The number one rule to dealing with the insurance company is don’t talk to them at all.
Over 105,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents on North Carolina roads in 2020, and keep in mind that was a year with significantly less traffic because of the pandemic restrictions. Around 10% of the accidents nationwide involve some type of truck and these are the most dangerous crashes. Truck accidents often cause horrific injuries requiring complicated surgeries and extensive medical care. All these cost a lot of money and to get them you’ll need some very experienced North Carolina truck accident lawyers.
What kind of damages can I get?
Just to give you an idea of the kind of damages we’re talking about – the average cost of non-lethal injuries was $168,000, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. As for fatal injuries, the average damages in a wrongful death claim amounted to $3,123,000.
That’s a lot of money and no insurance company in the country is willing to pay that kind of damages without putting up a good fight. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and they hate it when they have to settle a big claim. A small dent to your car, they can pay for that. You’ve certainly paid many times over that amount. When it comes to serious injuries and large claims, they’ll be looking for ways to minimize the amount you deserve.
That’s where having a skilled Charlotte truck accident lawyer will do all the difference.
How to deal with the insurance adjusters? Don’t!
The number one rule to dealing with the insurance company is don’t talk to them at all. If they learn you’re in a hospital, confused, in pain and worried about medical bills they’ll try to catch you off guard and pressure you into settling.
Rule number two – don’t settle early and don’t ever accept their first offer. Never. It will most certainly be much lower than what you truly deserve. Also, by settling early you’re taking a huge risk. You don’t know exactly when you’ll recover or if you’ll be able to resume your old job. If you’re left with some disability you might be forced to take a lower-paying job. If you take the money, you won’t be able to go back in and ask for more damages. Leave all negotiations to a skilled truck accident lawyer.
By getting yourself a good accident attorney sooner rather than later you have a better chance of establishing the true cause of the accident and knowing who to direct your claim against.
When can the trucking company be held accountable?
When it comes to truck accidents it is more difficult to determine liabilities. If the driver was speeding, distracted or drunk, that’s on them. However, if your attorney suspects driver fatigue they will investigate the driver’s working hours in the days prior to the accident. You might have a case against the company if it turns out his employers were encouraging him to ignore road safety regulations.
Also, if there was some type of malfunction, your lawyer will file a claim against the trucking company, as they are responsible for the truck’s maintenance. If the accident was caused by the fact that the truck was overloaded or the load was not properly balanced or secured, you can file a claim against whoever was responsible for that part.
When you sustain severe, potentially life-changing accidents, you need a lawyer to identify the party responsible. A large trucking company can certainly pay more than a regular truck driver with limited liability insurance, but you can bet they also have enough money to hire good lawyers.