When you’re dealing with physical and emotional healing needs following a truck accident, navigating the compensation process might feel like a monumental task. Insurers have decades of practice minimizing the amount they pay out on claims, so injury victims may need legal assistance if they want to maximize compensation.
This article serves as a guide for victims of truck accidents by outlining some of the most important factors to consider while negotiating a settlement. Insurance policy limits, common settlement approaches, ways for documenting expenses and lost income, and knowledge of your legal options can all help you make more informed choices.
With the right planning, smart choices, and clear records, the best results can be reached. A Buffalo truck accident lawyer can help you understand the process and how we help negotiate to maximize your compensation in a truck accident claim.
Insurance Company Tactics Can Put Your Claim At Risk
Before you begin to negotiate a truck accident claim on your own, be wary of the numerous tactics insurance companies may use that can significantly reduce or eliminate your financial compensation.
Here are some common tactics insurance companies may use to try to reduce or deny truck accident claims:
- Blame the victim: They will often try to argue the driver of the other vehicle was at fault through questionable means like speeding, failure to yield, or driver distraction. A truck accident lawyer can defend you against these allegations of liability to preserve your claim.
- Dispute your injuries and damages: Insurers hire medical consultants to cast doubt on the severity of injuries reported or flat-out deny the costs/lost wages claimed. Your attorney can gather and present evidence that validates your injuries and losses.
- Stall investigations: They delay by ignoring correspondence or by requesting you submit mountains of unnecessary paperwork to draw out the claim process and put you in a greater financial bind. Their hope is that you will settle out of frustration and desperation.
- Lowball settlements: Early offers may be deliberately low to pressure acceptance before the full extent of injuries emerges. Once a settlement is accepted, you cannot pursue further legal action or compensation. This is why it’s critical that you have a truck accident lawyer evaluate any settlement offers before you sign anything.
- Challenge causation: Medical experts hired by the insurance company may be used to imply the wreck was not the sole or direct cause of all the victim’s suffering.
- Burden of proof tactics: Insurers know most victims lack the resources to wage lengthy legal fights, so they exploit this imbalance to their advantage in negotiations. When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they know you’ll be backed by the financial resources of the law firm.
An experienced truck accident attorney can recognize evasive tactics and stand up to insurance pressure by pursuing solid evidence to definitively prove liability and appropriate damages.
For a free legal consultation, call (716) 300-5885
How to Negotiate a Settlement After a Trucking Accident
Here are some tips for best negotiating a truck accident claim settlement:
- Gather thorough documentation of all injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other costs as outlined above. Insurers prey on incomplete records. Do not forget about compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional trauma, long-term income and wage loss, and other recoverable damages.
- Retain an experienced truck accident attorney well-versed in insurance policy language and legal leverage points. They understand the maximum claim value.
- Have your attorney initiate open communication with the insurer rather than dealing with them directly, where you may feel pressured.
- Be prepared to reject unreasonably low initial offers and stand firm on a demand reflecting full losses. Insurers often open very low.
- Emphasize any negligence factors or liability loopholes the insurer may want to downplay or deny.
- If settlement talks stall, be willing to file suit before the statute of limitations expires to demonstrate intent to litigate.
- Get all settlement terms in writing, and don’t sign full release forms until all contingencies are addressed, and you fully understand the ramifications.
Proactive, well-documented negotiations combined with legal leverage yield the best possible compensation outcomes.
Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Right Away Is Important to Negotiate a Higher Settlement
The weeks following an accident are critical for evidence gathering. Details may become unclear, and physical evidence can disappear or be altered. Insurance providers will quickly work to minimize their financial responsibilities and payouts by casting doubt on liability and the extent of injuries.
By working with a truck accident attorney immediately, we can help solidify your claim. We can dispatch trained investigators to properly record crash scenes, document vehicle damage, obtain public records like traffic camera footage, interview eyewitnesses while memories are fresh, and closely oversee your medical care.
These steps are often critical to laying the groundwork for presenting the strongest possible settlement negotiation or lawsuit.
Contact a Truck Accident Law Firm Today for Help Negotiating a Truck Accident Settlement
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an accident involving a semi-truck or commercial vehicle, you are no doubt facing a difficult road to recovery—both physically and financially. While compensation can help provide for medical costs and lost wages, settlement negotiations with insurance companies are never straightforward.
As truck accident lawyers with decades of experience representing injured clients, the team at Heninger Garrison Davis understands the complexities involved. Our goal in every case is to maximize the recovery clients deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where we will assess the specifics of your accident and help you understand your options.