Written by Stryder Wegener
While any motor vehicle collision can be traumatic, truck accidents are among the most horrific incidents on the road in terms of fatalities, injuries, and other losses. Considering the massive weight and size of a semi, it’s easy to understand the risks to occupants of passenger vehicles. However, besides the increased potential of disastrous injuries, truck crashes are also much more complicated than auto accidents. From the moment you file a claim, the insurance company begins a meticulous, exhaustive investigation into every aspect of the collision. Unless you have a Seattle truck accident lawyer to represent you, the results of this detailed assessment could adversely affect your rights.
At Emerald City Law Group, our lawyers are knowledgeable in the tactics and methods insurers employ when conducting investigations. Make no mistake: These efforts aren’t focused on getting to the truth, but rather on finding reasons to deny your claim. You need a skilled Seattle truck accident attorney to ensure the company doesn’t succeed in this goal. Please call 206-973-0407 to set up a no-cost consultation today.
Why Trust Insurance Companies Investigate Your Claim
You can better understand how insurers conduct investigations when you know the reasons behind them. These companies are businesses, so they’re only successful when they maximize profits and minimize losses. Your claim as the victim of a truck accident threatens these interests, so the insurance carrier is looking for reasons to reject it or pay out as little as possible. The investigation is how it accomplishes this goal. Company employees will search for facts to fight your claim, such as:
- Suggest you were at fault in causing the truck crash;
- Dispute the truck driver’s negligent acts;
- Prove someone else was responsible for causing the collision;
- Show your injuries aren’t as severe as you say; or,
- Provide other grounds to avoid paying your claim.
It’s common for insurance companies to raise these issues in any motor vehicle crash, but the incentive to fight your claim is even stronger when the incident involves a large truck. The minimum coverage amount a truck operator must carry is $750,000; however, many policies extend into the millions and more. The insurer is on the hook to pay for these losses. The company will step up its investigation efforts to protect its own financial interests.
Strategies Insurers Use When Investigating Truck Crashes
The first step an insurance company takes when receiving your claim is assigning it to the most experienced, knowledgeable claims adjuster to head up the investigation. Insurers trust their bottom line to employees who have successful track records of denying claims. The adjuster will oversee many facets of the investigation and coordinate efforts with many other workers to scrutinize every detail. The insurance company may employ many of the following tactics:
- Dissecting the truck insurance policy language to find possible loopholes;
- Reviewing your medical records to determine the nature and severity of your injuries;
- Interviewing the truck driver regarding causes and contributing factors in the accident;
- Contacting other motorists, vehicle occupants, and witnesses;
- Reaching out to businesses that might have surveillance video coverage of the crash;
- Retaining special investigators to uncover additional facts;
- Consulting with medical experts regarding your injuries;
- Hiring accident reconstruction experts to assess causation;
- Going online to review your social media activities
What to do When the Investigation Turns to You
It’s important to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash, so you’ll have essential legal support with the insurance claims process. Your lawyer can handle communications and many other tasks, especially when the insurer targets you in its investigation. However, you should keep some helpful tips in mind.
- If the insurance company contacts you for an interview, only provide basic contact information. Don’t answer any questions about your injuries and never make any comments about how you think the truck accident happened.
- You should absolutely decline if the adjuster requests to record your conversation.
- Be cautious about use of social media. Change your settings to private and don’t post any content regarding your injuries, activities, time off work, or recovery.
Get Legal Help from a Seattle Truck Accident Lawyer
There are many other subtleties and details you should entrust to a qualified legal professional when handling a trucking accident. Our team at Emerald City Law Group is experienced at dealing with insurers and addressing the unique challenges with truck collisions, so we’re prepared to assist with your claim. Please contact our Seattle office today to schedule a no-cost case evaluation with an attorney who can tell you more about your rights as an injured victim.