What to Do with Your First Offer from the Insurance Company After a Truck AccidentBy Stewart J. Guss on March 30th, 2020
The First Truck Accident Settlement Offer Is Not the Best
Did you know over 60 percent of all consumer goods are shipped by tractor-trailer across the United States?
We contend with large trucks on our roads at all hours of the day and night. Their intimidating presence can make other drivers nervous, and for good reason: Trucks carrying full loads can cause serious damage when they roll over or crash into smaller vehicles.
Truck crashes are tragic, and the first settlement offer you get from the “at fault” party’s liability insurance company seldom comes close to what you really deserve.
If a truck accident has upturned your life, speak with a truck accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Severe Truck Accident Injuries
Over 4,000 people die every year in truck accidents. While not every truck accident will cause a death, the sheer number of fatalities that do occur reflects the force of an impact between a big rig and a passenger vehicle.
Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries and soft tissue injuries
Many semi-truck injuries cause conditions that change not only the lives of the victims, but of their loved ones as well. After a commercial truck accident, family members may have to pitch in and help with caregiving. They may miss out on income from other jobs.
You and your family should not have to bear this burden alone.
Help is out there, and so is hope.
Speak with a trusted truck accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after a truck accident. You need a lawyer who has your best interests at heart and who will be the aggressive advocate you deserve to protect your rights. When you don’t have to worry about how your bills will get paid, you can put all of your effort and energy into your physical recovery, where it belongs.
Semi-Truck Accident Risk Factors
Trucking companies have an ugly history of pushing their drivers to extreme exhaustion to meet delivery schedules. Their practices put the public at risk of catastrophic accidents.
Commercial trucks weigh significantly more than your average passenger vehicle. Ten to twenty times more, to be exact. Because they weigh so much, tractor-trailer trucks need a great deal more room to stop than a passenger car or pickup. In a collision, this means the smaller vehicles will sustain massive damage.
The law prohibits truckers from driving more than 11 hours in a 14-hour shift, but many do not abide by that rule. They operate under tight deadlines and often keep driving even when they get drowsy.
In fact, even drivers who do follow the rules get behind the wheel without adequate sleep. The uneven schedules truckers work disrupt their normal sleep patterns, making it all-but-impossible to get a good night’s rest.
When you’re on the road with them, that’s a big problem.
Fatigue can impair one’s driving ability as much as alcohol can. A trucker who has not slept in 18 hours has the same cognitive and motor deficiencies as someone who is legally drunk.
Commercial truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to meet tight delivery schedules. So what do they do? They push themselves to extremes, they speed, they take dangerous shortcuts. Basically, they drive like maniacs. Who loses when that carelessness causes an accident? You do.
Damages You Deserve
Victims of truck wrecks should never have to worry about how they will pay the bills for their medical care, or how their families will manage without their incomes. That’s why it is so important to hire an experienced truck accident attorney right away after a truck crash causes chaos in your life.
Depending on the severity of your injuries from a truck accident, you may need:
- Long hospital stays
- Multiple surgeries
- Many prescriptions
- Many doctor visits
- Rehabilitation in a facility
- In-home care
- Mobility aids
As we all know, medical procedures, doctor visits, and prescriptions can break the bank. (Nearly two-thirds of all United States personal bankruptcy filings result from medical bills.)
You don’t have to tackle this alone.
Experienced truck accident attorneys fight to make sure their clients receive compensation to pay for those medical bills, as well as for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Permanent scarring
When you suffer a truck accident injury, don’t put off calling a lawyer. You only have limited time to take legal action.
Do not risk missing your chance to get paid for your injuries.
Act now to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The Insurance Company Is Not On Your Side
Here’s a secret: insurance companies look out for their own interests, not yours! That’s especially true of liability insurance companies whose customers cause massive truck accidents that leave you injured.
If someone else’s liability insurance company offers you a quick settlement after a truck accident, beware. The first offer is virtually never the best offer the insurance company will make. In fact, most of the time the first offer constitutes nothing more than a lowball fishing expedition. The insurer dangles it out there hoping you’ll bite at the free money.
Don’t fall for it.
Taking a settlement from an insurer comes with strings attached. You don’t actually get your money until you sign away your rights to sue the insurance company’s client. In other words, if you accept an offer now but later discover you settled for too little, too bad, you’re out of luck.
A seasoned truck accident injury lawyer knows how to calculate the FULL FINANCIAL COST of your injuries in a truck accident. This means not only the money you’ve already lost, but the financial impact of the accident on your life in the future, too. Only careful collaborative analysis can you and your lawyer truly know how much money you should get from the insurance company.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can negotiate with a liability insurance company on your own. The insurance company will take advantage of you at every turn, during the most vulnerable and stressful time of your life.
Leave negotiations with liability insurance companies up to a skilled legal professional who has the knowledge-base and resources to stand up to the big dogs of the insurance world and fight for every penny you deserve.
Passing the Buck
Here’s another reason to leave your truck accident case to an experienced lawyer: they get complicated, fast. Many people think personal injury cases are clean-cut and easy to win, but those people have obviously never taken a stroll through a truck accident scene. In reality, multiple parties could face liability for the truck accident injuries you suffered. It takes a seasoned legal professional to identify all of them.
Here are some of the usual suspects:
The Truck Driver
When thinking about who is to blame for a truck crash, your first thought runs to the truck driver. A trucker’s actions often play a large role in causing a truck crash, especially when that trucker speeds, drives longer hours than allowed by law, uses drugs or alcohol, or gets sleepy.
The Truck Owner
Sometimes, truck drivers own their trucks. Other times, a trucking company owns the rig and employs the driver. The owner of a truck usually has an obligation to make sure the driver complies with the rules of the road and of the trucking business. An owner should also ensure the truck stays properly maintained.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies have many responsibilities and often fail to complete them. They may neglect to properly train or supervise their truckers. They may place unrealistic expectations on drivers that imply that they should keep going when they need to rest. They may not properly inspect, repair, or load their trucks and cargo. If any of that happens, the trucking company—which probably carries a lot of insurance—could need to pony up when its drivers get into accidents.
People make mistakes. Truck mechanics who mess up on the job, however, can put others in danger by sending an unsafe truck out on the road. If that happens, the mechanic could have liability for contributing to a truck crash.
This is not a comprehensive list. The bottom line is that multiple parties could face legal liability for a truck accident and your injuries.
One of the most important jobs of a truck accident lawyer is to sort through the facts of a wreck to identify everyone who could have liability to an injured accident victim, and then to sift through those to figure out which of them have the resources to pay the most damages.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The steps you take immediately after a truck accident can impact whether and how much you can recover as compensation for your injuries. Being proactive is the best way to maximize your recovery.
- Contact the police. After any truck accident, call 911. First responders will come to the scene, assess injuries, and investigate what happened. In addition to being the smart choice, this is your legal obligation.
- Get medical attention. When you contact the police, emergency medical personnel will come to your accident scene as well. Do not refuse their attention. Your adrenaline is pumping, and you may not be aware of all of your injuries. Allow the medical personnel to examine you and give you the care you need. It’s also wise to see your doctor after the accident. Not all injuries show symptoms right away. Sometimes, it can take days or weeks for symptoms to appear, especially with soft tissue injuries.
- Take photos. Taking pictures at the scene of the accident can help show who caused your truck accident. If it’s safe to do so, take pictures of all the vehicles involved and your injuries. Make sure you get lots of images of the truck from all angles. Swap insurance information with the truck driver and get witness contact information. Not all witnesses will stick around to speak with the police, but you want to make sure your lawyer can speak with them later.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer. A truck accident lawyer can tell you whether you have a personal injury claim worth pursuing. If so, they can take steps to get you the money you deserve.
Suffering injuries in a truck accident is a tragic and traumatic experience. But when you work with the right truck accident injury lawyer, you can lift some of the burden and stress off your shoulders, knowing that your truck accident claim is in good hands.
Yes, You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer
Do not wait to seek the help of a seasoned, resourceful truck accident injury lawyer. The longer you wait to seek legal help, the more difficult it can be to recover the maximum compensation you deserve under the law.
Contact a truck accident lawyer today for a case evaluation, 100% free.
Stewart J. Guss
12777 Jones Rd Suite 297