If you were involved in a truck accident, you may have questions that need to be answered. You have hospital bills and vehicle repair expenses that add up. Meanwhile, your doctor advises you to take time off from work until you recover. It could be months, and possibly years, before you get your life back.
At Smith Law Office, we're often asked by clients: "who pays for my damages after a truck accident?" The short answer is the insurance companies that represent the trucking company. That's because Ohio is an "at-fault" or "tort" state. But getting compensated after a truck accident is not that simple. The insurance company red tape could turn your truck accident case into a complicated and lengthy process. Here's what you should know.
Insurance companies don't want to compensate you
Large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs. when fully loaded with cargo. This makes large trucks a significant liability to insurance companies. When a crash occurs, insurance companies stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sometimes, the damages in dollar amounts are up in the millions. They will fight tooth and nail to keep their costs as low as possible.
Truck accidents, in particular, are complex because there are often multiple insurance companies involved. The cab, trailer, and cargo of a large commercial truck are usually insured separately. If multiple people were injured in the same truck accident, there will be other parties besides yourself seeking damages from the insurance companies.
Insurance companies would rather bury the case than compensate truck accident victims to the fullest extent. To do this, they will likely offer a quick, meager settlement to those injured in a crash. The amount of money you would likely receive from a quick settlement would be enough to cover only a fraction of your damages. Once you accept a settlement from an insurance company, you will no longer have the right to pursue additional damages.
While it may be tempting to take a settlement during a time of need, you may later find out that you need an operation or you need to take several months off from work. This can be financially devastating if you don't have the funds to cover your losses. That's why you should always speak to an experienced Ohio truck accident attorney first. Never accept a settlement unless it has been agreed upon by your attorney and the insurance companies. If an agreement can't be reached, your attorney can take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation through a court verdict.
Why you need an experienced attorney to handle your case
Without a highly skilled Ohio truck accident attorney on your side, the odds are against you. You're up against a trucking company and insurance companies who can afford to hire the best attorneys money can buy. You need a strong legal advocate in your corner with the experience and clout to take on the insurance companies and get results.
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by negligence, Smith Law Office will get to the bottom of it. Through an in-depth investigation, we may learn that the truck driver was impaired, distracted, or drowsy at the time of your crash. We may also learn that the trucking company failed to comply with state and federal laws by maintaining its vehicles or enforcing the federal hours-of-service rule. We'll work tirelessly to uncover critical evidence to support your claim and fight to maximize your compensation.
Our law firm offers free case evaluations and works on a contingency fee basis. That means you don't pay for our legal services unless we win your case. To learn more, contact us online or call our Columbus office.