Truck accidents are different from passenger vehicle collisions in many ways. The injuries that victims suffer are often more serious, more parties could be at fault, and the value of a claim for compensation can be higher. Because of this, the insurance companies for the trucking company, trucker, and other negligent parties could fight longer and harder to deny, reduce, and delay a claim. Here are five insurance tactics that you need to watch for:
1. Offering You a Quick Settlement
The insurance adjuster may contact you soon after your crash—maybe even before you leave the hospital—and tell that they want to do the right thing and offer you a “fair” settlement. However, their real motive may be to get you to settle your claim for less than you deserve before you have determined the extent of your injuries and have retained an experienced truck accident attorney.
It is crucial to wait until you reach your maximum medical recovery, which is the stage where you have fully recovered or recovered as much as you will from your injuries and know your final prognosis, before resolving your claim. In addition, you never want to settle your case without seeking the advice of a lawyer.
2. Delaying the Claims Process
The insurance company may try to delay resolving your claim in an effort to wear you down and get you to give up or to accept less than you are entitled to. They can do this in a number of ways, such as misplacing documents, not returning your telephone calls, or requesting an unreasonable amount of documentation for your medical treatment or wage losses.
3. Asking for a Recorded Statement
A recorded statement is a question and answer session between you and the insurance adjuster that is later transcribed into a written document and that can be used in court hearings. The insurance adjuster may claim he needs it before settling your claim, but this is not true. He is really trying to get you to make inconsistent or other damaging statements that he can use against you to deny or reduce your claim.
4. Misstating the Law or Policy Coverage
Some insurance companies will misstate your rights under the law, such as claiming that you are not entitled to pain and suffering damages, or stating that the negligent party has less insurance coverage than they really have. It would be a big mistake to rely on their legal advice or anything else that they tell you.
5. Claiming You Do Not Need an Attorney
The insurance adjuster may try to convince you that you do not need an experienced truck accident lawyer. Do not follow this advice! An attorney will be able to accurately value your claim and will negotiate your settlement so that you receive a truly fair settlement.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Norfolk, do not be fooled by these insurance tactics. Your best protection is to retain a skilled lawyer as soon as possible after your medical condition is stabilized. To learn about our extensive experience in these cases and how we can assist you, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation today.