After you’ve reported a semi-truck accident to the police and sought any necessary emergency care for related injuries, you will go through the truck accident claims process. Here’s an overview of what to expect and what you need to do.
Report the Accident to the Insurance Company
As soon as you are physically able after your truck crash, you need to report the accident to your insurance company. The person that you’ll be dealing with is the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster handles estimating the value of your claim and offering you a settlement. In Texas, the at-fault driver’s insurance company handles paying for the accident’s damages.
After you report the accident to your insurance company, the claims adjuster will investigate your accident.
- S/he will drive to the scene of the crime
- S/he will take photographs
- S/he will ask you to sign a medical release document (which you shouldn’t do without legal consultation)
- S/he will ask you for a statement (ok) or a recorded statement (no)
- S/he will inspect your vehicle
At this point, your claims adjuster will probably also ask for proof of medical services and any ongoing medical services.
- Doctors’ notes
- Medical bills about the accident and injury
Repairs To Your Vehicle
If the car insurance adjuster determines that your car is totaled—or costs more to repair than the vehicle is worth—then you will be entitled to the actual value of your vehicle pre-truck accident.
Otherwise, your vehicle will undergo all necessary repairs to get it back into working condition. Usually, you will have to use an auto body shop that has been approved by your insurance company, or will have to get several quotes from a variety of auto shops prior to scheduling the repairs. In some cases, you may be allowed to choose a repair shop.
A Settlement Offer
The final step in the claims process is the offering of compensation. A settlement amount is supposed to cover the extent of injuries and damages, and may be restricted by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
If a settlement offer is too low, as it often is, you can enter into negotiations. You also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Hire an Attorney
For help understanding the claims process, and guaranteeing that you get the highest settlement possible, an attorney is a must. At the Law Office of Julie Johnson PLLC, our attorneys are ready to go to work for you. Call us at 214-290-8001 for a free consultation.