Liability Denials in Truck Accidents

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You or someone you care about has been seriously injured as a result of a collision with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck. You are going through a difficult period in your life. You or a loved one has suffered a serious injury. Your car has been smashed. You or a loved one has been unable to work since the accident. Because of the injury, your income has ceased, has been reduced, or is on the verge of ceasing.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should hire an attorney to represent you. The Law Office of Doug Goyen can be reached at (972) 599 4100.

With all of this devastation in your life, you’re just thankful that the police gave you the trucking company’s insurance information… you’re thinking “Surely, the at-fault trucker’s insurance company will assist. It can’t get any worse; we must have reached rock bottom by now. I know they can’t instantly restore our health, but they will be issuing checks in the next week or two to at least alleviate the financial hardships caused by this collision…”

After a collision, most people have these thoughts. They approach dealing with a commercial trucking company’s insurance company with the expectation that they will do “what is right.” The insurance company will take care of everything financially. Regrettably, this assumption is incorrect. Insurance companies do not exist to pay claims. They are in the business of collecting premiums and paying as few claims as possible, which means that if they can find an excuse to deny your claim outright, they will.

“Coverage” is the first thing an insurance adjuster looks for. This means that they will deny coverage if they can find any reason to do so. This eliminates the need to pay the claim at all. Nonpayment of premiums, unlisted vehicle, unlisted driver, driver not working for a company listed on insurance policy (freelancing), intentional acts on the part of the truck driver (road rage – if he intentionally ran into you, they won’t pay) are all reasons to avoid coverage.

The term “liability” is the next thing an insurance adjuster looks for. Who was to blame? Was their driver to blame for the accident? Was it caused by a “phantom” vehicle – someone who cut off their trucker and caused him to swerve into you? Was it a natural occurrence or the work of God? (Was it caused by rain or ice? Did you do something to cause the collision, or did you fail to do something that could have prevented it? Could you have swerved to avoid the collision? Could you have moved faster to get out of the way? Could you have avoided by breaking? Did you blow your horn to alert him? Did you happen to be driving in his “blind spot”? Did you suddenly slam on your brakes? Did someone in front of you suddenly slam on their brakes? The list could go on and on.

If they can blame any part of the collision on someone other than themselves, you can bet that will become their primary focus and the only reason for why the collision occurred. All of the other reasons that point to their truck driver will then be dismissed as if they never happened. “Shouldn’t your driver have driven slower in that kind of traffic?” you’ll wonder. “Didn’t he check to see if the lane was clear?” “Doesn’t the fact that he hit me in the rear when all other traffic was able to stop without hitting anyone show that he is at fault?” “No one else lost control on the wet roadway until he slammed into everyone else; why is it nature’s or God’s fault when everyone else knew to slow down in those conditions?”

When dealing with insurance adjusters, your common sense pleas will often fall on deaf ears – they will insist that you should have gotten out of their way, that you should have been more aware of what their truck was doing, that the weather was the cause of their truck hitting you – despite the fact that he was the only one who lost control, and that this proves you are to blame or at least liable. You quickly realize that you require the services of a lawyer. You’re right. You do require the services of an attorney.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because the trucking company is speaking with an insurance adjuster. It is not the adjuster’s job to pay you what you are owed. His job is to pay you as little as possible, including nothing if possible.

When dealing with the trucking company to recover damages and injuries, you need someone with experience handling these types of claims to ensure you are returned to your pre-accident financial situation. To discuss your case, call the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100 for a free initial phone consultation with a Dallas truck accident lawyer.

By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@goyenlaw.com

Dallas Car Accident Lawyer

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