18-wheeler accidents can be devastating, resulting in significant damages, injuries, and even fatalities. In such cases, several factors can make it more complicated to pursue a claim. These include the severity of damages, the multiple parties involved, the insurance coverage, etc.
That’s why hiring an 18-wheeler accident attorney is highly advisable. Also, understanding the factors that complicate these claims can increase your chances of getting compensated.
Take a look at them below.
Degree of Destruction
Heavy-duty truck accidents cause severe damage to property, cargo, and infrastructure due to their size and weight.
Also, if the accident resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, the focus could shift from property damage to medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
This can further complicate the claims process, as there may be disagreements over the extent of the injuries and the amount of compensation owed.
Multiple Parties Involved
Truck accidents often involve multiple parties—you, the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo owner, and others. Determining who’s liable can be challenging, with each party having its legal teams and insurance providers.
You may need to negotiate with several insurance providers to receive fair compensation. However, they may dispute liability to avoid paying a claim and try to shift the blame onto other parties. So, you’ll need accident reconstruction experts and other specialists to determine who’s responsible for any damages.
Insurance policies for commercial trucks can be hard to navigate. This is because different types of coverage can apply to an accident. Determining which policy applies to a specific claim and how much coverage is available can be difficult.
There are also high-dollar claims involved due to significant damage and injuries. Insurance companies may be reluctant to pay large sums of money and try to deny or delay claims to limit their financial exposure.
Commercial truck accident claims may also involve legal challenges, such as disputes over the interpretation of insurance policies.
Besides this, legal proceedings may involve discovery, depositions, and other time-consuming investigation processes, adding months or even years to the claims process.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations can impact the investigation and may require specific procedures or documentation. For one, you’ll need to prove negligence to qualify for compensation. This means you must show that the 18-wheeler driver failed in their duty to drive safely.
To prove this, experts collect and analyze evidence to provide insight into what caused the accident. Since evidence can be compromised, you’ll need to move quickly. However, gathering such a large amount of evidence might be challenging.
Different states have various laws regarding liability, damages, and insurance coverage. If an accident occurs across state lines, it can be challenging to determine which law applies.
In some cases, different states may have conflicting laws related to 18-wheeler accidents. For example, one state may require less evidence to prove liability than another, which can impact the outcome of a claim.
There might also be different deadlines for filing a claim in each jurisdiction. You may lose your right to seek compensation if you miss it.
Even if you file a claim in the appropriate jurisdiction, there may be challenges related to the venue for the case. For example, finding a court willing to hear the case might be challenging if the accident occurred in a rural area.
The claims process for 18-wheeler accidents can be lengthy, expensive, and emotionally taxing for all parties involved. It requires determining liability, interpreting complex insurance policies, and dealing with legal challenges and jurisdictional issues.
However, by working with experienced legal and insurance professionals, you can protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve.