Truck accidents don’t happen as often as you might think. Car accidents are in fact more common than truck accidents, not just in Mississippi, but all over the U.S. But even if they are less frequent, truck accidents are responsible for a greater number of serious injuries and fatalities than any other type of road accident. The occupants of trucks involved in a collision are also less likely to be injured than anyone else. That includes pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and passengers and drivers of smaller vehicles. In one year alone, in 2015, there were 4,000 fatalities across the U.S. caused by a truck accident. Of that number of deaths, just under 70% of them were the occupants of smaller vehicles involved in the crash, while 22% were pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Despite the disproportionate statistics, truck company insurers often aggressively defend their clients, disputing damages claimed by victims of negligence by truck drivers and their employers. Any slight discrepancy in a plaintiff’s account of the accident, or what is claimed, may be seized upon by an insurer as an excuse to reject a claim. At the same time, trucking companies often unscrupulously attempt to reduce their exposure by removing evidence or covering it up to avoid claims of negligence or reduce potential damages claimed.
Anyone who has been injured in a truck accident through no fault of their own should seek legal assistance from an experienced truck accident attorney to ensure they frame their claim carefully to avoid outright rejection by a trucking company insurer.
Truck accident negligence
Most truck accidents have an identifiable cause. Any personal injury claim against an individual truck driver or truck company must be able to provide proof of negligence. Not all truck accidents are entirely the fault of a truck driver or the truck company. Some truck accidents are complex and multifactorial, so it is important that if another driver or party was involved that this is factored in to any personal injury claim. For example, if a truck driver tried to avoid a car driver who had suddenly crossed a center line onto their path, the driver’s response would have to be investigated before any blame could be ascribed to them. There is sometimes more than one party at fault and this must be acknowledged in a multiparty claim.
The most common reasons for a truck accident are oftentimes the usual ones, however: fatigue, speeding, intoxication, distracted driving, overloading, poor maintenance and defective truck parts or systems. Road conditions and bad weather should not be used as excuses by truck companies or their insurers because as experienced drivers, truck drivers should adapt to changing road conditions and stop or slow down if necessary rather than risk an accident by ignoring deteriorating conditions.
Mitigating damages in a personal injury claim after a truck accident
There are many reasons why a truck company insurer might dispute an insurance claim or personal injury claim against their client. Inaccuracies in a description of how an accident took place, exaggeration of damages and injuries, lack of care when calculating amounts lost can all be as damaging to success in obtaining compensation as underestimating damages and ending up with less compensation than should have been justified. An overestimation of damages can best be avoided by using an experienced truck accident attorney to help when preparing a claim. The following are some ways you can avoid endangering your claim after a truck accident.
1. Make sure you get a medical assessment and follow all medical advice. If you are advised to have tests or scans or medical treatment at a hospital, make sure you do so and obtain all documentation showing what has been recorded, including receipts and invoices for payments. One way insurers will try and avoid settling a claim is to indicate that you have no proof that an injury was caused by the truck accident or that the injury was less severe than you have claimed.
2. Avoid all mention or discussion of the accident on social media. Be very careful of what you post on social media as insurers may try and search for posts indicating you are less badly injured than you have claimed.
3. Use reasonable quotes for repairs to your car or other damaged property as well as careful and reliable calculations if there are likely to be long term issues related to your injury, e.g. ongoing physical therapy, specialist equipment or transportation requirements. Insurers will more likely settle a claim that seems to be an honest reflection of the scale of the injury than one that has been overinflated.
Make sure you use an experienced truck accident attorney after a serious truck accident
Talk to an experienced truck accident attorney at the Diaz Law Firm in Madison MS to discuss your chance of obtaining compensation. The Diaz Law Firm can be contacted at 601-607-3456 or toll free at 800-459-2222.