According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas routinely has the nation’s highest number of large truck accidents. Because of their massive size, large commercial trucks usually cause much more severe damage than passenger trucks and cars in a collision.
If you’re in an accident with a large truck or 18-wheeler, their insurance provider will most likely put up a strong fight to keep from paying you what’s owed.
How Do Insurance Providers for Trucking Companies Handle Crashes?
When one of their drivers has caused an accident, big rig insurance providers believe in going on the offense to limit their liability. Most have their own investigators on staff. The sole job of these investigators is to make sure the trucking company pays as little as possible to the victim.
In other words, they don’t play nice.
Here’s a brief listing of some of their most favored tricks to get out of paying you what you deserve.
The polite, caring phone call. Soon after your accident, an insurance adjuster representing the trucking company will call to check on your condition. Keep in mind that Texas is a one-party state. This means they can record your conversation without you knowing about it.
The goal of the friendly phone call is to use whatever you say against you in an attempt to deny your claim. Your best option is to not speak with them at all. Instead, let your personal injury attorney handle all negotiations with the insurance provider.
Altering the truck driver’s log. Truck drivers are required by federal law to maintain a logbook of the number of hours they’ve driven each day. By law, they’re not supposed to drive longer than a certain number of hours.
Some trucking companies have been caught altering their drivers’ logbooks. Some companies have even claimed to have lost their truck’s GPS navigational tool — all in an effort to withhold or conceal vital evidence of your case.
Slow-walking your case. Victims of truck accidents can quickly find themselves in a financial bind as the medical bills begin to pile up. Trucking companies know that if they can delay the process of your claim, you’ll be more likely to accept a low-ball offer of a settlement.
Their first settlement offer is usually a bluff. Most first settlement offers are enough to cover medical bills, but nothing more. When looking at the big picture, though, a fair settlement offer will include compensation for any time you’ve missed from work, your expected future medical bills. It will also include the use of specialized medical equipment and any decrease in your ability to earn a living.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the examples of ploys used by trucking companies to deny you the justice and compensation you deserve. So, if you’re ever involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you should follow the following steps. First, you should be seen by a doctor and follow their instructions to help you recover. Second, hire a Texas, personal injury attorney with a good track record of taking on large truck companies. Williams Hart law firm Knows how to stand up to the trucking companies and their insurance companies. Contact us today!