If you are the victim of a trucking accident chances are good that you suffered serious injuries in the accident. As a result, you may have significant medical bills related to the collision as well as lost wages and property damages. If the truck driver involved in the collision caused, or contributed to, the crash you could be entitled to compensation for those expenses as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. Should you negotiate with a trucking company yourself after an accident? Ultimately, it is your decision whether to attempt to negotiate yourself or leave the negotiating to an experienced Tennessee trucking accident attorney; however, there are several reasons why you may not want to tackle the negotiations yourself.
Although it may seem that an accident in which a tractor-trailer is involved is no different than accidents involving only passenger vehicles, there are some important differences that can make negotiating a settlement difficult, including:
- Fault – an accident involving a semi-truck is rarely a “fender-bender”. Typically, a trucking accident involves multiple vehicles and causes several chain reaction accidents. Determining exactly how the crash occurred can be a challenge, frequently requiring the assistance of an accident reconstruction expert. Fault must be determined though before you are in a position to negotiate for compensation.
- Multiple defendants – in a trucking accident it is common for an injured victim to sue multiple defendants, such as the driver, owner of the tractor-trailer, trucking company, manufacturer of the truck, third party maintenance provider, and the owner of the cargo being hauled by the truck at the time of the accident. In this way, a trucking accident differs from a typical passenger vehicle accident. Focusing negotiations on a single defendant could mean losing out on compensation.
- Injuries – any motor vehicle accident can cause serious, even fatal, injuries to occupants of the involved vehicles; however, trucking accidents are more likely to cause severe injuries because of the sheer size and weight of an 18 wheeler. As a general rule, the more severe a victim’s injuries are the more complicated they are to document and value. Therefore, the more difficult it is to negotiate a settlement based on those injuries.
If you have been injured in a Tennessee trucking accident and are contacted by the trucking company (of the company’s liability insurance carrier) it is in your best interest to refuse to speak to them until you have first consulted with an experienced Tennessee trucking accident attorney.