Insurance companies are not in claimants' corners. They often try to deny valid claims or delay payments to save themselves money. Dealing with a commercial trucking insurer after a collision can be difficult as the victim of a serious accident.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 107,000 large trucks played roles in injury accidents from 2016 to 2017. In addition, large trucks were involved in 4,657 deadly collisions. If you get into a trucking accident in Missouri, protect yourself during claim negotiations with a few general tips.
Before engaging in a conversation with a trucking insurance company, gather information about your collision. The insurer will ask questions about you, the other driver and the accident. The more you know about the crash, complete with evidence such as police reports and medical records, the easier the claims process will become.
Watch what you say
The insurance claims adjuster that contacts you within a few days of the accident is not your friend. The adjuster's main goal is to convince you to accept a small settlement to save the insurance company money. For this reason, be careful what you say to the adjuster. Answer questions honestly, but do not offer up any information the adjuster does not specifically request. Never say you were at fault for the truck accident, and do not give a recorded statement.
Determine the true value of your damages
Trucking accidents are notoriously catastrophic. This can mean traumatic brain injuries, permanent spinal cord injuries or wrongful death. Do not take the insurance company's word for what your case is worth. Instead, discuss your truck accident with an attorney to understand its true potential. Most personal injury lawyers offer cost-free consultations for your benefit.
Negotiate for maximum compensation
You are under no obligation to accept the first offer a trucking insurance company gives you - or any offer at all, for that matter. You have the power to negotiate a higher settlement amount if appropriate for your damages. If the insurer will not accept your terms, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit instead.