Insurance Company Liability in Truck Accidents
By Chris Dixon
If a truck driver causes an accident that injures or kills another, they are liable for the injured party’s damages. Insurance company liability insurance can help cover these damages, but the truck driver’s insurer will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. The best defense against the truck driver’s insurance company is having an experienced lawyer by your side to negotiate for the best results for your case.
What is Insurance Company Liability?
Trucking companies are required to have liability insurance policies for their drivers. If a truck driver is in an accident, liability insurance kicks in if another driver is injured, sustains property damage, emotional or mental distress, or other damages. The average insurance company liability policy amount for truck drivers is between $300,000 to $1,000,000.00. Settlements vary depending on the circumstances of each crash and the severity of damages it caused.
Insurance company liability in truck accidents is often complex, but an attorney can provide you with a more in-depth explanation and guide you through the process. If a truck driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, speeding, or texting and driving, you could be eligible to recover damages from their insurance company. The other party’s insurance agent will attempt to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible but it’s essential not to accept the first offer. Your lawyer can analyze your case and help you write a detailed demand letter. A demand letter includes the damages that you are claiming from the accident, the reasons why you are eligible to claim those damages, and evidence that supports your claim. The most common damages that are included in a demand letter are:
- Medical expenses from the accident, including treatment, doctor visits, medical accessories to treat your injuries, and any other medical expenses that you paid for out-of-pocket. The more detailed that you are about the damages you’re claiming, the better
- If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you could be reimbursed for the wages that you missed out on
- If you were injured in an accident, you might have mental, emotional, or physical distress – you could be eligible to recover reimbursement with documentation from a therapist or psychiatrist
- When a truck accident happens, there is usually a significant amount of damage that occurs. If your vehicle was damaged during the crash, you could be reimbursed for repair costs or the amount to replace your totaled vehicle (whichever is less), the cost of a rental car, and other expenses that were caused by the other driver
- If the spouse of a truck accident victim notices a loss of affection with their partner, they are eligible to recover compensation for their losses
If you are unsure whether you are eligible to recover compensation from an accident, your lawyer can quickly determine this. Insurance company liability in truck accidents is binding if the truck driver is solely at fault. However, if you are partially at fault for the accident, their insurer might attempt to pin the blame for the crash on you. This is where your lawyer comes in. Your lawyer can defend your claim against the other party, negotiate for the most damages for your claim, and make sure that you are taken care of during this difficult time.
When Can I Recover Compensation for a Truck Accident?
If you are injured in a truck accident, more than one party could be liable for your damages. Insurance company liability in truck accidents kicks in for both the driver that caused the accident and the truck company that they work for. If the truck driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, their employer is liable for their negligence due to “respondeat superior.” A common defense that is used by truck companies to avoid paying victims more compensation is that the truck driver is an independent contractor. Years ago, this was a valid argument, but over the years, laws have been revised to include independent contractors. If someone is using a truck with the company’s logo or name on it and causes an accident, the company is liable for the “employee’s” actions.
The amount of compensation that you can recover from an accident is correlated to the amount of fault you had in the crash. In some states, if a driver is partially responsible for an accident, the driver can recover partial compensation for the accident regardless of fault. In other states, if one driver is 50% or more at fault for an accident, they are ineligible to recover damages, while the other party can recover full compensation. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to recover compensation from an accident, your lawyer can guide you through the claim’s process and provide you with a potential outcome for your case.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help With My Case?
Insurance company liability in truck accidents can be difficult to understand, but doesn’t have to be. An experienced lawyer can break down the process for you and provide guidance for your case to make things easier for you. If you are worried that you can’t afford a lawyer, most lawyers use a contingency plan to make their services more accessible. If you need an affordable lawyer to help you with your case, the Dixon Injury Firm is passionate about helping trucking accident victims with their cases. For more information on insurance company liability in truck accidents, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today.