If you’re involved in a car accident with a truck, you can face severe injuries, lost wages, and the exhaustion of medical debt while trying to settle your accident claim. Working with insurance companies can leave you feeling like no one is on your side. However, there is a way to file a truck accident lawsuit that gives you a better chance of winning the settlement you deserve. 

Step 1: Information Gathering

What you do right after a car accident factors into how insurance companies will see your claim for injuries in the future. Make sure to exchange your information with the other driver and take photos of everything, including damage, injuries, weather, signage, etc.

As soon as you are able, write down your account of the accident, including details such as:

  • Weather
  • Road conditions
  • time of day
  • Other details 

Writing with accurate detail immediately after an accident helps you feel clear-headed later on if others question your account. 

Step 2: Start the Process Immediately

Never wait to seek medical treatment if there is a possibility of injury. Your next step is to seek the treatment you need while keeping stringent records of each visit. 

Insurance companies and courtrooms want to see that you saw a doctor and dealt with injuries as soon as you were aware of them. Waiting too long to seek treatment leaves doubt in the minds of those making settlement decisions. They may wonder if you genuinely were injured or if, instead, you may be trying to scam the trucking company for money.

The statute of limitations for each state is different. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a car accident is two years from the crash date. Starting your claims process early gives time for the process to escalate so that your attorney has time to fight for your deserved settlement.

Step 3: Send the Information

When your insurance adjuster receives your case, they look at many factors to determine fault. It is YOUR job to ensure that the claims representatives have ALL of the available information, including any:

  • Details you’ve written down immediately following the accident (including what the truck driver said or did during or after the accident)
  • Pictures 
  • Diagrams of the accident scene
  • Police reports
  • Testimonies of witnesses 
  • Testimonies of other drivers
  • Voice recordings you may have taken of others speaking about the accident

You can also work with your attorney to get the needed information to the claims representative as soon as possible.

Step 4: Navigating the Claims Process

The claims process in Texas is complicated to navigate. Your insurance company, the trucker’s insurance company, and the trucking company ALL have attorneys looking out for their best interests. The insurance company will try to offer you the minimum amount of payment required by law. Insurance companies notoriously lowball settlements for accidents, especially when trucking companies are also involved in the settlement pressuring for their best interests.

Because Texas is a comparative negligence state, the percentage you contributed to the accident reduces your settlement offer. If you are 40% at fault for the accident, you lose 40% of your total offer. If you are 51% or more at fault, you receive no offer of monetary compensation at all. 

Because both insurance companies represent their driver, they both want to prove the other driver is more at fault. If you don’t present evidence and negotiate well for your point of view, you could lose out before you even get to a settlement negotiation. 

If you can advocate for yourself, you’ll need to discuss your case extensively with your claims adjuster. However, as a layperson, you most likely need to engage an experienced personal injury lawyer to advocate for you. The next step is more difficult unless you have an attorney practiced at negotiating a personal injury settlement. 

Step 5: Refuse the Offer

Think about how the claims representatives might look at your case as you go through the motions of filing your insurance claims. The claims adjuster is a bit like a judge trying to find evidence and decide how much money you should receive. 

They take the information given and make you an offer as low as possible.  Because claims adjusters answer to their superiors at the insurance company, they must offer the lowest number they think you will agree to. 

Because a truck accident lawsuit often involves extensive injuries, lost wages, future medical treatments, and possible disfigurement, you need to refuse an initial offer. Instead, wait and consult with your attorney about what your losses are genuinely worth.

Ensure a more significant settlement by refusing to sign any offers or negotiations without your lawyer present. If you refuse the amount offered and file a lawsuit instead, the claim will go to the next level at the insurance company. Escalating the claim in this way takes your claim out of a straightforward claims offer and into a settlement negotiation.

We Can Help

As an experienced personal injury attorney, Jarrett Law can help you successfully navigate the claims process and tip the balance in your favor. Don’t let liability issues or lack of information keep you from receiving the best outcome for your case. We investigate and assess your case, negotiate with insurance companies, ensure everyone is on the same page, and fight for your rights. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.