If you get into an accident with a large commercial truck, pursuing a personal injury claim will proceed in a manner similar to that of a typical car accident; however, when large trucking companies are involved, it is important to know what to expect when dealing with them.
Big trucking companies have big teams. In fact, within hours of the crash, they usually send out investigators and attorneys to the crash site to start collecting evidence and looking for ways to lower their liability. They know that trucking accidents can produce serious injuries that can lead to expensive lawsuits, which is why they will do whatever it takes—even destroy evidence—to protect their interests. It is important to know this because in a normal car accident case, the other driver doesn’t have his or her own investigators who will quickly arrive on the accident scene.
Other Differences Between Truck and Car Accident Cases
Dealing with a personal injury claim after a truck accident can be more complicated. This is because there are many parties that could be at fault for the wreck. For example, in a typical car accident injury claim, your lawsuit will be against the other driver and his or her insurance company. Unlike a car accident claim, a truck accident injury claim can be directed at multiple parties, including the trucking company, owner of the truck, truck driver, third party, or another party depending on the circumstances of the crash.
Another difference when dealing with a truck accident claim is that there are numerous federal and state laws that govern truck drivers and those in the trucking industry. There are rules about how a truck driver operates a big rig, the number of hours the trucker can be on the road before taking breaks, the amount of time a truck can be on the road before receiving regular maintenance, how truck cargo is loaded, and many other regulations regarding truck safety.
Because there is more on the line after a truck wreck, as injuries are often more serious than those in passenger car accidents, it is important to know what to do and how to handle a big trucking company when pursuing a personal injury claim. Even though you may know that the trucker caused the wreck, the best way to get the maximum compensation possible in your claim is to prove the truck driver breached his duty of care to the motoring public.
How Truck Companies Take Advantage of Injured Victims
This can be done by showing that the truck driver violated a law or was negligent behind the wheel. Unfortunately, most accident victims don’t know all of the laws surrounding truck crashes and the trucking companies know this. Consequently, they try to take advantage of injured victims. They do this by taking the following actions:
- Offering a quick settlement. This settlement offer is usually a low-ball offer. They are hoping you take the money and they can close the claim out before you even know the extent of your injuries.
- Requesting a recorded statement. They know that if they quickly get you to give them a recorded statement, you may say something they could use against you to harm your claim.
- Delaying or denying compensation. Trucking companies, their insurance companies, and their lawyers know that delaying or denying a claim could help them save money. This is because when injured victims continue to be ignored, they may get frustrated and finally agree to any settlement amount
Contact Shevlin Smith For More Guidance
Because these cases can be complicated, it is important to hire a knowledgeable lawyer who has previously represented injured victims of trucking accidents and knows how to push back against large trucking companies. Don’t let the trucking company take advantage of you and pay you less than what your injury claim is worth. Get help from a seasoned attorney and let your lawyer fight for your best interests. For a complimentary consultation, call us at (703) 721-4233 or fill out brief information on our Contact Us page today.