Financial responsibility for a car crash usually falls to the party who caused the wreck. Those who are not to blame for a collision expect to file an insurance claim to pay for vehicle repairs, hospital expenses and other costs. If the driver at fault for the crash does not have sufficient insurance, an injury victim might even file a personal injury lawsuit.
Semi-truck collisions are no exception to this rule. When a commercial vehicle causes a crash with a passenger vehicle, the occupants of the passenger vehicle usually expect appropriate compensation for the losses they have suffered. Sadly, they often fail to consider how difficult it can be to hold a commercial transportation company or its insurance provider accountable.
Why are semi-truck collision claims often so difficult for people to handle on their own?
The insurance requirements are significantly higher
Most insurance standards exist on a state-by-state basis. Most states require liability coverage, and a few require additional insurance, such as no-fault coverage. The insurance of the at-fault party can provide up to the policy limit in compensation for those affected by a collision. Sadly, insurance companies will often fight to pay as little as possible. Bigger policies often result in harsher opposition as opposed to more generosity. Insurance requirements for commercial trucks come from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Any truck that weighs at least 10,001 pounds will have to carry a minimum of $750,000 in coverage.
The insurance company will therefore fight aggressively to limit how much the organization pays after a crash. It may intentionally offer a low settlement when they know that the other party has suffered catastrophic losses and is in a state of financial distress due to a loss of income. It may also try to convince people that their claim is not worth what they think it is by undermining their estimates. Aggressive negotiating tactics, including trying to trick people into admitting partial fault or stonewalling, which involves a refusal to communicate, often make people feel desperate to get any sort of seemingly reasonable offer.
People may not know what their claim is worth
As if aggressive insurance responses weren’t enough reason for concern, many times those involved in a semi-truck collision don’t yet understand the full financial consequences of a crash. Especially when someone dies, families may underestimate what a lifetime loss of their income will mean for the household.
Those coping with the tragic aftermath of a semi-truck collision often require legal guidance if they hope to get an appropriate amount of compensation. Bringing in professional help can make all the difference for those anticipating intense negotiations or litigation following a semi-truck crash.