Soon after a commercial vehicle accident, you can begin the process of filing a claim. The claim will name the insurer of the commercial vehicle involved in the accident. If your accident involved a commercial truck, your claim will pit you against the trucking company’s legal team as well as the insurer of the truck. However, you must keep your own insurance company in the loop too.
Contact Your Own Insurer after the Accident
Soon after the accident, report the accident to your own insurance company. Do not admit fault in the accident, and do not provide explanations about the reason ‘why’ the accident occurred. You know the hard facts, you can’t postulate why everything all came together in an unfortunate crash. Basically, you don’t want to say anything that could be debatable later.
You can talk about the following.
- Day, time that the accident occurred
- Any visual evidence that you saw and documented, like skid marks
- What you told the police officer at the scene
Dealing with the Commercial Vehicle Insurance Company
Once you report the accident to your own insurer, you must prepare to deal with the insurance company of the commercial vehicle that was involved in an accident. In the days following your accident, you will meet with the insurance adjuster of the commercial vehicle insurance company.
It is important to avoid talking to the insurance adjuster, without having a lawyer present. Remember, the insurance adjuster’s conversations with you are aimed at getting more information about the accident, so that the insurance company can lower the value of your claim.
The adjuster will ask leading questions about what you were doing at the time of the accident, distractions in the car and so on. These questions are specifically aimed at getting you to admit some amount of negligence regarding the accident. Remember, if the commercial vehicle insurer finds you partially negligent in causing the accident or your own injuries, it may decide to lower the value of the claim and give you a smaller amount in compensation.
Negotiating with a Commercial Vehicle Insurance Company
The commercial vehicle insurance company will offer you a settlement of your claim. Don’t jump to accept the first settlement that the company offers. If you have sufficient evidence to establish the company’s or driver’s liability, you can recover a settlement that is much higher in value. If you haven’t yet secured a commercial vehicle accident lawyer and you are offered a low compensation amount, now is the time you need to call.
For more advice about what you should do to protect your interests in the days after an accident with a commercial vehicle, schedule a consultation with a trucking accident lawyer. Call 214-290-8001 to speak to trucking accident attorney Julie Johnson at our firm.