Truck accidents tend to cause significant property damage and injuries. Truckers usually fare better than car drivers, passengers, and motorcyclists after collisions. This does not mean that a trucking company will automatically accept responsibility for causing a serious or catastrophic collision. It is quite common for a trucking business and their insurer to push back against allegations of liability because they want to save as much money as possible. An insurance company is in business to pay out small amounts, not large settlements. When they are forced into sizable settlements, they pass along the financial burdens to clients by implementing higher premiums.
What are some of the arguments that truck companies and their insurance providers use to dodge liability? Below are some common strategies that are used by trucking companies.
Blaming the victim is used quite frequently by the at-fault truck driver, trucking company, and their insurance provider. The problem is that this trick actually works a lot of the time, especially if the victim does not retain legal counsel right away.
Victims of truck crashes are often dealing with many stressors at once, such as severe injuries, bills, and lost wages. These strains can make them highly susceptible to backing down or saying the wrong thing to insurance adjusters. How can a truck accident victim avoid being treated this way? Foremost, a victim should always contact a lawyer after an accident. A lawyer understands how to deal with this kind of strategy.
If a trucking company’s insurer cannot adequately claim that the company or driver had nothing to do with the crash, the insurer may try to make light of the victim’s injuries. For example, the insurance company may make the assertion that the victim’s injuries were not sustained during the accident or that the doctor is incorrect about the severity of the injuries.
When this happens, the victim must prove that their injury is severe and that is needs medical treatment. The most efficient way to build a strong case is to hire a skilled lawyer. Attempting to fight against a trucking company alone can be challenging, and a lawyer can be incredibly helpful. A lawyer will understand how to gather evidence and documentation to show the true nature of the injury.
Another technique is to assert that the truck driver is not working for the company. In other words, the trucker is said to be an independent worker. When employing this tactic, the trucking company and their insurer are not interested in whether or not the truck driver caused the collision. Instead, the two entities are trying to put the full burden on the truck driver.
It is important to understand that this may or may not be a strategy to avoid paying damages. Some truck drivers are actually independent contractors. A lawyer can find out the truth, especially if the trucking company is reluctant to provide evidence until they are compelled by the courts.
Truck drivers and trucking companies do not work alone. They work with third parties, such as cargo and freight loaders. For this reason, a trucking company may place blame on a third party to push away suspicion. For example, a trucking company may suggest that the cargo loading company was negligent and improperly loaded the cargo. In turn, the cargo loading company may fight against the false accusations. Not only do these types of accusations take time, but they can lead to the compensation being delayed for the accident victim.
Another strategy is to place blame on the government itself. Poor road conditions can cause truckers to lose control of their vehicles. If road conditions potentially contributed to the accident, the trucking company and their insurance provider may try to put all the focus on the local, state, or federal workers and entities.
A trucking company may offer a settlement to the victim or a family member if the victim is deceased. While a large, lump-sum settlement offer may look attractive to a victim, it needs to be carefully considered with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.
Medical costs for treatment, like ongoing therapy, surgery, diagnostic tests, and even medications, can add up over time. Even if a victim has health insurance, the insurance may only pay a portion of the medical costs. Additionally, some people do not have any insurance at all, leaving them with lifelong medical bills.
A lawyer has the expertise to calculate the true long-term costs of a significant truck crash. This helps them negotiate a larger settlement. If the insurer will not budge from the original amount, the lawyer can take the case to court.
Stringent federal guidelines govern expectations of truckers and the companies they serve. Regardless of what trucking companies and insurance companies say or do after collisions, all truck accidents in Delaware will undergo some kind of investigation.
Nevertheless, a truck accident victim needs to have someone by their side to stand up to against false allegations. A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to fight against an insurer and the trucking company, allowing the victim and their family to spend time recovering and healing.
Trucking companies and their insurers use many strategies to avoid liability. For this reason, it is important to hire a lawyer after a truck accident happens. If you were recently involved in a severe truck crash, we can help. Our accomplished Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. fight for the rights of truck accident victims. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.