Trucking accidents occur fare too often. When they do occur, they typically lead to very serious and often fatal injuries.
Trucking accident claims can be challenging. The insurance companies can be particularly difficult to deal with for a number of reasons not the least of which is the magnitude of the injuries and damages involved.
Dealing with these types of cases require special care and immediate attention. The Albuquerque Attorneys of Collins & Collins, P.C. will be glad to guide you through this difficult and often frustrating process.
Injuries Typically Serious and Often Fatal
There are over 6 million auto accidents every year in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that close to 140,000 of these accidents involved large trucks or buses.
According to the NHTSA, over 90,000 of these involved injuries. The sheer physics of these accidents generally make them significantly more serious than the typical auto accident.
According to the statistics, more than 80,000 truck and bus related accidents required tow services due to the severity of the collisions. Consequently, if you have been in a truck or bus related accident, the chances are that you have been injured and many times these injuries are quite serious.
Liability Insurance Coverage
It may provide some consolation to know that trucks and buses are generally well insured. Typically, a truck will carry $1 million in liability coverage.
Though this seems like a lot, in cases of very serious personal injuries or wrongful death, even this may not be sufficient. Some of these cases are so horrific that the medical bills alone will approach and sometimes exceed these limits.
However, these insurance policy limits will cover the damages for most trucking accident victims. This is in stark contrast to the insurance of private drivers particularly in New Mexico which leads the nation in uninsured drivers.
Though there is typically significant liability insurance coverage, this does not mean that the insurance company will cooperate. In fact, these cases can be even harder than the typical auto accident. So it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Take Steps to Protect Your Rights
This leads us to our last point. The insurance companies are not generally keen on paying out large sums of money no matter how bad the injuries and damages and no matter how clear the fault and liability of their insured truck driver.
Due the difficulty of dealing with these companies generally and the fact that these accidents often result in serious or catastrophic injuries, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney experienced in insurance issues as soon after the accident as possible.
There are many steps you will need to take to fully protect your rights. Most of these initial steps concern the incident reports. Keep in mind that in cases of serious accidents, the insurance company will send out its own investigator to the scene. This means that there will be two sets of reports.
As one might imagine, the insurance company’s report is often biased toward the truck driver. So it is extremely important to make sure that the police report is accurate and complete.
T the degree possible, you will want to make sure the police report includes all the names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance coverage information for each driver involved in the accident.
You will also want the names and contact information for all witnesses. These witnesses will often be critical to sorting out responsibility for the accident where the insurance company denies liability.
An Attorney Can Help
Taking these steps will go a long way toward protecting your claims. Unfortunately, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it may not be possible to take all of these necessary steps.
Instead, much of this information may be need to be collected after the fact. In cases of serious injuries, hospitalization or the wrongful death of a loved one, this will likely be the last thing on your mind.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assist you with these tasks while you attend to far more important issues.