Dealing with a Trucking Company after an Accident
With the large amount of consumer goods shipped throughout the Florida and across the country, there seems to be an overall increase in the number of semi trucks and other big rigs on the road. Unfortunately, truck accidents have also become increasingly common, and the large size and bulk of the trucks involved often leave motor vehicle drivers suffering the most severe injuries. If you are involved in this type of accident, you will likely be dealing with the trucking company the driver works for. Before doing or saying anything that could jeopardize your rights to compensation, it is important to be aware of how these companies work.
Deep Pockets in the Trucking Industry
While some truckers work as independent contractors who own their rigs, many of the truck drivers you encounter on the roads work on behalf of larger trucking companies. Through leasing contracts, they may be required to pay a portion of their insurance costs, but their individual coverage is generally through a group insurance policy provided by the company they work for.
In the event of an accident, the trucking company and their insurers will be notified. These companies have deep pockets, and often have teams of attorneys and insurance adjusters working on their behalf. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), revenues in 2016 alone were close to $700 billion. This means that when you are involved in a truck accident and file a claim, they can afford to fight your claim. They may offer you a settlement that is far less than what you deserve, or attempt to deny your claim outright.
What to Do when a Truck Accident Occurs
Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicate that large trucks and 18 wheelers are involved in more than 87,000 crashes resulting in injuries each year, while more than 4,000 other truck accidents end up proving fatal. While truck drivers are often at fault for these accidents, it is usually motor vehicle drivers who end up suffering the most injuries and damages.
When a truck accident occurs, what you are required to do in the immediate aftermath is the same as in other types of accidents. This includes:
- Notifying law enforcement;
- Exchanging personal contact, driver’s license, and insurance information with other drivers;
- Seeking medical care for any injuries;
- Notifying your insurance representative.
As truck accidents are generally more severe, your injuries may have prevented you from obtaining information or getting an accident report at the scene. You may be contacted by a representative for the trucking company in the days or weeks immediately after, requesting a statement of your version of events. They may try to get you to admit liability, or may offer an immediate settlement for far less than what you are owed.
To protect yourself and your rights to compensation, call or contact Gregg Wexler at the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. online first, before making any statements or signing any documents. Our West Palm Beach truck accident attorney can negotiate with the trucking company and their insurers on your behalf, helping to ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to.