How do I get compensation after a commercial truck accident?
How can I get compensation for injuries caused by an accident caused by a commercial vehicle driver?
Federal and state laws require commercial truck drivers and the companies that employ them to easily take out multiple forms of insurance. This applies to all large commercial vehicles, from 18-wheelers and tankers to construction vehicles. Filing a personal injury or death against any applicable policy can secure compensation.
This simple answer to the question of how to get compensation after a commercial truck accident hides a lot of complexity – so much complexity that entire legal professions exist to represent both the accident victims and the guilty truck drivers. I can’t go into every detail here, but I’ll summarize four things that need to happen in order to secure an insurance agreement or win a lawsuit after a commercial vehicle accident.
You have to prove that the truck driver caused the crash
Ohio courts follow the rule of comparative negligence. This means that you have reason to seek compensation for injury or unjustified death if there is evidence that the driver of a commercial vehicle was the primary cause of the accident. Note that a family member or designated executor would make claims on behalf of a deceased accident victim.
The official crash report that police must prepare when responding to a call is a good source of evidence of culpability. Partnering with an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney in Columbus or elsewhere also allows for an independent investigation, contacting and questioning witnesses, and countering allegations that the victim was more to blame.
You need to prove that your injuries were directly related to the fall
The insurance company or the litigation jury will request evidence that the accident caused serious or fatal injuries. Medical records, hospital bills, prescription orders, and notes from therapists are evidence of this. It is important that truck accident victims hold onto every piece of paper they receive from a health care provider or their own health insurance company.
Expert reports and testimony are also often valuable in establishing the link between an accident and injuries, especially when the truck driver’s legal team argues that the victim has suffered from pre-existing health problems. A personal injury and death attorney knows how to call in experts to assist with their clients’ cases.
You need to know what insurance policies apply
As mentioned above, commercial truck drivers and truck drivers have a number of insurance policies. Ohio law allows accident victims to file claims against any of the applicable policies. However, it is not always easy to determine which guidelines are involved. Finding the wrong insurer can make attempts to reach an agreement after a commercial vehicle accident much more difficult. Consultation with an attorney whose sole role is to advise and represent the plaintiffs in such cases will clarify what steps to take and when to take them.
You have to be ready to fight for your right to compensation
Companies that insure truck drivers and trucking companies do not welcome the opportunity to pay comparisons or jury prices. Loss adjusters and defense lawyers will challenge mistakes, question medical evidence, and argue that the victim did not need comprehensive medical treatment or was suffering from severe physical pain and emotional distress. They will also apply pressure to accept a quick, inadequate settlement or to abandon a claim altogether.
There is no exact formula for determining how long it will take to resolve a personal injury or death caused by an accident caused by a commercial truck driver. Nor can it be guaranteed that an accident victim will succeed in bringing a guilty driver or a forwarding agent to account.
However, a dedicated, caring attorney for the plaintiff will make every effort to expedite the process while removing the barriers to financial recovery posed by the insurer. If you need help from a Columbus traffic accident attorney, contact Corey Heit of Heit Law for a free consultation. You can schedule an appointment online or speak to Corey by calling (614) 898-5300.