Between mounting medical bills and losing out on wages while recovering, victims of truck accidents can easily find themselves in dire financial straits. Thankfully you have the legal right to recover damages, but the trucking company is likely to resist paying what you are owed even if they are clearly at fault.
Prepare for These Typical Defenses After a Virginia Truck Crash Injury
When big rigs hauling large loads crash on the highway, catastrophic and life-altering injuries are likely for anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the accident. Costs for medical treatment can be astronomical before even factoring in issues like pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.
Unfortunately, that means both the insurance provider and the trucking company have a clear financial incentive to either pay you less than you deserve, or try to pay you nothing at all. That’s why truck accident victims should seek help from an attorney to prepare for defenses such as:
- Claiming the injury occurred in the past – Be very careful with what medical records you release to insurance. To avoid financial responsibility, an adjuster may look for some injury you suffered in the past to blame on your current condition.
- Running out the clock – You need to act quickly to avoid issues with the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. In Virginia, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a suit. Because it takes time to thoroughly investigate the crash and prove who is liable for your injury, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Placing blame on you – Virginia's extremely strict contributory negligence laws bar you from receiving any compensation if you are even partially to blame for your accident, so it is crucial to never admit fault in any capacity.
- Shifting blame to a third party – In some cases, a trucking company may agree your injury was caused by negligence, but try to argue someone else was ultimately responsible. In complex accidents with multiple vehicles, they may attempt to shift blame to a different driver on the road. Depending on the circumstances, someone other than the truck driver could actually bear responsibility, such as a loading crew that stacked cargo improperly, a mechanic who didn’t perform a repair correctly, or even the manufacturer of a faulty part. Having an experienced truck accident attorney investigate the accident is the best way to sidestep this problem and locate the best source of compensation.
- Minimizing your injuries - Be sure to use social media cautiously after a serious truck accident. Both the insurance company and the at-fault party will likely try to use pictures or posts out of context and argue that you aren’t as hurt as you claim. To combat these tactics, visit a doctor immediately after the accident and keep a paper trail on both your injuries and your expenses.
- Using your own words against you – Never agree to a recorded statement with insurance and let your attorney advise you on how to interact with adjusters and the negligent party. To reduce your compensation, they may attempt to argue that you ignored doctor’s orders, engaged in strenuous physical activity that has worsened your condition somehow, or that you’ve received unnecessary medical care that shouldn’t be covered.
Protect Your Legal Right to Compensation After an Accident
Achieving a successful financial recovery alongside your physical rehabilitation hinges on whether you take the right actions after a truck accident. One of the most important actions is to retain skilled counsel who has dealt with negligent truck companies in the past and knows how to handle these types of tactics.
Talk to a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
When you are already dealing with the physical and emotional fallout of a serious auto incident, the financial impact can be particularly devastating. You deserve to have a legal professional in your corner to stand up for your rights and tell your story in court.
If you've been injured in a truck accident, you should speak to an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney at Mottley Law Firm as soon as possible. We have been proudly servicing clients throughout Richmond, Virginia and surrounding areas; contact us today at 804-409-0876 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.