Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2022 at 2:06 pm
If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle that wasn’t your fault, what you say at the accident scene can have negative effects on your chances of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.
Truck accident claims are usually more complex than other vehicle accident claims. They require a thorough investigation to determine who was at fault and a lot of supporting evidence as proof. What you tell the police, the truck driver, and others at the scene and in the days after (beware the insurance adjusters) may come back to haunt you. Those words could be used as evidence against you.
Guard Your Words
After being in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you were understandably shaken up, and you may not have been thinking clearly. You could have suffered a concussion, or you were simply so upset that you could not get your thoughts in order and accurately determine the possible implications of what you were saying.
You don’t want to say anything after your accident that will jeopardize your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses. The following are some of the things you definitely do not want to say to the truck driver or anyone else at the accident scene:
- Do not offer an apology or admit fault in any way – Simply saying “I’m sorry” can imply that you feel guilty for the accident because you believe it was your fault. Never apologize for the wreck, and do not say anything that would expressly state or imply that the accident was your fault.
- Don’t say you’re fine – Obviously, if you want to seek compensation for your injuries, you have to have suffered injuries in the crash. Do not tell the truck driver or anyone else that you feel all right or haven’t been hurt. In fact, some injuries do not manifest immediately after an accident, such as certain traumatic brain injuries. Although you may feel fine at the moment, that can change over the course of the next hours, days, or even weeks.
- Don’t say, “I didn’t see you” — Even if you’re not sure what happened and it seems to you that the truck came out of nowhere, don’t say this. A statement like this suggests that you were either distracted, sleepy, or not paying attention, any of which might be used to negate the possibility that you were not at fault for the crash.
- Don’t make assumptions or guesses – Do not use terms like “I think” or “I believe” when talking about the accident’s cause or any other aspect of the crash. If you are not 100% positive about a topic, simply say you do not know. Do not speculate or make any kinds of assumptions or guesses since the other party may be able to use that against you in the future.
- Don’t get angry and start laying blame – If you allow yourself to get angry and shout at the truck driver something like “This is your fault,” you could put them on the defensive. It’s best to let your attorney contact the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you suggest to the truck driver that you think they were at fault, there’s a greater possibility that the trucking company will attempt to get rid of the black box data from the truck’s recorders before your lawyer can ask for it. That data can be used to show details about the crash that could help prove the driver was at fault.
In order to increase your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and the losses you incurred because of the accident, you need to establish that the other party was at fault and the accident was caused by their negligence or wrongdoing. Saying anything at the accident scene that places you at fault in any way will only hurt your chances down the road. Overall, it’s best to say nothing.
You are required to exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver, but you do not have to say anything else to anyone without talking to an attorney, even to the police. After your accident with a commercial truck, it’s best not to say anything at all to the truck driver or anyone else until you have consulted a lawyer.
Contact Us Today
The lawyers at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. have helped thousands of injured clients throughout Georgia, and we have recovered tens of millions of dollars in total compensation for people injured in a car accident with a large commercial truck. To speak with a Georgia truck accident lawyer immediately, you can call our office at (770) 205-8827. You can also schedule a free consultation using our contact form.