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18-Wheeler Truck Accidents as Compared to Car Accidents

Posted by attorney Keith Purdue

Injured victims of semi-truck accidents sometimes mistakenly believe that they will be able to handle their own claim against a trucking company or their insurer. Unfortunately, such an assumption can lead to a victim receiving less than fair compensation for their injury; or even no compensation at all. To be blunt, passenger vehicle accidents are nothing like 18-wheeler wrecks. There are a number of reasons why this is so, and the following short article parts the veil on why this is so often the case. This information may prove beneficial to you, a family member, or a friend who may be considering legal options in the aftermath of a semi-truck collision.

The assumption that car wrecks and commercial trucking accidents are the same often begins because a person who has been in a car wreck before was likely able to see their claim through to a successful completion. While the process of filing an insurance claim and ensuring that all of the paperwork is completed and the right information is given to the correct parties may sometimes be time-consuming or even frustrating, the process has been regulated such that an insurance company has little room to take advantage of a victim of a passenger vehicle accident, especially if the accident does not involve an injury. This may give an unrealistic outlook to an injured victim when they're subsequently in an 18-wheeler wreck. In other words, semi-truck wrecks are not simply just bigger car accidents.

For instance, an insurance policy on a commercial truck can oftentimes be worth 50 times as much as an insurance policy on a passenger vehicle. These policies are worth so much since they must be able to cover the contingency of a large amount of damage. Since 18-wheelers can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, the damage such a commercial vehicle can accomplish is likewise immense. Tractor-trailer accidents can result in millions of dollars of property damage, sky-high medical costs due to a personal injury, and incalculable loss of life. Consequently, an insurance policy must be able to cover these costs.

Such a high-dollar insurance policy often leads to one of the most noticeable differences between car wrecks and 18-wheeler collisions. Since the insurance policy can be worth millions of dollars, an insurance company that holds that policy will likely work as hard as possible to make sure that they're not held responsible for paying out such a large sum. As a result, they will often send their most experienced insurance adjusters to work an 18-wheeler accident claim. Through various oft-employed tactics, they will attempt to pin blame on any party other than their own client. If even a degree of liability can be shown to have existed with another entity, a claim amount may be severely diminished. If liability can be shown to have been the result of a victim's behavior, the claim may be completely denied.

On the other hand, an insurance company may offer an unmediated, out-of-court settlement to a victim. While this can be enticing to a victim because it's assured money that may be immediately helpful, such an offer is often less than adequate to cover an injured victim's incurred damages. This type of settlement is often a shrewdly calculated offer meant as a quick and cost-effective means for an insurance company to complete a claim for as little money as possible. In other words, they'd much rather offer some money to an injured victim up front than be held liable for more money down the road.

In each of the instances described above, an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney can assist a victim against such an insurance company. Since a semi-truck lawyer with prior experience in similar cases will know the tactics often employed by an insurer, they can assist a victim by working to ensure that the victim is not being taken advantage of by an insurer. In instances where a settlement offer is made, a big rig accident attorney will have an understanding of the likely true worth of an 18-wheeler accident claim, and can subsequently help a victim to know if an offered settlement is fair or not. Such issues are often not involved in car accident wrecks, and are only a few reasons why car wrecks and 18-wheeler injury accidents are quite different. Consequently, enlisting the help of an experienced trucking accident lawyer can often be of great assistance to a victim of an 18-wheeler wreck so that they can stand to receive full compensation for their injury.

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