When you have suffered severe injuries and damages in a commercial truck wreck, recovering the compensation you need is crucial to cover your costs and begin to rebuild your life. Unfortunately, holding the liable party accountable may prove more challenging than you thought.
With help from an experienced truck accident attorney, you can negotiate your truck accident settlement so you are compensated for every loss.
Understand the Value of Your Claim
As you begin to negotiate your truck accident settlement, you must understand the actual value of your claim. Whether you are dealing with an insurance company or the liable party directly, you can expect them to do everything possible to reduce the amount they pay out. For this reason, you must be aware of every loss you have suffered and its value to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
You might be surprised to learn of the various losses that you could recover. Generally, when you file a claim with the insurance company, they will cover medical bills and damage to your vehicle. However, that is essentially all the insurer covers.
Every other loss you experience must be sought through a civil lawsuit against the liable party. Furthermore, you can recoup any damages the insurance company does not cover beyond the policy limits through your truck accident lawsuit. Collectively, the compensatory damages you are entitled to recover as part of your claim include the following:
- Medical bills, including prescription drugs, medical devices, medical equipment, home accommodations, home health care, and future healthcare expenses
- Physical pain and suffering, including disfigurement and skin scarring, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium, including loss of love, protection, support, advice, society, companionship, and guidance
- Feelings of inconvenience, indignity, shame, anticipation, shock, fear, and embarrassment
- Damage to your personal and professional reputations
- Personal property damages, including destroyed electronics, the diminished value of your vehicle, damage to your driving record and credit report, rental car costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses
Once you understand precisely how much your truck accident claim is worth, you cannot be taken advantage of by insurance companies or liable parties hoping to keep more money in their pockets.
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Consider Your Legal Options
There are two primary ways you can fight for compensation after being involved in a commercial truck accident. This typically includes filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider or bringing your case to trial.
Filing a Truck Accident Insurance Claim
Oklahoma operates under a fault-based insurance system. When you are involved in a truck accident, you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider. This could be an auto insurance company, a general liability insurance company, or even a workers’ compensation insurance provider, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Suppose the liable party does not have insurance coverage or insurance settlements are insufficient to fully meet your needs. You should be prepared to file a lawsuit against those responsible for causing your truck accident injuries. Bringing your case to trial can be intimidating, but it is one of the best ways to ensure you receive fair restitution for your suffering.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Negotiating with the insurance company is one of the most tedious elements of the truck accident claims process. Here are some of the top ways to handle the insurance company:
Do Not Post About the Accident Online
Never post online or on social media about your commercial truck accident. Insurance adjusters can look to social media for instances where they could misconstrue, misinterpret, or manipulate your posts.
Insurance adjusters might see a picture you posted and accuse you of exaggerating the impact of your injuries. They could see a post expressing guilt regarding the accident and take it to mean you share blame for causing the collision. You can take steps to protect yourself by refusing to post about your truck accident online.
Do Not Accept a First Settlement Offer
Never accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer. If the offer comes in quickly, chances are the insurance provider fully recognizes the actual value of your claim and is hoping to tempt you into settling for less.
They know you need money now, and if they can make you a lowball offer and get away with it, they will. This is not to say you should never accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer. However, before you do, discuss the offer with your truck accident attorney to ensure you are fairly compensated.
Do Not Accept Fault or Express Guilt
Never accept fault or express guilt for causing the accident. If you do, the insurance company could argue that you share liability for causing the accident or your subsequent injuries. Since Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence system, your settlement can be reduced in proportion to your percentage of the blame.
For instance, if you were not wearing your seatbelt when struck by a distracted truck driver, the judge could find you 5% responsible for your injuries and reduce your settlement by 5%. Do not let the insurance company take advantage of these laws and use them against you.
Have Your Lawyer Take Action
The best way to protect yourself throughout truck accident negotiations is to have your lawyer handle them from start to finish. This protects you from having to negotiate for the compensation you deserve while healing from your injuries.
Your lawyer can identify instances of bad faith, show the insurance company how seriously you are taking your case, and prepare to bring your case to trial should negotiations fall through.
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Call a Truck Accident Lawyer for Help Today
You should not have to deal with the negotiation process alone. While you are still recuperating from your injuries, you should be able to devote your energy to healing and spending time with your family.
Have your dedicated truck accident lawyer at BDIW Law step in and negotiate on your behalf. That way, you do not have to worry about being taken advantage of during one of the most challenging times in your life. To get started, fill out our online contact form or call our office and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
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