After a Long Island truck accident, injured victims may find themselves dealing with the truck company’s insurance company if the company is liable for the truck accident.
Even if the truck driver was clearly at fault, there can be uncertainty about the proper way to handle the situation and what should and shouldn’t be said to the insurer. A personal injury lawyer in NY can also help accident victims unsure of which paperwork to sign and when to settle.
Use Caution When Talking with an Insurance Claims Adjustor
The first tip is to know how to talk to insurance companies. Although it might be obvious that an injured victim should never take blame for the accident, some things may be said the wrong way and twisted or used against the victim.
At the same time, it’s important to not lie or exaggerate about the Long Island truck accident. This can end up damaging or possibly even destroying a claim.
The insurance adjuster will ask lots of questions, which can sometimes trip up the person responding. Not only should careful consideration be given before providing an answer, but it helps to be prepared prior to having the conversation so the claimant understands how to talk to the insurance companies from the start.
One way to prepare is by having all of the facts written down. Then the injured victim can refer to that information and doesn’t have to try to rely on memory, which can increase the chance of incorrectly representing the facts and details of the accident.
Don’t Sign Anything without Talking to a Lawyer First
The second tip is to seek legal counsel before agreeing to sign anything after a Long Island truck accident. There are three main documents that insurance companies may try to get an injured person to sign.
The first is a medical release form, which they may indicate is necessary in evaluating the claim. But those who have been injured as a result of the truck driver’s negligence are under no obligation to provide this to the truck company’s insurer.
By giving the insurance company access to full medical records, it puts the injured person in a vulnerable spot. Pre-existing conditions or past medical problems may be blamed for the injuries related to the Long Island truck accident.
The second document that the insurance company may try to get signed is a written statement. The tactic oftentimes used is that it’s just the injured person’s chance to tell his or her side of the story. Just as what is said verbally can be damaging, so too can what is written down. In fact, that could be more risky since it’s right there in black and white.
Another document an injured person may be asked to sign is a settlement. When injuries are serious, however, it is usually difficult to know if the amount being offered is full and fair. So no matter what the paperwork, nothing should ever be signed without talking to a personal injury lawyer in NY first.
Don’t Accept Less Than What Is Deserved
The final tip is to make sure all damages have been accounted for before agreeing to a final settlement after a Long Island truck accident. In the case of medical bills, it’s important to consider any future costs that may come up.
One way to ensure all expenses have been accounted for is to make sure a final diagnosis and prognosis has been given. If the claim is settled and it’s then learned that additional surgery will be required to treat an injury, the additional cost may not be recovered.
With the potential to face other medical treatment, come additional losses in the way of income as the injured person recovers. These also can’t be recovered if the claim is settled too quickly.
When a truck driver and/or company are at fault, there may be other types of damages available in a claim. Examples include pain and suffering, disability and mental anguish. Talking with a personal injury lawyer in NY can be especially helpful in learning how to talk to insurance companies when injuries from a Long Island truck accident are serious.