Accidents involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are known for their increased potential for causing severe damage and serious injuries. As a result, many victims harmed in these wrecks face extensive physical and financial setbacks – including economic and non-economic damages caused by medical expenses, lost income, and their pain and suffering, among others. For this reason, it becomes vital that injured victims and families understand the merit and potential value of their cases, and that they take any settlement offers made by trucking companies or their insurance providers with warranted skepticism.
At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers have over 80 years of collective experience fighting against insurance companies and corporations that put profits over people, including victims injured in preventable truck accidents. By leveraging our experience, insight, and resources, we work to level the playing field between clients and insurance companies and fight for full and fair compensation. Because we want to help all victims level the playing field following trucking accidents, we have put together the following information about why you should be careful when you receive an initial settlement offer, and what you can do to protect your rights:
- Lowball settlements – As injury attorneys who have spent years fighting insurance companies, we are all too familiar with their prioritization of profits over people. This means they work aggressively to pay victims as little as they possibly can. One such example of this is the tactics insurers use to offer victims very low settlement offers early in their case. You should understand that you do not have to accept the first offer – and you shouldn’t either. These offers are typically a quick attempt for companies and insurance providers to get victims to go away without having to pay them what they deserve.
- You may not know your damages – One of the most practical reasons for not accepting a first settlement offer, especially when it is made soon after an accident, is because you likely do not know the full scope of your damages. Injuries sustained in wrecks require medical treatment, and can take weeks, months, or years to heal, if victims are able to fully recover at all. When you accept a settlement before you know what medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you have and will continue to incur in relation to you injuries, you risk accepting less than you need. Should injuries require more treatment or surgery after you’ve already accepted payment, you would be on the hook to pay for those damages yourself.
- Consider future needs – Just as you need to fully understand the scope of all damages associated with your injuries, you need to also consider whether those injuries or any other setbacks you have incurred as a result of the accident will persist in the future. In the case of catastrophic injuries or disabilities, for example, victims may require long-term or life-long medical attention, not to mention incurred expenses and losses associated with long-term or permanent injuries, such as lost earning potential. Future damages are recoverable in truck accident cases, and they must be taken into account before you accept any offer that would leave you out to dry in the future.
- Work with an attorney – Victims who are focusing on recovering from injuries often have a difficult time determining what is fair and what is not when it comes to settlement offers. Even if an offer unfair seems unfair, they often lack the experience, knowledge, and leverage to negotiate for a better one. By working with experienced attorneys who know how to fight insurance companies and compel them into paying what victims rightfully need, you can receive the support needed to fully calculate your past and future expenses and seek the full settlement you deserve. If trucking companies or insurance providers still don’t want to pay, a lawyer can help you determine whether taking the case to trial is in your best interests.
If you would like to speak with a member of our team about a recent truck accident and how our attorneys can help you deal with insurance companies, contact usfor a FREE consultation.