But it was an Accident : The 5 Ways Trucking Companies Try to Get Away Without Paying After a Collision
An auto accident, especially if it involves a truck, could mean serious injuries or even death. Fighting the trucking company or their insurance provider for compensation is the last thing you want to do at this time. Unfortunately, many companies are not willing to pay their accident victims, meaning you will have to battle with them to get the compensation you deserve. Here are five ways truck companies try to get away without paying after an accident.
Calling the Victim
Expect to receive a call from the trucking company or their insurance provider after the accident. The call is usually friendly. The person will appear helpful and will convince you to record statements so that he can process your settlement quickly. Do not talk to anyone or record any statement. Remember this person only wants you to say something he can use against you in court. Hang up or tell him to talk to your lawyer instead.
Many truck companies try to avoid liability by creating distance between themselves, the trailer and driver. In such cases, the company obtains a permit to operate the truck but leases the trailer and other equipment they use for transportation. Some do not employ drivers directly. Instead, they hire from independent contractors. In case an accident occurs, the company will not be held liable because neither the driver nor the equipment belongs to them.
There are a lot of paperwork involved in personal injury cases. This may include driver logs, drug tests, criminal history records, inspection results, citations and many others. All these documents are difficult to handle, especially if you do not have a lawyer. Trucking companies know this, and they will do anything they can to alter these documents and destroy crucial evidence.
Also, the trucks have electronic devices that may record crucial information about the minutes leading to the crash. Trucking companies can destroy this box or manipulate the information inside to create legal loopholes in your case.
Blaming the Victim
A trucking company may claim that you caused the accident, rather than their driver. Some may even plant evidence on you so that you look guilty. When all the fingers are pointed at you, you will most likely lose the case in court. Never admit that the accident was your mistake, even if you were partially possible.
Giving Victims Money to Sign a Release
Some trucking companies will give you money to release them and their driver from any liability. The offer of cash may be tempting, but it will most likely come with an agreement document to sign. Signing such documents simply means that you will not be able to pursue a claim later on. This can be a big problem if the money you received is far much less than the compensation you expected.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first and one of the most important steps you need to take after an accident involving a truck is to hire a truck accident lawyer in your city. A lawyer knows all the tricks trucking companies use to avoid paying for damages after an accident. He will help you deal with any cunning moves the company might make to jeopardize your case. He will also work day in day out to protect your interests while at the same negotiating for the right compensation.
When hiring a lawyer, find someone who specializes in truck accidents only. Avoid lawyers who combine personal injury with other legal areas, such as divorce, employment law and criminal defense. Such lawyers will not give your case the time and attention it requires.