Last December, Business Insider reported that truck drivers transport 80 percent of cargo. To haul all of those goods from one part of the country to another, the industry employs 3.5 million drivers who work an average of 70 hours before getting a day off. Not surprisingly, this makes being a truck driver “the most hazardous job out there,” the website said. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re already well aware of how dangerous semis are. Cleveland truck accident attorney Tom Robenalt welcomes any questions you have about filing a claim for your injuries, and below you’ll find several tips on how to handle the first phone call from an insurance adjuster after a trucking accident.
It’s natural to feel emotional after a collision, so it’s wise to let a truck accident attorney speak on your behalf so you don’t say something or sign a form that you shouldn’t. If you answer the phone before speaking to a lawyer, AllLaw suggests remaining calm and being polite to the truck driver’s insurance adjuster. Doing so may help get your claim handled quicker or build a rapport that persuades the adjuster to believe a statement that “is difficult for you to prove.”
The truck driver’s insurance adjuster may ask for details about the type of work you do, your work schedule, and your salary, but you’re only required to provide your name and contact information. You can tell the adjuster where you work, but it isn’t necessary.
“In your first contact with an insurance adjuster, make it clear that you will not be discussing much on the phone,” AllLaw said. “Not only should you give very limited information in this first phone call, as discussed above, but you should also set clear limits on any further phone contact.” Otherwise, the adjuster will continue to call to try to get you to settle your claim. “It’s good to nip this in the bud.”
Refrain from giving a recorded statement about the trucking accident or providing details other than where and when it occurred, the vehicles involved, and witnesses who saw what happened.
“Many claims adjusters immediately push you to give a tape-recorded statement, or casually ask if they may record your phone conversation, claiming it will protect you later,” AllLaw said. “Do not agree to have any conversation recorded.” People often freeze up when they know they’re being recorded, so they forget to mention important details. “It can be nearly impossible later to correct or expand on what you have said in a recording.”
Likewise, you should refuse to answer the insurance adjuster’s questions about injuries you suffered in the crash.
“You might leave something out, or discover an injury later, or your injury may turn out to be worse than you originally thought,” AllLaw said.
It’s vital to remember that “the insurance company is NOT on your side,” NOLO said. “The insurance company is in business to make money, and it makes money when it pays out less money to you on a claim than it otherwise has to.”
To help your truck accident attorney get you all of the compensation you deserve, be sure to keep a record, including receipts and credit card statements, of all your expenses pertaining to the crash.
If you were injured or a loved one died as a result of a commercial truck accident, contact attorney Tom Robenalt with any questions you have about filing a claim today. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, but Ohio law requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of the accident or death. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible will enable him to review all of the evidence and build a strong case.
Tom worked for an insurance defense firm early in his career. That experience can help you during settlement negotiations or trial. For a free consultation, call (216) 223-7535, email email@example.com, or submit our online form.