With the growth of the internet and online ordering, there are more delivery trucks on the road than ever. Now with ever stricter expectations, forcing drivers to go quicker and drive dangerously to keep their job. If you or a loved one are involved in a crash, consider some of the following things:
Call 911 and Seek Medical Attention
Anytime that you are in a motor vehicle accident and feel like you have sustained any injuries the best thing to do is call 911. If you are feeling pain at the scene or suspect that you have been injured, then it is best to take the ambulance to the emergency room. Yes, sometimes you are hyped up on adrenaline and may not feel the pain until later. If this happens then seek medical care as soon as you start feeling pain.
If you can stand on your own then it would be a good idea to take photographs of the scene of the crash and the damage to the vehicles. If someone is with you that is not seriously injured, then they could take pictures as well. If the police officer asks you what happened on the scene, and you believe it is the UPS, FedEx, or Amazon driver’s fault then explain to the officer what happened because it is better for you if the other driver gets ticketed for the crash and/or the officer puts in the police report that it was the other driver’s fault.
Refuse Recorded Statement
You may get an in-person visit or a call from an insurance adjustor or investigator hired by UPS, FedEx, Amazon, or their insurance company to “investigate” the accident. Make no mistake that this person is not interested in the truth, but rather is interested in trying to reduce the company. They may ask you for a recorded statement which is almost always a bad idea for you to provide for several reasons including:
a. Anything you say can and will be used against you later in your case.
b. You may be on medications that are prescription pain pills that affect or impair your ability to think.
c. These investigators and insurance adjustors are trained to ask you questions in such a way that you may unintentionally answer wrongly causing damage to your case. There are many techniques and tricks that they can use to make you look bad later.
For example, they may ask you “Have you had back pain before?” If you say “no”, but you have previously seen a chiropractor or had other treatment for your back then this makes you look like a liar. The question really means “At any point in your life have you ever had back pain?” Most of us have had some back pain during our life which we may or may not have seen a medical provider for. As you can see, they can ask you many questions that you may not fully understand which could cost you thousands of dollars in your case.
If the UPS, FedEx, or Amazon driver was a fault, then you should receive a letter and/or phone call from an insurance adjustor within a few days about taking care of your property damage. If your vehicle was totaled then you are owed the fair market value of your vehicle, plus tax and registration fees. If the vehicle is repairable then you should receive a rental car while it is being repaired. Also, if the damage exceeds 70% of the fair market value of your car at the time that it was damaged then the car will end up with a salvage title. If this happens, then you should also be able to recover the difference in the fair market value of your vehicle with and without a salvage title.
Personal Injury Settlement
If your injuries were minor and you only required a few medical appointments, then you can probably try to settle your personal injury case on your own.
However, if you were hospitalized, sustained broken bones, or required surgery you will likely want the help of a qualified Iowa car accident attorney. There is no precise formula for determining how much your case is worth (3 times the medical is not standard) as there are many factors to consider when determining how much your personal injury case against UPS, FedEx, or Amazon is worth. Some of these factors include:
1. How severely were you injured?
2. Did you have documented objective injuries from x-rays, CT scans, or an MRI?
3. Were you hospitalized following the crash?
4. Did you require surgery because of your injuries?
5. Did you miss work and if so, how much?
6. Are some of your injuries permanent in that you will have to deal with them for the rest of your life?
7. Have you had prior problems with the same areas that were injured in the car accident?
8. Did you go to all your doctors and other medical appointments?
9. Did you do what your medical providers recommended such as home exercises recommended by a physical therapist?
10. How has your personal life been affected? Are you no longer able to participate in the hobbies that you once enjoyed?
11. Are you partially at fault for the motor vehicle crash? Iowa has a comparative fault law, and your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you have $100,000 in damages, but are found to be 25% at fault then your damages are reduced to $75,000.
These along with many other things will affect the value of your case. If you call an attorney and they tell you within a few minutes what your case is worth. This is a red flag that they may, just be telling you a high number in hopes that you will come in and hire them.
Before a qualified car accident attorney would tell you how your case is worth, they would want to:
1. Find out how much insurance coverage the other driver has. In a case where you were injured by a UPS, FedEx, or Amazon truck this is probably not a big factor as they have both insurance and assets to collect upon.
2. Request and review the accident report, witness statements, photographs and potentially interview witnesses to the crash.
3. Request and review your medical records and see what your doctors have reported that you have told them along with looking for prior medical conditions that the insurance company will try to use against you.
4. If necessary, talk to your doctors to obtain written reports that your injuries are caused by the car crash.
5. And much more.
At our office, we think it is better to investigate the facts of a case before telling a client how much we believe the case is worth. We think it is a bad idea to just guess without knowing the facts of the case.
Our normal practice is when a client hires us, once we know all the facts, we will prepare a detailed settlement proposal that we will send to our client to review. We will also gather Client Impact Statements from family, friends, and co-workers who have personally seen the changes that the crash has made. Once our clients have reviewed the settlement proposal and we have all the information ready, then we will submit it to the insurance company.
Sometimes, instead of trying to settle the case first, we will file a lawsuit in the beginning. This could be because we suspect the other driver may try to flee without being served for several reasons. Whichever way is best in your case, we will discuss our recommendations and with our advice, you will make an informed decision about how to proceed. Eventually, once the insurance company makes offers in your case, we will help you determine whether to settle your case or not.
If you, a loved one, or a friend have been injured in a car accident involving a UPS, FedEx, or Amazon truck then we offer a no-cost Iowa car accident consultation. We will spend our time at no cost to you to answer your questions, explain how the process works and help you decide if we are the right Iowa injury attorneys for you.If you are not yet ready to talk to an attorney, then you should request a copy of our Iowa Car Accident book that we offer at no cost or risk because we have seen too many Iowans injured in car accidents make costly mistakes. Request your copy today and read it in the comfort of your home.