- Trucking companies will try to use contributory negligence to avoid paying compensation in trucking accidents. By proving their driver wasn’t “fully” at-fault, it can potentially reduce their cost or allow them to pay nothing.
- Trucking companies will use various evidence, including cell phone records, witness statements, videos, and driving and medical records, to try to prove the injured plaintiff was partly or fully to blame for the truck accident.
- If they can’t find any negligent behavior, truck companies will work to devalue the cost of the total damages of the accident, including injuries.
- It is imperative that you speak to an experienced truck and car accident attorney before accepting any offer of settlement. Once you accept a settlement offer, you give up critical rights to sue and get additional compensation.
Most trucking companies have a team of lawyers on standby who will work to protect the company and their employees in and against any accident litigations. Any amount a trucking company must pay out is a loss to the company’s profits; therefore, their goal is to limit the liability for the trucking company as much as possible.
After an accident with a truck, the trucking company or their insurance carrier will conduct their own investigation. Trucking companies can be responsible for millions a year in truck accident lawsuits if they don’t work vigorously to defend themselves in lawsuits.
If you’ve been in a car accident with a truck, here’s what you should know about the trucking company and their legal team’s investigation.
Why Truck Companies Are Competitive When It Comes to Accident Litigation
Trucking companies must monitor many trucks; sometimes hundreds within one company. Because of the general severity of injuries that occur in truck accidents and the amount of money – sometimes millions – they stand to lose if they have to pay compensation, trucking companies are notorious for being aggressive during litigation.
A lawyer who is familiar with truck accidents will be familiar with their aggressive tactics and understand how to combat them.
How Trucking Companies Work to Diminish the Amount They Must Pay Out
One of the tactics used by trucking companies to dwindle compensation responsibility is contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that may place blame for the cause of the accident on more than one person. Because the amount owed by each person is associated with how responsible they were for the crash, the trucking company can lower its costs by decreasing or eliminating their fault.
In other words, if the plaintiff is found to have been at least somewhat negligent, their award of compensation will be decreased by the percentage that they were found to be at fault. And if the trucking company can prove that the plaintiff was at least 50% responsible, they may not be required to pay anything at all.
Contributory negligence motivates truck company legal teams to find any mistakes of the injured plaintiff. Again, the less they have to pay out, the better; this is because trucking companies are focused on preserving profits.
Types of Evidence Trucking Companies Will Review
Medical Records and Reports
Trucking companies will review your medical reports along with any other relevant medical records. Their goal is often to try and claim that your injuries are not as bad as you claim or to pin your injuries on other life events or pre-existing conditions. However, under Georgia law, they are required to “take you as you are.” This means that even if you had a pre-existing condition, if the accident made it worse, then the trucking company could still be held responsible for the additional damage.
In a car accident lawsuit, your driving record becomes fair game. The trucking company and their attorneys will likely look closely at your driving record to see if you have a history of specific driving behaviors or accidents. If the trucking company can prove that you have a history of negligent driving, they will use this information to try to pass blame and protect their driver and the company as a whole.
As mentioned, trucking companies will do everything that they can to protect their drivers and present them as the victim.
Other Evidence Trucking Companies Use to Prove Contributory Negligence
Trucking companies will investigate a number of factors to try to remove some of the blame of the accident from their client or employee. Trucking companies will try to prove if you were talking on a cell phone, eating, speeding, breaking another traffic law, or engaging in other distracted driving behaviors.
Insurance companies will investigate all potential avenues for evidence, including your cell phone records or video footage, to determine whether you were distracted at the time of the accident. Trucking companies will also talk to the police and gather accident reports, investigate the accident scene for skid marks, locate and interview potential witnesses, and review camera footage.
Settlements and Trials With Truck Accident Companies
When will a trucking company settle a case?
Generally speaking, if a trucking company knows they do not have a strong case, they will try to settle with the injured plaintiff. You may even get a call from the trucking company’s lawyers offering you a settlement right away.
While it might seem appealing to get compensation quickly, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting any offer of settlement. Once you accept a settlement offer, you give up critical rights to sue and get additional compensation.
Having a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with trucking companies can help you combat aggressive tactics, avoid the expense of a trial, and obtain a fair settlement with the trucking company.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a truck, contact The Millar Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We’ll review the details of your case and explain your best course of action for moving forward. We can also review your rights to compensation and help you gather the proper evidence to prove your case.
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- Why Are Truck Companies Competitive When It Comes to Accident Litigation?
- How Do Trucking Companies Work to Diminish the Amount They Must Pay Out?
- What Types of Evidence Do Trucking Companies Use to Prove Contributory Negligence?
- Will a Trucking Company Look at My Medical Records to Determine If I Have Pre-existing Conditions?
- Will a Trucking Company Look at My Driving Record to Try and Prove a Pattern of Negligent Driving?
- What Other Tactics Might a Trucking Company Use to Limit Liability After an Accident?
- Will the Trucking Company Hide Evidence If Their Driver Made a Serious Mistake?
- When Will a Trucking Company Settle a Case?
- Should I Accept a Quick Settlement Offer from the Trucking Company?
- Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney for My Truck Accident Case?