Accidents involving larger commercial trucks often result in significant property damage and major injuries. Unfortunately, recovering compensation after these incidents occur can be challenging. Going through the insurance settlement process can be arduous, and anyone in these situations should contact a skilled truck accident attorney in Phoenix immediately.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement in a truck accident claim is an amount of compensation paid to a crash victim negotiated between the injury victim and their attorney and the truck company and their insurance carrier.
Settlements occur before a final personal injury trial becomes necessary. The main benefit of accepting a settlement versus going to trial is that the settlement will typically happen much quicker than a resolution through trial. Additionally, individuals typically have more control over a settlement negotiation, meaning they are typically guaranteed the payment made in the settlement, whereas going to trial means that the case could go either way, and a person could end up with nothing.
The Investigation Could Take a While
Even though an insurance settlement is almost always going to occur faster than the result of a personal injury trial, that does not mean it will necessarily happen quickly. Our truck accident lawyers in Glendale, AZ know that trucking accidents are complex, and the investigation into the incident could take quite some time. This not only includes an investigation of the initial accident scene, but there is often a need to dig into the records of the truck driver or the trucking company.
In some cases, it may be necessary for accident reconstruction experts to piece together what happened based on the evidence they have and put it into a 3D model for insurance carriers.
First Settlement Offers Aren’t Great
The first settlement offer made by the truck insurance carrier likely is going to be far below what a victim should receive for their claim. Truck crash victims should expect this upfront and not be shocked. Rather, they should use the initial settlement offer as the starting point for extensive negotiations upward.
You Can Negotiate
Many people do not realize that they can negotiate with insurance carriers. It is expected. When an insurance carrier makes that initial low settlement offer, they are under no delusion that the offer will be accepted. However, insurance carriers sometimes prey on the naivete of individuals and will certainly not tell a person that they are allowed to negotiate.
If a person accepts that lower settlement, the insurance carrier is going to payout the claim and be done. After a person signs a settlement agreement, there is no way to go back and reopen the case if the injuries end up being more extensive than originally understood.
Don’t Settle Until Your Medical Treatment Has Concluded
One of the biggest mistakes of person can make is to accept a settlement before their medical treatment has concluded. After a truck crash occurs, victims must continue all medical treatment prescribed by their doctor until they have recovered, or at least until the doctor determines that further medical treatment is unlikely to improve the condition.
Any person who accepts a settlement and then realizes that they need more treatment will be unable to reopen the claim and recover additional compensation from the trucking company or the insurance carrier.