Insurance companies are for-profit. Although they advertise with slogans such as, “On Your Side,” they do not care about you as much as they care about their bottom lines. This is why it is important to understand how to deal with an insurance company after a truck accident. If you wish to obtain a fair settlement, take certain steps to protect your rights.
You may know that an insurance company doesn’t want what is best for you, but you should still remain polite during conversations with insurance representatives and claims adjusters. Being rude or angry will not convince the insurance company to give you a better settlement. Be friendly during your conversations, while at the same time being wary of their tactics and conscious of protecting yourself.
First, do not admit fault for the truck accident. Do not take accountability for the accident or say that you’re sorry, as this could be taken as an admittance of guilt. Even if you believe you played a role in the accident, something else may have also contributed, such as a dangerous roadway or distracted truck driver. Rather than admitting fault upfront and losing your right to recover, wait for an investigation to determine the cause of the crash.
The insurance claims adjuster will begin the investigation by asking you questions about the truck accident. Keep in mind that the trucking company’s insurance carrier wants the truck company to win. Even if you are speaking to your own insurance provider to resolve your claim, they will want to diminish your payout as much as possible.
Rather than giving the insurance company too much information with long, narrative answers, keep your answers short and to the point. Give the facts of the case as you know them, such as the date and location of the crash, but do not speculate. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say this. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to a claims adjuster after a truck accident, you have the right to hire an attorney to communicate on your behalf.
Requesting a recorded statement from you is a common tactic used by insurance companies to get you to say something that they can use against you later. If you are recorded as saying that your injuries aren’t very serious, for example, it can be more difficult to obtain fair compensation if you are diagnosed with further injuries later. Never say yes to giving a recorded statement to an insurance company. Instead, politely explain that you or your attorney will submit a written statement later.
You have more power than you might realize during insurance claim negotiations after a truck accident. Although the insurance representative working on your claim may sound confident in an assessment of your losses or the value of your claim, this is a strategy to convince you to settle for less than you deserve. Disregard scare tactics, such as telling you that a settlement is the best or final offer. You always have the ability to negotiate for a better settlement value, even if that means taking your case to court.
Insurance companies are experts at devaluing claims and diminishing client payouts. Trucking companies are also practiced at using their significant resources to dismantle claims against them. For example, they often send rapid response teams to the scenes of truck accidents immediately – even before the police arrive – to investigate and collect evidence. While these teams are allegedly unbiased, they work for the trucking company and may interfere with your ability to collect evidence of your own.
The best way to level the playing field between you and an insurance company after a truck accident is by hiring a truck accident attorney in Dallas. An attorney understands the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid liability and large payouts and can help you navigate your claim for the best possible outcome. An insurance company is more likely to take you seriously and treat your claim fairly if you hire a lawyer to represent you.