Trucking companies spend fortunes to reduce the amount they have to pay in accident settlements. If you’ve been in an accident, you can count on them playing dirty to try to reduce their liability to you. It’s very easy for them to get vital information from you that can do just this if you aren’t sure what to expect from them. Knowing what tactics they’ll try to use can help you avoid falling into a trap that could reduce the financial compensation you may receive.
The Company Makes A Friendly Call
After your accident, you might receive a call from the trucking company’s insurance provider. The call will seem friendly, and the agent on the line may say they’re trying to help you obtain money from your settlement as soon as possible. Unfortunately, they are trying to collect information that could be used against you to reduce the trucking company’s settlement payout. Anything you say can and will be used against you, even if you say you’re “okay,” so if you receive this call, it’s best to simply refuse to speak with them.
They Say You Don’t Need a Lawyer
During their initial attempts to contact you, the trucking company will attempt to present themselves as friendly, empathetic, and apologetic. Don’t believe them. They have what’s known as an ‘apology program” st in place which scripts the interactions their representatives are supposed to have with someone after an accident. They will try to subtly sway you to settle with them without speaking with a truck accident lawyer first,
The Settlement Offer is Too Small
After an accident, the trucking company may offer a settlement, and in all likelihood, it will be far less than what you’re entitled to. You’ve likely missed work, suffered extensive injuries and have numerous hospital bills, and likely lost your vehicle. You face enormous current and future expenses, and this is your one chance to recoup them. Filing a lawsuit against the insurance company can help bring them to the negotiating table.
The Company Hides or Destroys Evidence
Even though it’s illegal, in many lawsuits involving truck accidents the trucking company will try to hide or destroy incriminating evidence that could leave them on the hook for a major settlement payout. Tactics they could pursue include the following:
- Deletion of onboard computer logs that show a driver’s location
- Preventing a driver from getting tested for drug or alcohol usage
- Alteration of the driver’s hour logs, especially if they were over the legal limit
- Hiding a driver’s cell phone usage leading up to the accident
Trucking companies have their own legal representative who can build a case on whatever information they provide, but yours can help you uncover what they don’t reveal. A lawyer who is experienced in trucking accidents can determine if the company is hiding something and how they might have done it, which can strengthen your hand in negotiations.
They Try to Wait You Out
The trucking company has immense financial resources compared to an individual and can afford to draw out a case for as long as possible. Unfortunately, it’s likely that you can’t. Every day that goes by brings added expenses, whether it’s from lack of work, more medical bills, or more credit card debt ticking up. The longer the trucking company can wait to pay your settlement, the less they hope to pay, on the hopes that you eventually give in to their tactics.
A truck accident can cause immense personal and financial harm, and may even take the life of a loved one. You deserve full compensation from the trucking company for the accident, and an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you get it.