Being involved in a truck accident can be a harrowing experience even without suffering personal injuries. But, when injuries are included as a result of the accident, they are normally serious. Truck accidents commonly include multiple vehicles when an 18-wheeler has gone out of control for any particular reason, often jackknifing in the highway as it continues on a path to more damage.
No standard truck or car is a physical match for a big-rig. Not only do personal vehicles suffer extensive damage, including a total loss in most cases, but fatalities are also very common results of big-rig accidents. This further complicates accidents that are already complicated by virtue of the fact that multiple vehicles were impacted and other drivers involved, all of which will be assessed for personal contribution to causing the crash.
Although Arkansas is a “no fault” auto insurance state, fault will still be an issue when total available damages are calculated. Even in clear cases of truck driver negligence, the respondent litigants will still attempt to avoid or lessen a claim. What all of this means is that all parties injured in a big-rig accident will need aggressive and experienced legal representation from a truck accident attorney if they want proper compensation.
Insurance Company Claim Negotiations
All insurance companies have a policy protocol when dealing with accident claims, largely because businesses that utilize big-rigs for marketing products will also normally have significantly higher insurance protection than a typical motorist. However, residents of Arkansas will first file a benefits claim with their own insurance provider, which can put an injured driver in a compromising position with their own insurance company when the amount of total benefits is being contested. In addition, the personal auto insurance policy of the injured claimant may not be enough to cover all medical bills and other claimable damages.
Luckily in a truck accident, this is not the only avenue of financial recovery because employers normally carry higher levels of insurance protection as well as other forms of insurance, such as a standard business liability policy. The respondent insurance company could also provide the legal team for the defendants if the shipping company does not have a legal department, but very often each defendant will have an attorney looking to lessen the fault level of their client.
Your Attorney Selection Can Matter
Because of the potential for each party to the accident to have legal representation, all of which are trained professional negotiators, it is vital for any injured victim to have the same aggressive and experienced legal counsel protecting their financial recovery rights. Insurance companies and shipping companies alike are primarily concerned with limiting the total expense of the wreck, regardless of how seriously injured a claimant may be. Individuals who are fatally injured will also have standing for a wrongful death claim in certain situations of gross negligence.
The insurance companies deal with truck accident cases regularly and have little compassion for the claimant, including claiming the claimant is responsible for their own injuries. Your Blytheville truck accident attorney from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi can perform a private investigation into the accident and identify all potentially liable actors while building a strong case that defends against bad faith assertions of the respondents.
Potential Damages and Additional Claims
All truck accidents are not equal when finally determining damages. Typical compensatory damages will be for remaining medical bills after the victim’s personal insurance coverage is maximized and will usually include remaining lost wages and compensation for the damaged vehicle unless the claimant was a passenger. Non-economic damages for pain-and-suffering are also considered compensatory and will be an additional part of the claim.
Passengers are not assessed for comparative negligence in a truck accident claim and should be eligible for full compensation. Drivers are assessed for comparative negligence and the percentage is used by the insurance companies and the employer to discount the total payout. Punitive damages may also be available in certain cases when the driver or shipping company actions can be proven in a trial as gross negligence. This form of compensation is reserved for very serious cases, but can be used to enhance the value of a claim significantly.
It is important to never attempt handling a truck accident insurance claim personally, even when dealing directly with your own auto insurance company. Always retain an experienced and aggressive Blytheville truck accident lawyer like the legal pros at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi who can investigate the claim and craft a solid case that will produce a maximized financial settlement.