If you recently sustained injuries in a truck accident and now have your first compensation offer from another party’s insurance company, contact a lawyer immediately. Do not accept the offer before speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney. Any misstep could cost you thousands of dollars or more.
The chances are that any settlement offer another party’s insurer sends you after a truck accident will fall well short of the amount you deserve to receive. Hiring a skilled truck accident lawyer in Atlanta to handle your claim and take over negotiations maximizes your chances of receiving a fair payment.
Why You Have Received an Offer From Someone Else’s Insurance Company
The most likely reason you have received an offer from another party’s insurance company is that the company issued liability insurance coverage to a party at fault for the crash. The insurer likely recognizes that its policyholder caused your losses and that it must compensate you on behalf of its policyholder for the damages the accident inflicted.
The insurer’s motivation for offering you settlement money is to minimize its financial obligation for your losses. Insurance companies are businesses. Their primary motivation is to protect their bottom line, which they can do by resolving your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
While receiving a first settlement offer after a truck accident may seem positive, it’s not necessarily cause for celebration. It acknowledges the at-fault party’s liability for your losses but doesn’t automatically mean that the offer is fair compensation for your harm. The offer likely falls very short of that target.
Why the First Insurance Offer You’ve Received Likely Undervalues Your Claim
After a truck accident, you may recover compensation for all your physical, emotional, and financial harm. Those at fault and their liability insurance company can owe you money, for example, for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life.
Liable parties often have significant costs to pay. Truck accidents often cause severe injuries, fatalities, and extensive property damage. They routinely cause harm to multiple victims at once, compounding the costs that at-fault parties and their insurers must cover.
As discussed above, the at-fault party and their insurance carrier have a strong financial incentive to resolve your claim swiftly and for as little money as possible, especially given the potential magnitude of the damages. They know that many truck accident victims face extreme financial strain and may feel the temptation to accept any settlement amount, provided they receive the money quickly. An insurer wins when they dangle a lowball offer and you accept it.
Very likely, however, you should refuse to take it. Once you accept a settlement and receive your money, you can’t request more if your care costs rise or you need additional financial support. This is the outcome an insurance company hopes to achieve by making a quick initial offer. They want you to accept far less than your claim is worth and, in the process, let them off the hook for the full amount you deserve.
In other words, the first settlement offer you receive from an insurer after a truck accident is virtually guaranteed to undervalue your claim. So, don’t fall for it. Instead, retain an experienced truck accident injury lawyer to protect your rights and interests in any dealings with an insurance company.
What a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
To maximize the compensation you receive for the losses you suffered in a truck crash, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer handling your claim. An attorney who understands the trucking industry and the rules it operates under can take all the steps necessary to hold at-fault parties and insurance companies accountable.
A truck accident lawyer can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and defense lawyers to ensure that any settlement offer you receive fairly values your claim. They can also manage every aspect of your case so that you can focus your time and energy on your physical and emotional recovery.
Depending on the particulars of your claim, a lawyer can:
- Take quick action to meet legal deadlines and preserve your rights to compensation.
- Conduct an independent investigation into your accident to establish how it happened and who should pay damages to you.
- Represent your interests in official crash investigations to ensure investigators hear and consider your perspective on what happened and who is to blame.
- Evaluate the damages you suffered to calculate the amount you should receive.
- Collect evidence to support a claim for damages, such as accident reports, witness statements, on-board computer logs, and video from the crash scene.
- Handle all interactions with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Prepare and submit the paperwork necessary to initiate lawsuits and insurance claims seeking compensation from liable parties and insurers.
- Go to court to present your case to a judge and jury.
- Take all necessary steps to ensure you receive your money due under the terms of a settlement, court judgment, or jury award.
This isn’t a complete list of the services a truck accident lawyer can provide. It does, however, illustrate how a lawyer can be your advocate, ally, and advisor as you recover from the trauma of a truck crash. They aim to secure payment for your losses as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Is Affordable
Given your financial burdens, you may feel concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer to handle your truck accident claim. Hiring a truck accident lawyer is, however, affordable regardless of your financial situation.
Truck accident lawyers offer free consultations to accident victims. During a meeting or call, they can review your case, offer a preliminary assessment of your rights and options, and outline the steps they might take if you hire them. You never owe a penny for this session, even if you decide not to proceed with legal action.
Most truck accident lawyers also represent crash victims like you on contingency. This means that their fee depends on the successful resolution of your claim. In other words, you only pay the legal fees if and when you receive compensation through a settlement offer or court-awarded judgment. You pay nothing upfront and nothing unless you see results.
Contingent fees ensure you have access to high-quality legal representation when you need it most, no matter how much financial strain you face after a truck accident. They also incentivize your attorney to secure the best possible outcome for your case, as they receive payment only if you receive compensation.
The Risks of Waiting to Hire a Lawyer
Considering the affordability of a lawyer, there’s no benefit in waiting to hire one. In most cases, any delay in retaining an experienced truck accident attorney could carry significant risks, such as the following.
Insurance Companies and At-Fault Parties Could Maneuver To Avoid Liability
Immediately following an accident, the parties facing potential liability begin working to avoid responsibility. They may take legal actions, such as suing each other or seeking bankruptcy protection; they may engage in underhanded misconduct, such as hiding or destroying evidence that could prove your claim. You need a lawyer immediately to protect you from these efforts and ensure you receive the money due to you.
Time Could Run Out on Your Claim
A strict legal deadline under the statute of limitations dictates how long you have to file a claim after a truck accident. You may lose your right to seek compensation entirely if you miss it. A skilled truck accident attorney knows these timeframes and can take the necessary steps to preserve your rights before they expire, providing you hire them promptly.
Other Victims Could Get Ahead of You in Line for Compensation
In accidents involving multiple victims, an insurer’s payment obligations might not be enough to fully compensate all victims, and other at-fault parties may lack sufficient assets to make up the difference. If other victims hire lawyers and file claims before you do, they might deplete the funds available, leaving less, or nothing, for you. Hiring a personal injury lawyer immediately can ensure you don’t end up last in line for compensation.
Official Investigations Could Reach Unhelpful Conclusions
After a truck accident, law enforcement and regulatory investigators often inquire about what happened and who is accountable. Their findings aren’t necessarily binding on you, but they could significantly influence the outcome of your claim because they carry weight with insurance companies, judges, and jurors. Without a lawyer on your side soon to ensure these investigations are thorough and fair, you risk these agencies drawing unfavorable conclusions that could hurt your claim.
Someone Could Try to Blame You for the Accident
The defense might try to shift the blame onto you to avoid paying compensation. If you’re found partially responsible for the accident, it could significantly reduce the payment you receive or eliminate your right to compensation. Hiring a lawyer promptly can protect you from these blame-shifting tactics.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Cases
Truck accident victims like you have many questions about their rights and options. Here are the answers to some common inquiries truck accident attorneys receive from prospective clients. To find out specifics about your case, contact an experienced lawyer today for a free review of your case.
Who Can I Sue for Damages?
In a truck accident, it isn’t always obvious who is liable.
Depending on the circumstances, multiple individuals, businesses, or entities could owe you damages, including
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that owned the truck or employed the driver
- The truck manufacturer
- Another motorist who drove dangerously around a truck
- A government entity responsible for creating unreasonably hazardous road conditions.
A skilled truck accident attorney can identify all potentially liable parties and work to hold them accountable for your losses.
How Much Will I Get?
There’s no fixed or standard amount of damages you can expect to receive after a truck accident. The amount you will get depends on numerous factors, including the severity of the injuries, the extent of your financial losses, and the effects of the accident on your life. An experienced truck accident lawyer can evaluate and substantiate these damages to ensure you get the maximum amount possible.
How Long Will It Take to Receive Compensation?
There’s no standard timeline for receiving compensation in a truck accident case. The time it takes can vary greatly and depend on multiple independent factors. If all parties agree upon liability and the damages and injuries are relatively straightforward to calculate, the claim could resolve within a few months.
When a truck accident harms multiple victims, however, and involves numerous potentially liable parties (as is common), a claim could take far longer to resolve. You don’t have much control over these factors.
You do, however, control whether you choose to hire a knowledgeable truck accident attorney to handle your claim, and the sooner you take that essential step, the faster your case can reach a resolution.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
The first offer you receive from an at-fault party’s insurer will rarely, if ever, value your claim appropriately. Do not accept it without first speaking with a knowledgeable truck accident injury lawyer who can advise you about your rights and handle negotiations.
To learn more about your options after getting hurt in a truck accident, contact an experienced truck accident injury attorney today for a free review of your case.