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How Trucking Companies Defend Themselves from Accident Claims

In the U.S., trucking companies range from small “mom and pop” companies to some of the largest transportation corporations in the nation. If you were injured in a truck accident, the odds are high that a trucking company will be on the other side of your case. Along with their insurance company, they take the lead on deciding whether to settle and how much to offer. At Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, we have negotiated with many trucking companies, so we know what to expect.

These companies are aggressive. They do not willingly admit fault, and they don’t want to pay out any compensation, no matter how much pain you experience. Call our firm. A truck accident lawyer in Atlanta can discuss whether you can file a claim for compensation.

Why is the Trucking Company Involved?

Trucking companies are usually defendants in these cases for a few reasons:

1. The truck was dangerous, and it crashed into you because of a defect. The company that owns the truck is ultimately responsible for making sure it’s safe to drive. If they can’t fix it, they should pull the vehicle from their fleet.

2. A negligent trucker injured you. In Georgia, employers are typically automatically liable when their employee negligently hurts someone on the job. As a result, if a trucker was distracted or made an illegal turn, their employer is usually on the hook for compensation.

3. The trucking company negligently hired, trained, or supervised a trucker. The company can have independent liability for these reasons. If the trucker is an independent contractor, then the company isn’t automatically liable since he’s not an employee. But their failure to do background checks or discipline a trucker who is dangerous could qualify as negligence.

Trucking Companies Immediately Collect Evidence

Evidence is the basis of every truck accident claim. The main question is who is at fault for the crash. You can expect the trucking company to try and blame you. If you are more than 50% to blame, you will not receive anything.

Companies know the importance of evidence, so they send teams of investigators to an accident scene within hours. These investigators begin taking photographs, talking to witnesses, and inspecting the vehicles. They are gathering this evidence to use in a case—against you.

Companies Try to Avoid Turning Over Evidence

Trucking companies also have important pieces of evidence in their possession. For example, most trucks are outfitted with electronic recording systems. These “black boxes” download important information which could prove critical for your case.

Here is an example. Fatigued driving is a big problem in the trucking industry. The federal government has limited the number of hours a trucker can haul each day by passing hours of service regulations. Many trucks record how long the truck was in motion and store that information electronically. With this information, we might prove the trucker violated the hours of service and drove for too long. Thus, the trucker was probably fatigued.

Other important information includes any disciplinary or accident history, drug test results, and physical exams. This information could prove helpful.

Unfortunately, trucking companies try to avoid turning any of this information over to our law firm. They know it might hurt their chances of winning a case, so they might claim they lost it. In extreme cases, important evidence is destroyed “accidentally.” You need a seasoned lawyer who can request this information on your behalf. We can immediately notify a trucking company that they are likely to be sued, so they should preserve any relevant evidence.

Trucking Companies Hire Aggressive Insurance Companies

Like all businesses, trucking companies have liability insurance. Aggressive companies tend to hire aggressive insurance companies. It’s that simple.

Insurance companies have been known to spy on accident victims. They might:

  • Scour your social media profiles for evidence they can use to minimize your injuries.
  • Ask you to meet with a doctor of their choosing to review the severity of your pain and disabilities.
  • Have private investigators photograph you in public and follow you around.
  • Talk with your neighbors to see if you are really injured or if you are leaving your house frequently.

They might use any of this information when negotiating a settlement. For example, they might confront your lawyer with pictures of you standing outside your house, which they believe shows you aren’t in pain.

We are familiar with these tactics. We know there’s usually a story behind every picture. For example, you might have been standing outside only briefly to get some air before going back to bed. We can also share tips for how to limit access to your social media profiles.

Defendants Refuse to Offer Fair Compensation

If a trucking company is at fault, they should admit that fact and make a fair settlement offer in a reasonable amount of time. That’s how the personal injury system should work—in theory.

Sadly, many defendants are only too happy to drag out the negotiation process. They will throw up a blizzard of objections to paying fair compensation. And they might even outright deny that they are to blame at all.

Some defendants will even force a victim to litigate in court. In those situations, negotiation is impossible. Anyone injured in a truck collision should hire an experienced lawyer who knows how to use the courts to seek justice. At Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, we take pride in our courtroom skills. We can file a lawsuit in the appropriate court and compile evidence to use in a jury trial.

Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today

Truck accidents are dramatic events with long-term consequences. Anyone injured in a crash deserves an experienced lawyer who has negotiated many settlements with trucking companies and their injuries. Without the right lawyer, many victims experience frustration trying to get their claims taken seriously.

Contact us today at (404) 529-3476. Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys serves Atlanta and surrounding areas. We offer a free consultation to anyone injured in a crash. Let us review your options.

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