8 Costly Mistakes to Avoid After an 18-Wheeler or Truck Accident

Pappi Hex
a truck accident

Trucks' enormous size and weight puts the consequences of their accidents on a biblical scale.

In 2021, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recorded 5,149 fatal crashes involving large trucks, with fatalities totalling 5,788, a significant increment from 4,945 recorded in 2020.

Being involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or large truck can be a harrowing experience, often resulting in massive life-changing injuries, property damage and death in a split second.

Securing your legal rights and interests is crucial in the aftermath of such an event. However, many individuals inadvertently make mistakes that can jeopardise their ability to receive fair compensation. This article discusses eight costly errors to avoid following a truck accident.

1. Not Calling the Police

It is crucial to involve the police immediately after an accident, no matter how minor. Getting a police report will serve as an official record of the incident, which may be helpful when dealing with insurance claims or potential legal action.

Questions like who is liable in a truck accident and how the crash occurred can be quickly answered by the police report, which is often made after gathering evidence at the accident scene.

2. Neglecting Medical Attention

It's essential to seek medical attention at the scene of an accident, even if you feel okay. Some injuries may not be noticed immediately, and delaying a medical examination can put your health at risk.

Additionally, insurance companies may argue that your injuries were not severe or unrelated to the accident if you wait too long to seek medical attention. It is vital to ensure your injuries are well documented as soon as you notice them, as this will be helpful when filing for fair compensation.

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3. Admitting Fault

It is essential to avoid admittance of fault and making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of liability. Even saying "I'm sorry" can be misconstrued. It is best to leave it to the authorities and insurance companies to determine who is at fault based on the evidence. 

When engaging in any conversations at the crash scene, it is crucial to concentrate on gathering information. When you are required to give a police statement, avoid speculating and stick only to known facts. 

Trucking companies always want to capitalise on the slightest opportunities to avoid paying compensation, even if it means blaming you. It, therefore, becomes crucial to avoid saying or doing anything that can implicate and make you look liable.

4. Not Gathering Evidence

In case of an accident:

  1. Make efforts to take pictures of the accident scene, including the vehicle damage and any visible injuries.
  2. Gather contact information of witnesses and the truck driver, such as their name, insurance information, and the trucking company they work for. This information can be crucial for your claim.
  3. Record all medical expenses incurred due to the accident, time off work, and how the accident has affected your daily life.

Documenting these details can substantiate your claim for damages.

5. Giving a Recorded Statement to Insurance Companies

It's best to avoid giving a recorded statement to insurance adjusters until after seeking legal advice. Adjusters may ask leading questions to damage your claim. Adjusters are never there to help you. They represent the trucking companies and would want to ensure you receive as small compensation as possible for your losses.

Also, avoid signing any document from the adjusters; you're not obligated to do so; plus, you could inadvertently sign away your rights to fair compensation or agree to a settlement that doesn't cover all your expenses. If you must, ensure a lawyer adequately reviews every document before signing.

6. Settling Too Quickly

Insurance companies often offer quick settlements to minimise their payouts. However, accepting such an offer without understanding the full extent of your injuries and expenses can result in inadequate compensation. Before settling your case out of court, it is vital that you have an expert truck accident lawyer review the offers from the trucking companies.

7. Overlooking Future Costs

Before agreeing to a settlement, it is vital to consider future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and long-term care costs to understand the long-term financial impact of the accident. Not Notifying Your Insurance Company

If you are sure the accident was not your fault, you might consider not informing your insurance company. However, this could be a grave mistake. Not notifying your insurer can lead to a lack of coverage that would prevent you from receiving Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medical Payments (Med-Pay), and other benefits that could otherwise be used to pay for your medical expenses and other costs.

8. Not Consulting an Attorney

When it comes to 18-wheeler accidents, the aftermath is often dreadful, resulting in severe injuries and loss of life and property. This usually puts the compensation for such accidents on the high side (as high as millions). 

As such, trucking companies often fight tooth and nail to ensure they avoid paying such amounts. This is where an 18-wheeler accident attorney comes in handy. Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident may be complicated. It's essential to have the guidance of an experienced attorney to avoid common pitfalls and receive the compensation you deserve.


If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or truck, taking the appropriate measures to safeguard your health and legal rights is essential. Avoiding these eight costly mistakes can substantially affect the outcome of your insurance claim. 

Remember to gather evidence, seek medical and legal advice, and consider the long-term consequences of the accident. With careful action and professional guidance, you can acquire the necessary resources to aid your recovery and receive compensation for your losses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident?

The average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident can vary widely due to the complexity of these cases and the severity of the damages involved. Settlements can vary from tens of thousands to millions, depending on factors such as:

  •  The extent of the injuries incurred and the cost of medical treatment, both immediate and long-term.
  •  The amount of wages lost and loss of earning capacity for the injured party.
  •  The amount of pain and suffering caused by the accident on the victims.
  •  Whether there was any property damage and the cost of repairs or replacement.
  •  The liability and degree of negligence attributed to the truck driver or trucking company.
  •  Insurance policy limits for both the trucking company and the injured party.
  •  If the case goes to trial, the jurisdiction and tendency of local juries to award damages.

It is important to note that each accident is unique, so settlements can vary greatly. Consulting with a personal injury attorney specialising in truck accidents is crucial to get a more accurate estimate of what a specific case may be worth.

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