Mistakes to Avoid in Maryland Truck Accidents   

With more and more vehicles on the road every year, the chances that you will be involved in a motor vehicle accident are on the rise.

Perhaps the biggest mistake by someone in a truck accident is not having a professional advocate. What may seem like a simple accident may be very complex in reality and require an attorney to navigate the litigation process.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. However, there are certain mistakes an individual can make, that can negatively impact their case. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer who will know the biggest mistakes to avoid in Maryland truck accidents.

Not Seeking Medical Treatment

No one expects to be in an accident. Sometimes, individuals are in a state of shock after an accident, especially with a large truck. One of the biggest mistakes to avoid in Maryland truck accidents is an individual can make is not seeking medical attention in their time of need.

The failure to take the steps needed to get the appropriate medical assistance could damage a claim.  The claims adjuster or opposing attorney may inquire into whether the injury is valid if the claimant failed to get treatment at the onset of the injury. Therefore, if a person refuses initial medical treatment, the company may argue that the person was not injured or that their injuries were not actually caused by the truck collision.

Why Some People Do Not Seek Medical Care

Sometimes people make the mistake of refusing treatment because they often are in a state of shock and confusion immediately after an accident. Vehicles are damaged and plans are disrupted, which adds to the confusion.

Also, an injured individual may not seek medical care due to the costs and time associated with medical treatment. Medical care is expensive and if someone does not have health insurance, a serious accident could force them to file for bankruptcy. Medical treatment may also cause someone to miss time at work and neglect other responsibilities. However, it is still important for an injured individual to seek medical care for health reasons and to increase their chances of recovering damages.

Declining a Police Accident Report

Calling 911 and receiving treatment in an ambulance may also be critical to an individual’s claim for benefits. That is why another one of the biggest mistakes to avoid in Maryland truck accidents, is declining a police accident report.

The opposing attorney may obtain a copy of the ambulance report or the emergency room records, which memorialize the claimant’s injuries right after the accident transpires.

When speaking with the 911 operator, be sure to describe your symptoms and request that the police come to the scene to take a police accident report to document the claim.

Failing to Continue Treatment

Another one of the mistakes to avoid following a Maryland truck accident is not following up with the doctor’s orders. If an individual is treated at the emergency room, the doctors will likely prescribe medication or recommend a course of medical treatment. Failing to adhere to these recommendations could result in a claim denial.

Medical evidence supporting a claim is necessary to validate the seriousness of the claim and whether the claim is related to the motor vehicle accident or to something else. For instance, a cervical bulge found in an MRI taken after the accident could be attributed to the accident (plaintiff’s argument) or to a chronic condition such as a degenerative disc disease (defendant’s argument).

It is also important to avoid a gap in treatment. If there is a gap in treatment, the insurance company defending the truck driver may use that information to argue that the failure to follow up with treatment is evidence that the injuries were unrelated to the truck accident.

In order for an attorney to make the argument on a claimant’s behalf, the individual must obtain the treatment needed to assess the medical condition and improve the claimant’s health and well-being.

Offering to Fix a Problem

In some cases, an individual may offer to take steps that will avoid this type of accident from happening in the future. Courts might exclude this type of evidence as a “subsequent remedial measure,” like changing a hazardous condition or implementing a warning label. Or a court may find that this evidence is admissible, depending on the trial judge.

A subsequent remedial measure is a rule of law utilized in some jurisdictions that states that steps taken after an accident which, if taken before, would have made the accident less likely to happen, are inadmissible in proving negligence or culpability.

However, a subsequent remedial measure may be admissible for another purpose, such as showing what was feasible or what the defendant knew or should have known about a particular hazard.

Importance of Contacting an Attorney

To be safe, immediately after the accident is the best time to contact an attorney. Accomplished lawyers often have client management teams available at all hours every day of the week to respond to a call after a truck accident. An attorney could help you by initiating a medical evaluation, discussing the accident with you, and giving you advice about the next step to take in your recovery.

A lawyer could identify which insurance company insures the driver and the owner of the truck. Also, the attorney could help you with collecting photos of the scene, police reports, and other evidence in a trucking accident. By being aware of the biggest mistakes to avoid in Maryland truck accident, you can avoid doing anything that will weaken your case. Contact an attorney today for an initial consultation to learn more about your rights and what the law can do for you.