Truck crash claims in Georgia are almost overwhelmingly complex. The respondeat superior rule is a good example. The shipping or transportation firm that owned the cargo or employed the driver, usually an out-of-state holding company, is often financially responsible for truck crash damages. When a problem seems complex, it’s best to break things down into small steps.
These small steps begin almost immediately after the wreck. If victims say and do the right things at this critical time, it’s much easier for a Marietta personal injury lawyer to obtain maximum compensation later. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Wait for Emergency Responders
Following a low-speed collision, many drivers are tempted to exchange information and move on, especially if they are in a hurry to get somewhere, which is usually the case. This conduct is illegal and unsafe.
Georgia motorists usually have a duty to stop, render aid if possible, and call 9-1-1 in these situations. Usually, it is not enough to briefly loiter at the scene and leave if no one else calls the police. Local law enforcement decides whether to send officers and investigators to the crash scene. The drivers don’t get to make that decision.
Leaving prematurely is also unsafe. Even low-speed car wrecks often cause whiplash and other serious injuries. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat these conditions. There’s no such thing as do-it-yourself injury care. More on that below.
Do Not Apologize to the Other Driver
In the South, we usually apologize to express sympathy. If my friend gets a bad report from the doctor, I might say, “I’m sorry,” even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the medical situation.
That’s why most people apologize at accident scenes. However, an insurance company lawyer can twist a well-meaning apology into an admission of liability. A Marietta personal injury lawyer can usually undo this damage, but it’s much better to avoid this problem whenever possible.
See a Doctor
Have you noticed how seriously-injured athletes often get right up and go back into the game? That’s because adrenaline masks their pain. When that adrenaline wears off, they discover how hurt they really are.
Car crash victims feel the same effect. Many people legitimately say they “feel fine” after a wreck. They often refuse hospital transportation or medical care at the scene.
These refusals have serious consequences. Medically, deferred treatment makes injuries much harder and more expensive to treat. Legally, if victims do not immediately see doctors, insurance company lawyers often argue that their injuries are not serious.
Do Not Give a Statement to an Adjuster
This point is much like the “don’t apologize” point above. Insurance companies drill their adjusters about how to extract damaging information from victims without their knowing it. The fact that truck crashes often cause head injuries, which cloud judgment, makes things worse.
You do not have to say anything to the other insurance company adjuster; you only have to give a vague report, like “I was in an accident,” to your adjuster. Let your lawyer handle any additional interaction with insurance companies.
Call a Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer
Immediately calling a lawyer is really the only thing a victim needs to do after a truck crash. Attorneys connect victims with doctors, collect evidence that supports their claims, and stand up for them inside and outside of court.