What Not to Discuss With a Truck Driver After an AccidentSchedule a Free Consultation
You’ve just been in an accident with a commercial truck. You’re shaken and confused. As you and the truck driver approach one another, a flurry of thoughts is probably clouding your head. You may also start to feel pain from your injuries. You should try your best to remember that from this moment on, it’s in your best interest to protect yourself and your rights as a victim of this accident. There are several things you should never say to a truck driver after an accident.
What Shouldn’t I Say to a Truck Driver After an Accident?
In a truck accident, you should refrain from saying certain things to the other driver. This is because you don’t want to weaken your claim or eliminate your ability to obtain compensation from the at-fault party. The at-fault party is where the compensation for your truck accident injuries and losses would come from. You can only seek compensation for accident-related injuries if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries if you were partially at fault for the accident varies by state. Some states allow injured victims to obtain compensation for their injuries even if they’re 99 percent at fault for the accident. While others bar injured victims from obtaining compensation if they’re even one percent at fault for the accident.
In New Jersey, you must be less than 50 percent responsible for the truck accident. This is the law of contributory negligence. So, some statements you innocently make to other parties involved in the crash can greatly impact your ability to recover your compensation. This is true even if you were not responsible for the accident.
The following are statements and phrases that you shouldn’t say to the driver of the truck that you were in an accident with:
“I’m so sorry” or “It’s not your fault”
It may seem proper to immediately say “I’m sorry” to a truck driver after an accident. You may do it subconsciously because you wish that this accident never happened. But these two statements can be strong evidence that you accept responsibility for the accident. If your statements can be used to say that you were responsible for more than 50 percent of the accident (even if it’s not true), you won’t be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
“You came out of nowhere”
Many accidents happen when we least expect it. No one plans to get into an accident every time they get into a car. So, it may seem like the accident happened in the blink of an eye. You have no immediate understanding of how the accident occurred. Nor how you came to be in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Alluding to this idea can come off as if you weren’t paying attention at the time of the accident. A truck driver could use your statement to claim that you were responsible for the accident because you were distracted somehow.
“I’m not hurt” or “Everything is okay”
You may feel as though you aren’t hurt immediately after the accident. This could result from your body’s fight or flight system kicking into high gear. You also could have sustained a serious internal or head injury that you aren’t immediately aware of because the injury may not be visible to you. By telling the truck driver you aren’t hurt, they may reference that statement when their insurance company questions them. When you file your claim later for compensation, the insurance company may use your statement to claim that you weren’t injured due to the accident. That your injury is unrelated to the accident or that the veracity of your claim should be called into question.
What Do I Do After an Accident?
There are several things you should do immediately or soon after a truck accident:
- Seek medical attention immediately – You want to ensure you are checked out for serious injuries. If you have serious injuries, you need medical attention to help get you on the mend. Additionally, to obtain compensation, you must show that you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence. Plus, you should be able to recover damages for those injuries. Your medical record is objective evidence created and maintained by medical professionals documenting your injuries. How serious they were, and the required treatment (which may still be required) for you to heal from them. Your injuries are the backbone of the value of your claim. Your compensation depends on your injuries and the physical, emotional, and financial costs you’ve had to bear due to those injuries.
- Do not speak to any insurance company representatives – Insurance companies will contact you while investigating your accident. Their only objective is to figure out a way to reduce their financial liability by limiting the value of your claim. To do this, they will parse every word you say to them and use tactics to get you to admit to fault for the accident. It is in your best interest to reject their request to speak with you and direct any and all of their questions to your attorney.
- Hire a truck accident attorney. They will deal with the insurance companies and negotiate for a just settlement on your behalf. If necessary, they will litigate your lawsuit in court in order to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers for Help
If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident due to no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at (973) 364-8300 or contact us online for a free consultation.Written by: Brach Eichler Injury Lawyers Last Updated : November 7, 2023
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