Soon after a semi-truck accident, you can expect to speak with insurance adjusters representing the trucking company or trucker. Adjusters have a single mission: to save their employer, the insurance company, as much as possible. When they do not have a reason to deny a claim for compensation, they will typically try to settle the claim.
Settlements Are an Opportunity and a Risk for Truck Crash Victims
Hearing that a truck company’s insurer would want to settle your claim may be welcome news. A settlement usually means you receive compensation much sooner and with less hassle than if you were to take your claim to trial.
Accepting a settlement can be risky, though. When you receive a compensation award, you must give up your legal rights to seek additional compensation. Take care to ensure the settlement amount is sufficient to cover your losses.
Semitruck Accidents and Settlement Considerations
When you are approached by an adjuster and offered a settlement following a commercial truck crash, keep the following considerations in mind:
If Fault Is Clear, the Trucking Company Has Every Incentive to Settle
If the facts of your wreck point to the truck driver being at fault, the trucking company’s insurer will often be eager to settle. The monetary damages awarded in semi-truck accident lawsuits can be significant, and a truck company would rather not add to these costs the expenses of a trial.
You should not feel obligated to accept an initial settlement offer as the final offer. You will usually have some room to negotiate a fairer, more reasonable settlement.
There Is a Significant Amount of Evidence of Semi-truck Accidents
The strength of your case is directly connected to how quickly your case settles and how much compensation you receive. The more favorable evidence you and your lawyer can collect, the stronger your bargaining position becomes. In a truck accident case, that means looking at not just the facts of the accident itself but also:
- The truck driver’s driving record
- Any dashcam footage from inside the truck’s cab
- Whether the truck driver’s medical certificate and logbook were in compliance with federal law
- Whether the truck was overweight or improperly loaded
- Whether the truck had a mechanical defect
- While looking into all available sources of evidence may take some time, this step can improve the outcome of your settlement negotiations.
Knowing the Extent of Your Injuries is Key to Successfully Settling Your Case
With semi-truck accidents, your injuries can be severe and might require months to heal. While it is understandable to want to settle your case quickly to obtain compensation, it is crucial that you and your attorney be able to accurately value your present and future medical needs and the long-term impacts of your injuries.
While the trucking company's insurer may be in a hurry to settle the case, you should not feel rushed to make a decision. Wait until you and your lawyer fully grasp your injuries, and then you can reach a more appropriate settlement.
Do Not Go Toe to Toe with Trucking Companies Alone
Negotiating a settlement with a trucking company can be intimidating. Trust your legal rights to our experienced truck accident law firm. Our knowledgeable and skilled team will devote ourselves to helping you receive the best outcome possible in your case. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers to request your free, no-obligation consultation today.