or give a statement to anyone associated with an accident until you speak with a qualified Massachusetts truck accident attorney. After an accident, emotions always run high. It’s human nature to want to explain to others (i.e., the insurance company) how the crash happened and that the truck driver is to blame. You most likely want them to know just how injured you are and how your life is has been turned upside down. It may sound discouraging to be told not to give a statement, but you must realize, insurance companies are not looking out for your best interest. They are looking to pay as little as possible or nothing at all. They want to get your statement as soon as they can. They will want to record you. They’ll ask you all sorts of questions and try to get you to talk and talk. Their goal is to get you to say something they can later use against you or take out of context. The most innocent comment you make could come back to haunt you come settlement time.
- Prepare and File a Motor Vehicle Crash Report
Most times, the responding police will draft a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Police Report after a crash. However, a law in Massachusetts (M.G.L. c. 90, § 26) requires a person who was operating a motor vehicle involved in a crash in which (i) any person was killed or (ii) injured or (iii) in which there was damage in excess of $1,000 to any one vehicle or other property, to complete and file a Crash Operator Report with the Registrar within five (5) after the crash unless the person is physically incapable of doing so due to incapacity. Don’t rush to complete this report. You need to take time and think how to write out the description of the accident. An accident report is always part of discovery in a Massachusetts personal injury case and the other side will have access to it. The approach is to be succinct and include road markings that support your position. It would be prudent to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer first for assistance on how to correctly word certain portions of the accident report.
- Take Photos of Everything
When serious crashes happen, 911 is usually called and the police, fire department, and ambulances will respond. However, the officers or troopers investigating the truck accident may not realize the legal complexities of a potential injury case such as ownership with regards to tractors and trailers involved. If possible, take photos of everything and then take more photos. If you are severely injured and unable to take photographs, do you best to ask someone to take as many pictures as possible. Get photos of the crash scene, your injuries, and property damage. You should also try to get photos of the decals, logos, and any business names and phone numbers on the truck or trailers. Your cell phone is one of your greatest tools after an accident. Almost everyone nowadays has a smart phone equipped with excellent cameras. Do yourself a favor and use it.
- Stay Off Social Media
You should not be posting pictures on social media after an accident. We generally advise not to post during the treatment and recovery phase of your accident. Social media posts can sometimes hurt your personal injury case. Of course, a bit of common sense needs to be applied here. Posting photos of your children or pets are innocent. But posting photos of you hiking, working out, attending a wedding, or vacationing could hurt your claim. Insurance companies have teams searching social media and hope to find posts that will give them ammunition to argue that you’re not severely injured or were not suffering. Our office litigated a serious head on collision case that occurred in Marlborough, Massachusetts. During discovery it was learned that our client and her family attended a wedding out of state. The insurance company and their lawyers tried everything to obtain video or photographs from social media in hopes our client would be seen socializing and/or dancing. Needless to say, our office stopped that, and our client was very happy with the outcome of our work.
You Need Experienced Accident Lawyers for Serious Truck Crashes
Dealing with any accident can be overwhelming. We see it daily. Severe injuries, a totaled vehicle, expensive medical bills, missed time at work, and insurance companies calling are examples of the stressful effects of serious accidents. However, commercial truck accidents are among the most complicated and often too much for the average lawyer to handle. This is why you need qualified, skillful, and experienced injury attorneys on your side.
Contacting a knowledgeable lawyer can be the most important step to take toward getting the compensation you deserve. The Framingham accident attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP have vast experience in commercial truck accident litigation. We partner with top experts in accident reconstruction, defective design, and safety as well as some of the most respected medical experts in Massachusetts to produce the maximum results and recovery for our clients.