The Process for Settling a Truck Accident Claim
By Chris Dixon
There are many different elements to take care of when a truck accident happens. It can be overwhelming to think about collecting evidence from the scene, talking to the other party’s insurance agent, and filing an insurance claim against the truck driver at fault in the accident. If you or someone you love has been in a truck accident, you should get a lawyer involved as soon as possible to get information on the process for settling a truck accident claim and explore the options available to your case.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
When a truck accident happens, there are various questions that need to be answered, such as what caused the accident? How did the crash occur? And is one driver solely at fault for the accident? Gathering evidence after a truck accident is one of the most influential elements in the outcome of your case. Without substantial evidence from the accident that shows exactly what happened, details from the crash might be lost or misconstrued to the advantage of the at fault party. Involving the police in the situation can assist with collecting evidence. A police report will preserve the details of the crash, such as who the police think caused the accident and what caused the accident.
Other types of evidence that can have a major impact on the outcome of your case include photos of property damage from the crash, debris caused by the accident, and proof of your injuries from the crash such as a medical report. A medical report includes a professional diagnosis of your injuries from the accident, details on what caused them, and any present or future treatment that is required to treat your injuries. Truck accidents can be particularly severe, so it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention to rule out any injuries caused by the crash, whether internal or external. States in the U.S. have a time limit on how long victims have to claim injuries from an accident that ranges from as little as a year to five years after a crash occurs, so getting checked out right after a crash is the best option. If a truck accident victim attempts to file a claim after their state’s Statute of Limitations, their claim will be denied and they’ll forfeit their rights to recover damages from the at-fault party.
Consulting a lawyer after an accident happens ensures that you are informed of the ins-and-outs of the process for settling a truck accident claim, and that you have an experienced lawyer by your side to make sure that you have the evidence you need to support your claim. Your lawyer can protect you from being taken advantage of by the truck driver’s insurance company, and give you a better idea of the options available to your case. If you require any financial assistance during this trying time, your lawyer can connect you with the resources you need during this time to ensure that you and your family are taken care of.
Write a Demand Letter
A demand letter is a document that includes the damages you are claiming from an at fault party for your injuries and losses in an accident. If you are injured in a truck accident, you could be eligible to recover any out-of-pocket expenses that you experienced because of the crash. Truck drivers are required by Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations for commercial vehicles to carry at minimum liability insurance and cargo insurance in case an accident occurs. The most common types of damages that are included in demand letters for truck accidents includes:
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
File an Insurance Claim
Anyone can file an insurance claim for an accident, but filing a claim with guidance from a lawyer can produce the best results. Your lawyer can help you file a compelling insurance claim that proves the other party is responsible for your damages from the accident. Once the other party’s insurance company receives your insurance claim, they’ll provide a counter offer which serves as a starting point for negotiations.
The majority of truck accident claims are settled outside of court through methods of mediation and negotiation. If you aren’t satisfied with the settlement that the truck driver’s insurance company is willing to offer for your claim, your lawyer can negotiate with them for a higher settlement. Negotiation for a truck accident settlement requires in-depth knowledge of your state’s personal injury laws and commercial vehicle regulations, so it’s crucial to hire an experienced lawyer to handle your case’s negotiations on your behalf. If the truck driver’s insurance company refuses to provide an acceptable settlement, your lawyer determine whether it makes sense to negotiate for a higher amount or accept the offer. There is always the option of filing a lawsuit if your lawyer feels that your case could recover more compensation by going to court, but this decision should only be made if your lawyer is certain that your case will win. Trials can be expensive and take months to settle, and even then, you could receive less compensation than you would have with a private settlement.
Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with a Lawyer Today
Like with most things, there is always the option to do something yourself rather than hiring someone else to do it for you, but settling a truck accident claim shouldn’t be one of them. Filing a claim against a negligent truck driver without an experienced lawyer could cost you hundreds of dollars in missed damages, stress from dealing with the other party’s insurance agent directly, and worries about whether you are taking the right steps with your case.
While nothing is guaranteed, hiring a lawyer to represent your case provides you with a potential outcome for your case, allows you to avoid talking to insurance agents yourself, and ensures that your case will have the best chance possible of recovering damages. If you need an experienced lawyer to provide you with further information on the process for settling a truck accident claim, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today. Our lawyers offer free consultations and will ensure that everything possible is being done to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your truck accident case.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims in Missouri
Do I Have a Truck Accident Claim?