Parker Waichman LLP

Any car accident is terrifying, but truck accidents are particularly devastating. The force of a truck colliding with your car often ends in serious injuries and property damage, some with life-altering results. When an accident of this proportion occurs, you expect a decent settlement.

But how do you know when you should accept a truck accident settlement? You may not know how to determine what’s fair if you’ve never accepted a settlement. Contact a truck accident lawyer for guidance.

Truck Accidents Law Firm focuses on cases like yours, helping truck accident victims and their families pursue compensation for these traumatic events.

Every Truck Accident Is Different

Before accepting a settlement offer, consider the circumstances around your truck accident. It’s understandable that you’d rather not think about it in such detail.

However, knowing every facet of your accident is important to assess a settlement’s fairness. Truck accidents happen quickly, so even if your memory is a bit fuzzy, you can learn about the specifics of your case through the police report.

Determining the cause of the accident, for example, is instrumental. Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Reckless driving
  • Manufacturer’s errors
  • Unsafe road conditions

Truck drivers travel exceptionally long distances, usually without an adequate break. While federal regulations require them to take breaks after a certain number of hours, some drivers ignore this rule to reduce travel time.

It’s hard for truck drivers to assess their fatigue, and they often don’t know they’re overtired until it’s too late to stop.

Unfortunately, this leads to extensive injuries and fatalities. Reckless driving could involve a truck driver driving under the influence or simply not following traffic laws. If they run a red light, speed, or change lanes without signaling, it could lead to disaster. This is especially true for the largest trucks. Colliding with a tractor-trailer, for example, leaves extreme damage.

On the other hand, sometimes truck drivers aren’t to blame. Unsafe road conditions or manufacturer errors could cause them to lose control of their truck. When an automobile of that size is out of control, it presents a danger to everyone on the road.

Once you know the details and the cause of your accident, you can figure out who is liable for the accident. This is a huge factor in your settlement offer.

What to Expect From Your Settlement Offer

There are two ways to collect compensation from a truck accident: a settlement from an insurance company and filing a personal injury claim. Alternatively, you can file a wrongful death claim if you’ve lost someone to a truck accident.

In the weeks following your accident, you’ll probably receive a call from the truck’s insurance company with a settlement offer. They will likely be friendly and want to persuade you to take their initial offer. It’s important to understand their motivations going into this call.

Insurance workers prioritize making money for their company, not compensating you fairly. Many will offer you the lowest possible settlement for your accident. They might even argue you were partially to blame for the accident.

This is why it’s so important to know the details of your accident. This way, you don’t take blame for something you didn’t do. The insurer may offer you a settlement before the accident details are available. If you don’t know the extent of the damages, how can you know what a fair offer is?

Remember that this settlement should factor in your medical bills, injuries, property damages, and psychological effects of the accident. If the number they offer doesn’t reflect that, don’t accept their offer.

Factors of Your Settlement Offer

Insurers will try to lowball your truck accident settlement offer. Several factors determine the settlement offer:

  • How severe your injuries are
  • Your medical costs
  • If you have lost wages
  • Who the liable party or parties are
  • The type of insurance coverage the liable party has

Most injuries from truck accidents are severe. If your injuries are life-altering and keep you from going about your usual activities, work, and chores, this should factor into your compensation. Insurance companies may only consider your upfront medical costs rather than long-term effects.

When the accident involves wrongful death, an insurer may factor funeral expenses into their offer if the liable party has accidental death coverage.

Liable parties for a truck accident may include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The truck manufacturer
  • The road maintenance company

The liable party’s insurance will greatly affect your settlement offer. Some insurance policies only cover up to a certain amount of damage, so you may need to seek compensation through a claim instead.

Things to Consider When Assessing Your Settlement Offer

Should you accept a truck accident settlement offer? Deciding whether to accept an offer is a personal decision. However, speaking to a legal professional before you make any final moves is wise.

The Value of Your Claim

The first settlement offer from an insurance company rarely reflects your claim’s worth. Insurance companies will try to persuade you to agree to this amount, and without proper legal counsel, it’s an effective tactic. Accident victims may assume insurance companies know better than them and accept an offer without knowing the value of their claim.

You’re still recovering from your accident, and you need money quickly. Insurance companies know this. Don’t let them prey on this fact. Instead, talk to a lawyer to determine the true value of your claim.

The Finality of Your Acceptance

A settlement offer is legally binding. There is no going back once you accept the offer. Some accident victims take the offer impulsively and find it far lower than the compensation they could have collected through a personal injury claim.

Once you agree to the settlement, you may not be able to ask for more money. Often, injuries following an accident seem less severe than they are. If your injuries result in chronic pain or you require more medical treatment down the line, you may regret taking the insurance company’s initial offer.

Liability Implications

By accepting a settlement offer, you’re releasing all involved parties from liability. You may be unaware of another party’s liability in your accident, but after you accept an offer, you can’t pursue action against them.

Accepting a Settlement Offer

If you feel ready to accept a settlement offer, speak to a truck accident attorney first. They will be able to explain your options. You may want nothing more than to move on as soon as possible, but it’s never a bad thing to consider all your options.

Your attorney can also represent you throughout the settlement process so the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you. They can ensure you understand everything you’re signing and how you should expect to receive your settlement money.

How a Truck Accident Law Firm Can Help

You might initially be hesitant to hire an attorney following a truck accident. Whether you’re the victim or you lost a loved one to the accident, you likely want to move on from this experience as quickly as you possibly can.

However, having a truck accident lawyer on your side won’t complicate things — it’ll simplify them. The team at Truck Accidents Law Firm will help you determine the cause of your accident and possible liable parties. Then, we’ll assist you in calculating your damages, including the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Ongoing treatment costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Psychological effects
  • Grief

As legal professionals, our team has access to resources that help us quantify what you should look for in a settlement offer. If you decide the settlement offer isn’t enough, we will help you make a personal injury claim for the truck accident.

The damages you collect from a personal injury claim can be much more than an insurance company will offer you. You won’t know until you try.

Did You Receive a Settlement Offer? Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

Before making a decision about your truck accident settlement offer, contact our team at Truck Accidents Law Firm. You need someone on your side. Whether you’re pursuing compensation for your own accident or the death of a loved one, we want to support you.

If you’re ready to take your first step toward filing a claim, call one of our offices today for a free consultation.

New York: 212-267-6700

Long Island: 800-529-4636

New Jersey: 973-323-3603

Florida: 239-390-1000