Consider yourself fortunate if you survive a truck accident without severe injuries. The massive size and weight of commercial trucks can lead to devastating harm with high dollar damages. Insurance companies gear up right away to defend against these significant claims. If you have to take on an insurance company after a truck accident, it can help to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Truck Accident Insurance Claims Process Walk-Through
Every claim is different, and what happens in your situation will depend on the facts of your case. Nonetheless, it can help to know what to expect in general. There are several stages that take place in many of the truck accident claims we handle.
We perform a thorough investigation of every truck accident claim we handle at S. Burke Law. Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies have to comply with federal regulations that do not apply to drivers of passenger cars. We take a close look to see if there were violations that led to the crash.
We gather the police report, and any other relevant law enforcement or administrative agency reports to find proof of carelessness on the part of the trucker or trucking company. We also pull together your medical records to paint a picture of the extent of your injuries. We can call in vocational experts to analyze how your injuries impact your quality of life and your ability to earn a living.
After we get the information we need, we calculate the dollar value of your case. We will talk with you about the reasonable range of compensation for your claim.
After getting authorization from you, we draft a demand letter and send it to the insurance company. In the letter, we lay out our arguments about what caused the wreck and who should pay for your losses. We make a demand for the insurance company to pay you compensation.
The insurance company might respond to the demand letter with a counter-offer, saying that they will pay a lesser amount than in the letter. Insurance carriers have a motivation to settle truck accident claims to avoid bad publicity for the trucking company, but they might not agree to pay as much as you deserve. If the insurer will not pay a fair amount for your damages, we can file a lawsuit and take your case to a judge.
Trucking companies have to carry more insurance than cars do, so they usually have enough funds available to resolve cases reasonably, either through settlement or a judgment. Federal law requires commercial trucks to carry public liability insurance between $750,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the type of commodities they transport. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the insurance must cover bodily injury, property damage, and environmental restoration.
Watch Out for These Insurance Claims Perils
Because there is so much money at stake, insurance companies try various tactics to pay less money to resolve your injury claim than a judge might award. At S. Burke Law, we can protect you from pitfalls like these:
- Settling too early. You should not settle a case until you have completed your medical treatment and regain as much function as your doctor thinks you will achieve. If you accept a settlement check before that point and end up needing more intervention, like surgery, the insurance company will not pay for it. You might end up with a stack of medical bills that you cannot afford to pay.
- Taking a low-ball offer. An insurance adjuster might contact you soon after the wreck and offer you quick money. The insurer does not always explain that you will have to pay all of your medical bills and other losses out of that one check. Sometimes, the “quick check” does not even cover the medical expenses. People who grab an early offer often discover that they should have gotten much more money than they did.
- Waiting too late to talk with an attorney. Georgia law imposes deadlines on filing lawsuits for personal injury cases, including truck accidents. If you miss the deadline, the rule will bar you from going after compensation for your damages. Be sure to call us right away after a truck accident.
- Passing the buck. Truck accidents involve multiple parties. The potential defendants in a case might include the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the truck’s tires or brakes, and the company that loaded the cargo onto the vehicle. When someone gets hurt, these parties often blame each other for the consequences. Sometimes we use accident reconstruction experts to prove whose fault caused the crash.
Getting Help for A Truck Accident Insurance Claim
When you have suffered harm from a truck accident, you should not have to fight your own battles against huge insurance companies and large trucking companies. When S. Burke Law handles your injury case, you can devote your energy and attention to getting well and rebuilding your life.
Call us today at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.