Getting involved in an accident caused by a semi-truck can be a devastating experience. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), truck collisions often result in severe or fatal injuries to occupants of smaller passenger vehicles.
Given that trucks weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger vehicle, it is not surprising that these crashes frequently cause serious harm. It is important for individuals and their families to know that compensation may be available by filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit and seeking a settlement.
Yet the prospect of filing a claim can be daunting, especially when you do not know how much you may be able to receive. If you are considering filing a claim, you probably want to know: what is the process for commercial truck accident settlements?
The following are the most common steps in a commercial truck accident case where the injured party is seeking a settlement.
1. Working with a Lawyer to File a
Commercial Truck Insurance Claim
The first step in the process for seeking a commercial truck accident settlement is to file an insurance claim. Both state and federal regulations exist concerning commercial truck accident insurance requirements, and a person who is injured because of a truck driver’s negligence may be able to file a commercial truck insurance claim through the truck company’s insurer.
Typically the truck driver is covered by the employer’s insurance, and anyone who is injured in a collision can seek compensation.
To be clear, as long as you are not at fault for the accident, you can file a commercial truck insurance claim whether the truck driver, the truck owner, the loader of the truck, or another party is responsible for the crash.
Commercial truck insurance is designed to provide coverage for property damage and personal injuries in crashes with various causes. However, you should always seek advice from a lawyer as soon as possible as you file your claim since the claims process can be complicated.
2. Negotiating an Insurance Settlement
with the Help of Your Attorney
Once you file a commercial truck insurance claim, the next step in the settlement process if negotiating an insurance settlement. You should not do this without the help of an experienced attorney.
You should also keep in mind that, in negotiations for a settlement with the insurance company, you should never accept the first offer. Insurance companies anticipate negotiating, and your lawyer can assist you with this process.
3. Filing a Lawsuit Against the Responsible
Party and Continuing Settlement Negotiations
If you cannot obtain a settlement by filing an insurance claim, the next step in the process is filing a lawsuit. Just because you have filed a lawsuit against the trucker, the trucking company, or another responsible party does not mean that the settlement negotiations process will end.
Rather, during any phase of the litigation process, your attorney can negotiate with the defendant for a reasonable settlement. All the way up until there is a verdict, the defendant can offer to settle, and if you are happy with the settlement offer, you can accept it.
Seek Advice from an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Serving Clients in Texas, New Mexico, and North Dakota
Do you need advice about seeking a commercial truck accident settlement or filing a commercial truck accident claim? An experienced Texas and New Mexico truck accident attorney can assist you.
An advocate at our firm can get started on your case today and discuss your options for seeking financial compensation. Contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. for more information.