Commercial truck accidents are very different than common passenger car accidents.
Under certain circumstances, the liability may fall on multiple parties.
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, you will have to deal with the driver, the trucking company, the trucking company’s insurance, your own insurance company, as well as deal with taking care of your injuries and the overall fallout from the event.
It is certainly no easy task to handle on your own.
Our dedicated Houston truck accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns want to help you get through these trying times as swiftly as possible. As experienced Houston lawyers, we bring to you a series of tactics insurance companies may use to lower your truck accident claim.
- The insurance company offers you a “fair” settlement right off the bat.
An adjuster will contact you and assure you they will provide you with a fair compensation. But remember, insurance adjusters are trained negotiators and will try to do everything they can to minimize the amount the insurance company will pay out.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always willing to treat you fairly. They also know you might be under financial constraints because of the damages to your vehicle and any medical bills you may have. Knowing this, they will try to offer you a settlement which will be far from fair.
Do not accept it! Take your time to analyze and count the cost of your property damages, medical bills, and lost wages before you accept any offers.
- They will delay the claims process.
Insurance companies are more than willing to have you wait. Once you do not accept their first, not so fair, offer, they will try to delay the settlement process. They might “accidentally” miss your calls or misplace your paperwork.
In the state of Texas, the time limitations to file an injury lawsuit after an accident is two years. You might think this is a long time, however, the hopes of the insurance company is that they can make you wait long enough to give up. Or they may attempt to stretch out the process so long that the statute of limitations will pass.
Waiting for too long to file your claim can be damaging to your case. The insurance companies know that the longer the case is left unsettled, the easier it will be to lower the claim.
- Insurance adjusters may ask for a recorded statement.
Always remember, anything and everything you say will be used against you if possible. Insurance adjusters will try to get a statement from you that will either help them minimize your damages or injuries, or allow them to place the blame of the accident on you.
Do not allow this to happen. It is better not to give the adjuster any kind of statement, especially not before seeking legal guidance. It is essential to get a qualified attorney who will review any document the insurance companies will ask from you or any information they request.
- They will recommend service providers.
When talking with the insurance representatives, they may make recommendations on which body shop to visit or which doctor to go to. They might even suggest to tell these businesses that you have been referred by them. However, most of the time, the people or services the insurance companies recommend are being paid by them so they can report less amounts of injuries or property damages.
Do not forget it is your choice to decide where you will receive your medical care from and where you can have your vehicle repaired. Just remember to do research before making these decisions.
- They will tell you not to get a lawyer.
The insurance companies will try to convince you that legal guidance or obtaining an attorney to represent you is unnecessary. Do not listen!
They are aware that many people fall for their tactics and will do everything they can to lower the value of your claim. If you feel unsure of what to do, realize that it is always better to have an attorney represent you. You might even obtain a greater claim than you think.