Besides going up against powerful insurance companies, victims also have to take on major trucking companies that have extensive legal representation, resources, and money.
If you are like most people, your only exposure to auto insurance companies has been purchasing and maintaining a car insurance policy, which is not sufficient to prepare you for a claim against a big trucking company should you ever need to make one. Large trucking companies have huge insurance policies from big-name companies protected by a team of aggressive attorneys and well-seasoned claims adjusters. If you are ever injured in a truck accident in New Mexico, and you don’t have an Albuquerque truck accident attorney to represent you, the reality is that most insurance adjusters and their teams of attorneys will put a great deal of effort into paying you as little as possible no matter how reckless their actions were or how severe your injuries are.
If you are not familiar with how a truck accident claim works, the insurance adjuster will use this to their advantage. They will delay and deny as much as possible to avoid paying you what you are fairly owed. If you postpone getting medical treatment or contradict yourself even the tiniest bit, they will claim your injuries are not as serious as you are making them out to be.
If you or a family member have been involved in a commercial trucking accident, make sure you get proper legal representation right away to ensure your rights are protected and that you do not fall victim to any of the underhanded tactics commonly used by truck insurance companies. Here are some of the most common tactics they employ:
Delays and Poor Communication
Insurance companies are well aware of the unenviable position you are in after a serious trucking accident. Victims are often dealing with painful injuries, mounting medical bills, uncertainty about their future, and many other issues as well.
Insurance adjusters know this and will seize every available opportunity to use your current situation against you.
Stall tactics are a common ploy used by insurance companies. These deliberate delays are meant to make claimants frustrated and increasingly impatient. Not only will this chip away at your resolve, but it also makes it more likely that you will accept a lowball settlement because you are in dire need of money. It also inches your case closer to the New Mexico statute of limitations.
In New Mexico, you have three years to file a truck accident lawsuit. The longer the truck company can hinder your case, the closer they push you toward the deadline, making you more and more desperate to settle your claim.
In addition to a lack of communication, you can expect the communication you do receive to be insincere and contentious. Representatives of trucking companies and their insurance adjusters will prey on your lack of legal knowledge by applying fictitious deadlines to your case and asking you for recorded statements and copies of your medical records, neither of which you should ever provide.
Even when the insurance company appears to be doing right by you, like offering to cover your hospital bills or repair your car, you can rest assured they are doing it with an agenda in mind. One minute, everything seems fine, and the next, they are using something you gave them against you. Depending on the nature of the information and how they twist it to suit their own ends, it could irreparably damage your ability to collect the financial compensation you are entitled to.
Undervaluing Your Claim
Offering an insultingly low settlement after a truck accident is basically the industry standard. Even though the insurance adjuster knows exactly how much your case is worth, you can count on them offering you considerably less.
An insurance company is a business. They have absolutely no interest in paying out fair compensation. Their main objective is to minimize or deny payments as much and as often as possible in order to protect the company’s bottom line.
Without qualified legal representation, it is hard to know the true value of your truck accident claim and recognize when the insurance company is lowballing you. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can protect your rights and seek maximum compensation for your damages.
Refusing to Negotiate
If you decide to reject the insurance company’s initial offer, which you should, there is a very good chance they will refuse to negotiate. As affable as they seem, insurance adjusters are highly trained negotiators. They know if their opening offer seems disingenuous, they will quickly lose ground.
Instead, they will try to play hardball by being unnecessarily aggressive. In some instances, this could be an act. The best way to call their bluff is by reminding them that you don’t need to negotiate to get your money; you can simply take them to court.
For the most part, insurance companies do not want to go to court. It is tedious, time-consuming, and costs a lot of money. If you have no druthers about filing a lawsuit, it sends a message to the insurance company that you are not playing around and are willing to fight for what is rightfully yours.
Knowing when an insurance adjuster is putting on an act and how to handle it is best left to an experienced trucking accident lawyer. Being unreasonable can be just as damaging to your truck accident claim as being naive.
In many cases, the insurance company will not offer a settlement at all. This is usually because they are going to dispute fault for the accident. There are a few reasons they might do this.
For instance, the insurance company might claim you were liable for the truck accident or, at the very least, that there isn’t enough evidence to prove they were at fault. This is where the urgency of evidence collection becomes critical; everything from black box recordings and pictures of the scene to background checks and phone records.
Once this evidence is preserved, it can be used to substantiate the trucking company’s liability. A lack of strong evidence, however, will make negotiations very difficult.
The insurance company might also argue that only the truck driver was liable and not the truck company itself. Nonetheless, truck companies are required to employ only well-trained, dependable truck drivers. Failing to do their due diligence when hiring a new driver can make the trucking company liable, even if driver negligence was the sole cause of the accident.
Truck accident claims are intricate because they are made up of a lot of moving parts. Besides going up against powerful insurance companies, victims also have to take on major trucking companies that have extensive legal representation, resources, and money. A skilled Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer can help you build a strong case for compensation and protect your financial future.