How to Deal With Truck Companies After an 18 Wheeler Accident
The size and weight of trucks mean that they can cause devastating injuries when they are involved in accidents. You may find yourself facing huge medical bills, emotional problems and missed wages following such accidents. A truck accident lawyer can help negotiate a better claim because truck lines will definitely resist paying you.
What you need to know about Trucking
Commercial trucking helps move almost 70 percent of all U.S. freight tonnage according to the American Trucking Association. This is thanks to 3 million heavy –duty class 8 trucks that move 10.5 billion tons of freight each year. It takes almost 3 billion gallons of fuel and 3.5 million truck drivers to move all that freight.
Obviously based on these numbers it’s clear that the trucking industry is the lifeblood of the American economy. However, it is also true that over 5, 000 Americans are killed every year in trucking accidents. You can imagine getting involved in an accident with a loaded truck that may outweigh your car by 75,000 pounds. These accidents may inflict severe injuries and fatalities to mostly car drivers and their passengers and not truck drivers.
What causes 18-Wheeler accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates that these accidents are caused by:
- Truckers driving too fast and recklessly
- Using cell phones or other devices while driving
- Fatigue caused by driving longer than allowed by federal law
- Drivers following another vehicle too closely
- Panic or overreaction of a truck driver
- Trucking lines not training drivers adequately
Truckers that drive for more than 11 hours at a stretch sometimes falsify their driving logs.
But seeking compensation after such accidents means you have to challenge these powerful companies. They will do everything in their power to make it difficult for you to claim adequate economic compensation.
Truck Company Insurers
Truck companies are often liable in such cases and as a result, over the years, developed a number of tricks to underpay victims or deny them payment. Their tricks include:
- Offering small payments immediately after the accident because that is when victims are most desperate for money
- They may send adjusters to victims to convince them to make statements that can later be used against them.
- The tracking line or insurer may delay your payment by requesting for one document after another to justify their delays
A legal professional can help you fight against any delays and offer advice when the company’s insurer wants you to record a statement. You should not record any statements for the truck company’s insuarer and you are not legally required to do so.
However, your greatest challenge would be Texas Supreme Court’s relaxed position on the preservation of evidence. This makes it easier for truck companies to alter or destroy evidence to avoid paying you for a crash. They may “misplace” some documents, interfere with driving logs or destroy drug test results. But a resourceful attorney can help gather all the remaining evidence like “black box” records. The sooner you get a lawyer the more the evidence you may get to preserve.