As a responsible driver, you have car insurance. And if you’re in a car crash, you’ll hope the other driver has insurance, too. Yours and the other driver’s—those are usually all the different insurance companies you’ll hear about after a car crash. But truck accidents are a bit different.
There are often more than two insurance companies invested in a truck crash. In fact, the exact number will change with the circumstances, but you can expect that each company will look out for its own interests. You can also expect those interests will conflict with yours.
Multiple ways to split the blame
After a crash, everyone wants to know how to assign fault. In a standard auto crash, you typically divide the blame between the two parties—you and the other driver.
- If you’re more than 50% responsible for the crash, you can’t collect anything from the other driver
- If you’re less than 51% responsible for the crash, you can claim your damages, reduced by the percent you were at fault
Truck crashes follow the same rules for fault, except they don’t always split the blame between just two parties. There are often many more parties involved:
- Both drivers need to follow the rules of the road, leave space and drive safely. If either driver acts recklessly or neglects certain responsibilities, that driver can take some or all of the blame.
- The trucking company has many legal responsibilities. It must screen its drivers, train them, schedule appropriate hours, plan reasonable routes and maintain its vehicles.
- If the trucking company contracts with another company for maintenance, that company needs to meet reasonable standards for safety.
- Truck manufacturers and the manufacturers of various parts must provide safe vehicles and equipment.
- Depending on the load, the owner of the goods in transit may take a share of the blame. This can happen if a company loads its goods onto the truck and fails to balance the load.
As you can see, truck crashes can involve all kinds of different parties. Each may have its own insurance company, and all those insurance companies want to push the blame away from themselves.
So, how can a private citizen, like yourself, be sure you’re getting a fair settlement? You can’t expect two to six insurance companies to be looking out for your best interests. And few people are well-equipped to dig into the facts, records, crash scene, witness reports and other evidence to uncover the truth.
That’s why injury victims want attorneys. It’s the attorney’s job to stand up to the insurance companies and prevent them from assigning you more than your share of the blame. It’s the attorney’s job to determine how much an injury is worth and how much each party should pay.
The clock is always ticking
There’s one more thing to know about truck crashes. Because they can be so complicated, it’s important to contact an attorney right away. Your attorney needs time to explore the evidence. And that evidence may disappear the longer you wait.
Truck companies shouldn’t change or lose records, but they sometimes do. Cities and counties clean up their crash sites. Witnesses start to lose track of what they saw. You can’t afford to let your evidence disappear. With so many insurance companies to fight, you need to make your case as strong as possible.
Juan Pablo Garcia is the attorney responsible for this ad. Primary Practice Location: Uvalde, Texas.