If your only exposure to insurance companies has been from watching their amusing TV commercials and purchasing their insurance policies, chances are you are not prepared for a claim against a large trucking company. Generally, these companies have large insurance policies from big companies with teams of experienced claims adjusters and aggressive lawyers. They may come across as friendly and caring on TV, but the truth of the matter is they are going to work hard to pay you as little as they can – regardless of how serious your injuries are or how irresponsible the trucking company behaved.
If you are unfamiliar with how truck accident claims work, the insurers will use your ignorance against you. If you are impatient, they will take advantage. If you wait to get medical treatment or seem to contradict yourself, they will argue your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim.
Here, we are going to take a look at these issues and what you need to know to fight back. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, we urge you to get in touch with Houston truck accident lawyer Patrick Daniel at Patrick Daniel Law to protect your rights.
Insurance companies understand the difficult position you are in after a truck accident. Accident victims must often deal with painful injuries, a growing pile of bills, an uncertain future, and other issues.
Carriers know this, and there is a good chance they will use your precarious situation against you.
Delaying tactics are common in insurance claims. The delays are intended to make claimants impatient and frustrated. Not only does this make you more likely to accept an initial, low-ball settlement offer (more on that below), but it also moves the case closer to the statute of limitations.
In Texas, you only have two years to file a lawsuit for a truck accident claim. The longer trucking companies can delay, the closer you will get to this date, making you increasingly desperate to resolve the claim.
Beyond a lack of communication, you can also expect communication to be contentious and insincere. Insurance adjusters and trucking company representatives may make up deadlines and ask for medical records or official statements, neither of which you should provide.
Even when insurers seem to be doing the right thing, such as offering to pay your medical bills or fix your vehicle, you can’t trust that they are doing it for the right reason. In an instant, they can use something you provide them against you, which could irreparably harm your ability to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Offering low settlements after an accident is practically industry standard. Although the insurance company knows what your case is really worth, the adjuster will almost certainly offer you significantly less.
Insurance companies are businesses, and they are not interested in paying you a fair amount. Their goal is to pay you as little compensation as possible.
Without legal representation, it is difficult to recognize that an offer from the insurance company is much lower than what you deserve. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help protect your rights and pursue the full compensation you deserve.
If you reject the insurance company’s low-ball offer, there’s a good chance they will refuse to negotiate – at least initially. Claims adjusters are trained negotiators. They understand that if their initial offer seems disingenuous, they can lose ground quickly.
Instead, they may try to play hardball with you. In some cases, this is a bluff. The right response may be to call their bluff by showing you don’t need them to negotiate to win – you can take them to court.
Generally speaking, insurance companies would prefer not to go to court. It’s expensive and time-consuming. So, if you are willing to file a lawsuit, it shows the insurer that you are serious and willing to fight for the result you need and deserve.
That said, knowing when a claims adjuster is bluffing and how to handle their bluff is best handled by an experienced truck accident attorney. Being unreasonable can hurt your claim just as much as being naive.
In some cases, insurance companies won’t provide a settlement offer at all. Generally, this is because they decide to dispute liability for the accident. There could be a couple of reasons for this.
For example, the insurer may claim you were at fault for the accident or, at the very least, that there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove the insured was at fault. This is where the urgency of good evidence collection can come into play – everything from photos of the accident scene and black box recordings to phone records and background checks.
If you have this evidence, you can use it to substantiate the fault of the trucking company. The lack of good evidence, however, can make negotiating difficult.
The insurance company may also claim that the driver alone was at fault and not the trucking company. However, trucking companies are required to hire reliable, well-trained drivers. Failing to do so could make the employer liable, even if it was the driver’s negligence that led to the accident.
Truck accident claims are complex. In addition to taking on insurance carriers, victims must also go up against large and powerful trucking companies with extensive money, resources, and staff.
At Patrick Daniel Law, we are not intimidated by trucking companies. We know how they operate, and we act on behalf of our clients to hold them accountable for serious injuries and deaths arising from accidents. Attorney Patrick Daniel and our staff are Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless, and we use these traits on your behalf to pursue the compensation you deserve.
To speak with us about your situation, please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Our Houston truck accident lawyer serves clients throughout Texas and nationwide.