Truck accidents can be devastating on many different levels, especially physically and financially. Because truck accidents tend to result in critical injuries and fatalities at a higher rate than other types of auto accidents, the effects of a truck collision can be much more challenging.
While it’s clear that victims of truck accidents are going to deal with medical bills, physical injuries, and emotional suffering, here are some lesser known obstacles that families often face after a truck crash.
Insurance Companies and Aggressive Legal Teams
One of the most challenging issues that people must deal with after a truck accident is insurance companies and aggressive legal teams. This can be quite different than dealing with an insurance company or the private lawyer of a motor vehicle driver after an accident.
Trucking companies often have lawyers on standby. In fact, many people who were involved in an accident report that they saw lawyers on the scene even before all the debris was cleared away. Because trucking companies often deal with accidents caused by their drivers, they have attorneys ready to dispatch at a moment’s notice to help ensure that any questionable evidence is retrieved.
Insurance companies are also difficult for truck accident victims to deal with because insurance adjusters will often attempt to intimidate or bully victims. Adjusters may make victims feel like it’s impossible to go up against such a large company for a fair settlement. They often pressure victims to accept the lowest settlement possible in order to put the case to bed and save money – even if the settlement offered is nowhere near what the victim deserves.
Falsification of Records and Poorly Kept Records
Trucking companies make money by transporting goods from one place to another as quickly as possible. Drivers are usually paid by the mile, meaning that the more miles they log in the shortest period of time, the more they earn. This leads drivers to push themselves past what is legal (e.g., driving over the limit of legal consecutive hours).
Trucking companies know this and may even encourage drivers to falsify the records on their logs. This is an attempt to hide the fact that many drivers break the law to earn more money for themselves and, ultimately, the company.
If a truck malfunction caused the accident, it may be difficult to determine who is at fault if records were poorly kept. Trucking companies should keep records of any and all service and maintenance performed on a truck, what was done, and who performed the service. However, victims may find that these records are missing or poorly kept, therefore making it impossible to determine when the truck was last serviced. Ultimately, this means that the truck could be too dangerous to safely operate.
After a truck accident, it’s not uncommon for evidence to “disappear.” This includes written logs kept by the driver of the truck or even the recorded information on the truck’s black box. Currently, there are no laws against trucking companies deleting their own records or destroying them, unless there’s a legal action filed that prevents them from doing so. For this reason, it is absolutely critical to retain an attorney soon after a truck accident. An attorney can file a motion making it against the law for the trucking company to destroy potentially pertinent evidence.
When to Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
Even though it may be difficult to reach out to an attorney after a truck accident, especially if you or a loved one were critically injured or a loved one was killed, it is in your best interests to contact one as soon as you are able. Although insurance companies may attempt to make it look like they are on your side, rest assured that they are not. Their job is to help the trucking company pay out as little in damages as possible.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we can help you go up against large trucking companies with zeal after an accident. Our aggressive approach can help you preserve evidence and let trucking companies know that you won’t be pushed around. Call us today for a consultation to discuss your claim in detail at (855) 693-9084.