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What Is the Truck Accident Claim Process?

Posted on October 10, 2023 in Truck Accidents

The physical injuries, emotional trauma, property damages, and the accompanying financial implications add to the strain after a truck accident.

A Phoenix truck accident lawyer can explain the claim process and help you tread through these difficult times. After examining the claim process with your lawyer, you can better determine how long it will likely take to move forward with your claim and what you can expect as you deal with the insurance company following your truck accident.

The Definition of a Truck Accident Claim

A truck accident claim occurs when a trucking accident victim formally requests compensation from an insurance company following a truck accident. This claim seeks financial compensation for any accident-related damages and losses.

Understanding the Basics of Truck Accident Claims

What Is the Truck Accident Claim Process

You may sustain damages after a truck accident, including physical injuries, emotional distress, property damage, and loss of income. You can file a truck accident claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to recover from these losses.

Your claim will seek compensation for all accident-related costs. A claim succeeds only when the insurance company approves and agrees to pay for the determined damages. Insurance companies often challenge your claim and make it more difficult to receive the compensation you deserve.

Different Types of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can happen in several ways, each with unique circumstances and potential liabilities.

Common types of truck accidents include:

  • Jackknife accidents: This accident occurs when the truck cab and its attached trailer fold into a V-shape, similar to a pocket knife. As the trailer swings out of control, it can pull the truck out of position, leading to a devastating collision.
  • Rollover accidents: This accident happens when the truck tips over onto its side or roof.
  • Underride accidents: This accident type is extremely hazardous and occurs when a larger truck traps a smaller vehicle underneath it. They usually take place at the truck’s rear end.
  • Lost load accidents: This accident involves cases where items from a truck’s cargo fall onto the road, causing other vehicles to crash.
  • Rear-end collisions: This collision occurs when a truck crashes into the vehicle in front of it.

Each truck accident type requires different investigation procedures and different evidence for the claim.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Knowing the cause of your truck accident can make it easier to determine the reasons for your accident and who may share liability. An experienced truck accident lawyer can analyze your circumstances and discuss your next steps, including how to file a claim.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Many factors can cause a truck accident.

Here are the most common causes that extend beyond poor road conditions.

  • Driver fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and cover great distances, which leads to fatigue and decreased alertness.
  • Distracted driving: Eating, using a cell phone, or performing any other activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road can cause an accident.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, changing lanes without signaling, and following other vehicles too closely can easily result in an accident.
  • Lack of training: A truck driver without proper training can pose a significant risk on the road. The ongoing truck driver shortage means that many trucking companies may press drivers to get on the road before they receive adequate training.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance: Failure to regularly check and maintain the truck can lead to mechanical failures that result in accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines specific maintenance requirements for big trucks.
  • Load issues: Overloading or incorrectly loading the truck can cause instability or increase the likelihood of the vehicle rolling over.
  • Alcohol or drug use: Substance abuse impairs the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. Truck drivers may have an increased risk for alcohol and drug use due to their long work hours and frequent isolation from friends and family members.

Truck Accidents Statistics

Accurate and up-to-date statistics can provide a clearer picture of the severity and prevalence of truck accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large truck accidents cause approximately 101,000 injuries in the United States annually, with around one percent of the accidents proving fatal.

These figures underscore the grave risk of truck accidents and how many people experience physical, emotional, and financial hardships after an accident. You need a lawyer who understands the truck accident claim process to secure necessary compensation.

Steps to Take Immediately After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, these steps can prepare you for the upcoming truck accident claim process.

Contacting a Lawyer

Contact a lawyer after taking care of your immediate medical needs and reporting the accident. An experienced truck accident attorney can guide you through the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights. They can maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve from your truck accident claim.

Reviewing the Police Report

Carefully reviewing the police report following your truck accident will benefit your claim. The police report typically includes essential details, such as the accident’s date, time, and location. It may also contain details of the involved parties and a description of the accident, including any contributing factors.

Photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and initial assessments of damages to both vehicles and any property are also generally present. These details constitute vital evidence that supports your account of the truck accident.

The insurance company may rely heavily on this report during the claim process. If the police report contains any inaccuracies or discrepancies, work with your lawyer to ensure the police report only contains the most accurate information.

Following Medical Care Recommendations

Following your healthcare provider’s medical care recommendations and treatment plans is crucial after a truck accident. Adhering to the provided medical advice and recommendations contributes to your recovery and aids in your truck accident claim. Documenting your injuries and treatment plans demonstrates their severity and your lifestyle changes from the accident, potentially influencing the compensation you receive.

If you disregard medical advice or skip appointments, the insurance company could argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Maintaining your medical treatment plan will protect your health and your claim.

Every step you take after the accident can significantly influence the outcome of your truck accident claim. Knowing what to do and acting on those stages is the best way to receive the maximum compensation and ensure recovery.

The Truck Accident Claim Process

Understanding the truck accident claim process is vital for successfully navigating your claim. This process involves several steps that you must follow to receive the compensation you deserve. Each phase requires careful consideration and attention to detail to increase the chance of a favorable outcome.

A Step-by-Step Walkthrough of the Claim Process

The truck accident claim process comprises several steps:

  • Contact an attorney: Contact an experienced truck accident attorney. They can guide you through the claim process and navigate any obstacles.
  • Initiate claim process: Your attorney will initiate the claim process, which includes notifying the responsible party’s insurance company about the accident.
  • Investigate the accident: Your attorney will investigate the accident to determine liability. They will evaluate the evidence, interview witnesses, and potentially inspect the vehicles.
  • Negotiate the settlement: Once the investigation ends, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company. Your attorney will fight for the maximum compensation possible for your damages.
  • Proceed to the settlement or lawsuit: If your attorney cannot reach a settlement with the liable party or their insurance company, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
  • Potentially fight at trial: After filing a lawsuit, you may need to go to trial if the liable party does not offer reasonable compensation for your damages.

At each stage of the truck accident claim process, an attorney can ensure the smooth processing of your claim, making it easier for you to receive the compensation you deserve. A skilled attorney can also protect your rights and ensure you receive the legal support you need throughout the claim.


The Role of Insurance Companies in Truck Accident Claims

You will deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company throughout the claim process. Insurance companies play a primary role in granting or contesting your claim, and their participation often determines your compensation.

How the Process Involves Insurance Companies

Insurance companies pay most of the compensation to truck accident victims. Immediately after an accident, the victim or their attorney will notify the at-fault party’s insurance company about the incident to initiate the claim process.

The insurance company investigates the accident to establish the facts, ascertain liability, and evaluate the damages. The investigation includes appraising the evidence, interviewing witnesses, and conducting vehicle inspections.

Insurance companies often minimize the payout or deny the claim to protect their financial health. Their strategies can include questioning the severity of the injuries, arguing about the liability, and disputing the cost of damages.

Robert W. Boatman - Experienced Lawyer for Truck Accident Cases near Phoenix, AZ area

Robert W. Boatman, Truck Accident Attorney in Phoenix

Dealing With Insurance Adjusters

The insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and negotiate the settlement. The company aims to settle the claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. The first settlement offer will rarely pay what you rightfully deserve, so work with a legal representative who can secure the compensation you deserve.

Do not make definitive statements about the accident or your injuries without discussing it with your lawyer. An adjuster will use any statements you make to reduce the settlement amount.

Contact a Lawyer After a Truck Accident

If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a truck accident or find the claim process overwhelming, you are not alone. Contact a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to learn more about the truck accident claim process, the compensation you deserve, and how you can protect yourself.