The trucking company will have insurance, which provides a team of experienced professionals (adjusters and lawyers) who go to work right away to defend the driver and the company. They often get to the scene while the police are still investigating and begin to gather their own evidence. They are trained to protect the driver, the trucking company, and … most importantly … the insurance company’s money.
When someone runs a red light, or breaks some other rule of the road, and hits another vehicle or pedestrian, the person who ran the red light is financially responsible for the injuries and damages he or she caused. When a truck breaks one of the rules of the road, the damages can be devastating.
Insurance is a business. As a business, insurance companies make money by charging premiums from trucking companies. They lose money every time the insurance company has to pay a claim, so the job of adjusters is to build a case against the victim, in order to pay the victim as little as possible. Insurance companies also have lawyers that are paid to defend the trucking company and the driver that caused the collision by building the case against the victim.
Generally, the trucking company will look for ways to put the blame for the collision on someone else, including the victim. This is because, under the law, a driver and the trucking company he/she works for are only responsible for the percentage of the collision the driver caused. For instance, if the trucking company can convince a jury that the victim was speeding and that was partly the cause of the collision, the jury will give a percentage of fault to the truck driver and a percentage to the victim. The trucking company is then only responsible for that percentage of the victim’s damages (medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, etc.) that the jury assigned to the truck driver.
The trucking company will also look for ways to blame the victim’s injuries on something other than the collision. Prior collisions, work injuries, and sports injuries are some of the events an adjuster or defense attorney might argue is the reason for the injuries. It is not unusual for the trucking company to use what the victim says in a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster to build the case against the victim. That is why it is almost never a good idea for the victim to speak directly with the trucking company’s insurance company.
Your insurance company does not represent you when you are the victim of a collision caused by someone else. You are on your own, unless you hire an injury lawyer with experience in truck accident cases. Jim Penny represents victims of truck accidents in Tucson, throughout Pima County, as well as Cochise County, Santa Cruz County, and Pinal County. His fee is a contingent fee, which means you do not pay by the hour. Instead, the fee is a percentage of the total recovery. This is important to know because you do not “save” money by waiting to hire him. Waiting could end up costing money, if the trucking company or its insurance company is able to build its case against you because you do not have a lawyer. There is also very important evidence that must be preserved and waiting could mean losing that evidence. As a result, you get the greatest value for the fee you pay by hiring Jim right away.