Responding To Offers From The Insurance Company Following A Truck Accident
If you have recently been involved in a truck accident, the insurance company for the liable party may have already reached out to you. The insurance company usually wants to connect with the victim as soon as they can. You may have already filed your claim as well, hoping that a fair settlement will help you pay for the overwhelming mountain of medical bills and expenses piling up.
However, when the insurance company contacts you and gives you their first settlement offer, it may not be as you expected. It may not reflect the actual cost of your injuries. Many insurance companies start with the lowest possible offer right after an accident because they are more concerned with their overall financial liability.
What can you do to combat low-ball insurance company offers?
Find An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The first step is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help determine how much compensation you should seek for your injuries. The attorney can also explain the process and any limitations imposed by the truck driver's insurance policies. Their knowledge and expertise can prove to be valuable as you work on receiving a fair settlement offer from the insurance company.
The next step is to evaluate your injuries and add up the medical expenses. Some may only sustain simple injuries as the result of the truck accident; however, others may find that their bills and expenses are more challenging to calculate.
If you have a higher risk of complications or infection, that can substantially alter the amount of compensation you need because the treatments may be more extensive. For example, if you end up suffering from spinal cord damage, it can be hard to determine what your physical state will be six months after the truck accident.
In some cases, you may have to wait until you can progress further through your treatment before an accurate amount of compensation can be calculated. The first settlement offer from the insurance company will most likely not keep any of this in mind.
Keep all of your medical bills organized and in one place. These include ambulance transport, hospitalization, required medical equipment, ongoing appointments and follow-ups, therapy, and anything else related to your injuries.
Evaluate The Insurance Policy
Insurance companies often have specific policies that determine payment structures. This can affect the amount of compensation they offer for a single truck accident. The initial offer from the insurance company doesn't always reflect the full amount of compensation you should receive according to the policy.
Your personal injury attorney can help evaluate the insurance policy to determine exactly what it covers. They will take a closer look at the full terms and provide you with a better estimate of what you are likely to receive from the policy.
Determine Shared Liability
The attorney will then help determine if there is any shared liability in the truck accident claim. Shared liability can affect the compensation you receive for your injuries. Other liable parties in a truck accident may include the driver, the trucking company, the mechanic who most recently worked on the truck, the manufacturer of the truck, and the company that loaded the truck.
Once a full understanding is gained on the shared liability, you will have a clear picture of what you can accept from the insurance company.
Declining The Initial Offer
Once you receive the initial offer from the insurance company, your attorney can create a response formally declining it. This gives you time to progress with your medical treatment and recover from your injuries.
In the response, the attorney can include all of your medical expenses, final expectations, and any other evidence directly related to the truck accident.
Consulting an attorney before accepting an initial offer is important to ensure that you receive the correct amount of compensation for your injuries.