For any Las Vegas truck accident attorney, preparing the client for the claims process is one of the most important parts of their work. Filing any injury claim against an insurance company is difficult and met with resistance to negotiation. But, in the case of big trucking companies, the difficulties increase tenfold. These companies are very aggressive in protecting their profits and work with unscrupulous insurance adjusters.
The injured party is often subject to intimidation while they are still in hospital, recovering from their severe injuries. There is constant pressure from an adjuster to make a statement to incriminate yourself or accept a lowball settlement, which prevents you from any other form of financial recovery. This is why it is crucial to have a team of experienced truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas working on your behalf to file and negotiate your claim.
Why Are Truck Accident Claims in Nevada More Complex than Other Cases?
When a distracted, fatigued or DUI truck driver causes a traffic accident, an astute Las Vegas truck accident lawyer knows that the accident victim can recover damages from several liable parties. If the driver is an employee, then the trucking company is liable according to the respondeat superior principle governing employer – employee relationship.
If lack of proper maintenance or repairs caused the truck to malfunction, the trucking company is also responsible, because they owe other road users the duty of care and should not let any vehicle that is not roadworthy be driven on public roads.
Trucking companies and their insurers know this, but they have the money to hire the most experienced and aggressive lawyers and adjusters to prevent accident victims from including them in their claim. However, skilled truck accident lawyers at the Nettles Morris law firm are a match for trucking companies’ legal teams.
Understanding the Challenges of Filing a Claim against Trucking Companies
In our experience, trucking companies and their insurers use a series of tactics to discourage you from pursuing your claim or even make sure that the time runs out and you have no other legal recourse.
These are some of the difficulties you may expect during the claims process:
1. Lack of Communication
Insurance companies know that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Nevada is 2 (two) years from the date of your accident. Thus, they will delay communication as much as possible.
In other cases, they may invent various deadlines for submitting various documents, including your medical records. As your Las Vegas truck accident attorney will explain, these are not legal deadlines. And, at any rate, you should not submit any document without showing it to your lawyer first. Medical records (including your medical history) can be used against you to devalue or deny your claim.
2. Pressuring You to Accept a Lowball Settlement
Insurance adjusters will come to your hospital bed to determine you to sign a quick settlement. They count on the fact that you are confused, in pain and, overall, in a vulnerable state. Unfortunately, this practice is not unlawful, although it is highly unethical.
Our truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas advise all personal injury victims to refrain from talking to adjusters. Just say that you are in no fit state to discuss any matter (but do not exaggerate your condition – everything will be duly noted by the adjuster). The only thing you should tell an adjuster is that your lawyer will contact them shortly to discuss your claim.
3. Refusing to Accept Liability
Insurance companies and their clients from the trucking industry will resort to various tactics to deny liability. They will say that:
- The truck driver was not on the job when the accident occurred
- The truck driver is an independent contractor, not an employee
- You were more than 50% at fault, thus you do not have the right to file a claim.
An experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney can disprove these statements with evidence, eyewitness statements and reports prepared by expert witness. Your lawyer can legally request and obtain a whole range of documents, such as:
- The truck driver’s log indicating hours of service
- The driver’s phone log, showing that he was texting and driving
- The driver’s history of traffic violations
- Employment documents
- The event data recorder (EDR) of the truck, indicating whether the driver applied the brakes just before the crash.
Together, these pieces of evidence will demonstrate not only the driver’s negligence, but also the liability of the trucking company – meaning that they have to pay for your damages.
4. Refusing to Negotiate
When you refuse a lowball settlement, you will notice the insurance adjuster’s attitude changing in a matter of seconds. From friendly and helpful, they will become aggressive in denying that their company is liable to pay for your damages. They will act as if they were doing you a favor by offering the quick settlement. Make no mistakes – these companies never do any favors to anyone.
Many of our clients stated that they felt intimidated and they almost gave in and accepted the offered settlement. Do not do that – you have the law by your side and, soon, an experienced team of truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas. Without getting confrontational, call the adjuster’s bluff and tell them that you will file a claim for an accurate compensatory amount covering your economic and non-economic damages.
5. Attempting to Blame Your Injuries on a Separate Accident
When nothing else works, trucking companies and their insurers will state that your injuries are not justified by the damages to your vehicle and the information contained in the accident report prepared by the police. They will further state that you probably walked away from the truck accident with minor injuries, got seriously injured in a separate accident and now try to get your money out of the trucking company.
This is why taking evidence at the accident scene is so important. Accident reports do not tell the whole story of how a crash happened – only the law enforcement officers’ observations. People can make mistakes, even if they wear a uniform and a badge. So, as far as your injuries allow you, take as many photos and videos of your injuries and the damages to your car. A picture is worth 1,000 words and is useful both in settlement negotiations and during a personal injury lawsuit.
Let a Dedicated Truck Accident Law Firm Negotiate Your Claim
At the Nettles Morris law firm, you will find the strong legal arm you need to defend your rights and win the fair compensation you deserve. We are not intimidated by big trucking companies and their lawyers. We know when they are bluffing and when they are using delay tactics and steer the negotiations in the right direction.
Our lawyers will not ask you for any upfront fees, as we work on a contingency fee basis. Thus, you can afford the best legal representation you deserve. Do not waste valuable time – schedule an initial consultation with us as soon as possible: 702-410-6239!