Truck accidents tend to cause substantial injuries, and in many cases, it is the trucking company (or its insurance carrier) that must ultimately accept responsibility for the damages.
The overwhelming majority of truck accidents in Nebraska are caused by negligence on the part of the truck driver or the company that owns and operates the truck.
But even if your injuries are severe and obvious, it isn’t enough to write down a dollar amount and expect to be paid. You’ll need to prove your case — right down to the dollar — and in most instances, the best way to do that is with medical evidence.
In today’s article, we’re going to explain the importance of medical evidence in a truck accident case: why it matters to your personal health and how it can help you fight for full and fair compensation from the insurance companies.
First, You Need to See a Doctor ASAP for Your Own Good.
Only an experienced physician can assess your injuries after a truck accident and determine an appropriate course of treatment. You should be examined as soon as possible by an experienced Medical Doctor (M.D.) who is licensed to practice medicine in your state.
You could be seriously injured without realizing it.
Even in the most serious truck accidents, injuries aren’t always obvious right away. Internal injuries may not produce symptoms for days, weeks, or months. The same is true for musculoskeletal damage, soft tissue injuries, whiplash, and other common injuries associated with truck accidents in Nebraska.
A doctor can order the appropriate diagnostic exams and properly assess the full extent of your injuries. Your health, safety, and wellbeing matter more than anything.
Second, Medical Evidence Can Help You Meet Your Burden of Proof.
Truck accident claims are a type of personal injury claim. In Nebraska, the person who makes a claim for personal injury compensation (i.e. the plaintiff — typically the truck accident victim) has the burden of proof.
To recover compensation at trial, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the accident happened because of the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff must also show evidence to support the dollar amount of the damages they are claiming.
Juries tend to regard medical evidence as highly credible. A strong evidentiary foundation can make your claim more persuasive in court (and during settlement negotiations with the insurance company).
Doctors and medical specialists can provide expert opinions about what caused your injuries, how much harm you’ve suffered, and how the injuries will affect your life going forward.
Third, Insurance Companies Will Use Any Lack of Medical Evidence Against You.
Truck accident claims are among the most complex and contentious legal cases.
The trucking companies and insurance carriers tend to oppose these claims vigorously. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible.
If you didn’t see a doctor soon after your truck accident, or if you are unable to produce clear medical records that make a strong case for your damages, the insurance company is likely to pounce on that fact in an attempt to undermine your claim.
In other words, a lack of medical evidence is ammunition for the trucking companies and their insurers.
But Can I Afford to Gather Medical Evidence in a Truck Accident Case?
“Medical evidence? That sounds expensive.”
If that was your first thought, you aren’t alone. Too many accident victims have chosen to forego medical care because they were worried they couldn’t afford it.
But you might have more options for paying those medical bills than you realize. Consider the following:
- Your health insurance may cover most or all of your medical costs.
- You may have Medical Payments coverage included in your auto insurance policy. If so, this coverage will kick in to cover your medical costs upfront (subject to policy limits).
- If you don’t have health insurance, some medical providers may be willing to lower their costs for uninsured patients.
- In some cases, our law firm may be able to work directly with your health care providers to postpone billing or collections until after your claim resolves.
- Your employer may be willing to give you paid time off for seeing the doctor or seeking treatment.
- For some injuries, you may be able to seek examination or treatment at an Urgent Care center, which will typically be less expensive than an Emergency Room. If you choose to visit an Urgent Care, we strongly recommend that you look for a clinic that will allow you to be seen by a Medical Doctor (M.D.).
- Emergency rooms will treat you regardless of your ability to pay.
While there are certainly costs associated with seeking medical treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that your insurance claim could ultimately be worth much more money than any upfront cost for your medical care.
Just as importantly, please remember that you may be able to include the total cost of your medical care as part of your damages claim.
Given the importance of medical evidence in a truck accident case, we can’t emphasize enough that you should not let the cost of treatment stand in your way.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Nebraska but have concerns about paying for your medical care, please contact our office and ask about your options.
Talk to Our Omaha Truck Accident Lawyers. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.
Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. is a Nebraska truck accident law firm with many years of experience and a long record of success. We are committed to giving truck accident victims in Nebraska the time, attention, and communication they deserve.
We are proud to offer confidential, cost-free, no-obligation case reviews for truck accident victims in Omaha, Sarpy County, and throughout Nebraska.
Consultations are available in person or over the phone. If you can’t come to us, we may be able to come to you.
We handle truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis, which means if you hire us, we will not charge you a fee unless and until we recover compensation for you.
Our firm fights to maximize compensation, including medical damages, whenever and wherever we can. While we cannot overstate the importance of medical evidence in a truck accident case, we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible even if you don’t believe you have a lot of medical evidence just yet. You may have more options than you realize. The sooner we can get involved, the more effective we can be.