Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 12:15 pm
Finding yourself caught up in a truck accident can be a shocking experience. You may be stunned, traumatized, and at a loss for words. In fact, that may work to your benefit. Why? It’s because the words that you say to a truck driver could come back to haunt you.
Truck drivers and potential witnesses to the accident may report your statements to the trucking company and their insurers. These words matter because those entities can attempt to use them to hurt your chances of recovering full and fair compensation after an accident. Click here, to learn what questions you should ask a truck accident witness.
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we know that you can’t give the truck driver the silent treatment. There needs to be a conversation and exchange of information. However, victims need to be aware that their words could potentially damage their claim. Here are the things that you should never say to a truck driver after a collision.
Do Not Apologize
It is admirable that the first thing you may think to say after an accident is, “I’m sorry.” Generally, this phrase offers sympathy and is a jumping-off point for asking if everyone is okay. However, it is one of the absolute worst things you can say following a truck accident.
An apology can be construed by the trucking company or insurer as an admission of guilt. In their minds, you are not offering condolences, you are admitting that you are “sorry” that you caused the accident. While this may not be your intention, and the accident may not even be your fault, these words could diminish the value of your claim.
Do Not Refuse Medical Care
Another common mistake that people make after a collision with a truck is refusing medical care. While you may not need to be transported by ambulance, never tell the driver or witnesses that you are fine. Let the medical team on-site know that you don’t believe you need to go to the hospital, and you will follow up with your medical provider.
When you refuse treatment and make the statement that you are “fine,” you are announcing to the truck driver that you have no injuries. If signs of serious medical problems begin to develop hours or even days later, you may have hurt your chances of recovering compensation for your medical expenses.
Social Media Is Dangerous
After an accident, you may need the support and encouragement of friends and family. Do not go looking for this support online. Posting to social media about the accident can significantly hurt your chances of recovering valuable compensation. Your words, no matter how innocuous, can be potentially used against you. They may even discredit parts of your claim.
Do not talk about the incident on any social media platform. Try to keep all communication about the circumstances of the accident itself between you and your attorney.
Proceed with Caution When Talking to the Insurer
An insurer may contact you very soon after an accident. They will generally ask for your statement or if they can record your phone call with them. Speaking to them at this time without the guidance of an attorney can be a misstep considering you are still generally traumatized and shaken by the incident.
As an official statement of the accident, if you miss a detail, get confused and misstate something, or there are discrepancies in your story, an insurer will use that to their advantage. The company can pick apart your statement and diminish the value of your claim based on your actual words or statements that you forgot to make while they had you on the spot.
It is always in your best interest to get an attorney on your side early. An attorney can manage all communication between you, the trucking company, and their insurer. With an attorney helping you craft your official statement you are less likely to misstate something or forget an important detail. Your attorney can then be the one to pass along your official statement to the insurer and even help handle negotiations for compensation.
An Experienced New York Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Talking shouldn’t derail your claim for compensation after a truck accident. However, many trucking companies and their insurers will go to great lengths to avoid doling out their money to accident victims. Using your words against you during a difficult time is a strategy they may utilize to keep your payout low.
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we are committed to helping New York truck accident victims seek the full and fair compensation they deserve. We can manage communication between you and the insurer and negotiate on your behalf. All you need to do is focus on your recovery.
If you have been involved in a serious truck accident, contact the New York office of Hach & Rose, LLP. Call us for a free consultation at (212) 779-0057 today.