If you’ve been in an accident with a truck in Arkansas, your first concern should be getting the medical attention you need. Without seeing a doctor, your chances of recovering, both medically and financially, drop significantly. Your insurance company also likely obliges you to report any accidents within a short window of time after an accident.
However, it may not be a good idea to speak to your insurance company without the proper legal knowledge or representation.
Dealing with insurance after an accident can be complicated and frustrating. Yet, avoiding your insurance company can get you into trouble down the line. Enlisting the help of an experienced legal team is the best way to make sure you can recover while other concerns are taken care of by a trusted local truck accident attorney.
Remember that insurance companies are primarily interested in avoiding payouts to claimants. Be prepared whenever you speak with one of their representatives. Even if you intend to file a third-party claim with an at-fault driver’s policy, speaking with your insurance provider can involve a risky discussion. Often, the easiest and safest option is to call insurance with a lawyer present on the phone.
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck, reach out to us for a free, no-risk consultation at (501) 404-2333. Little Rock Trial Lawyers have helped dozens of victims of Arkansas truck accident victims recover damages from negligent drivers and freight companies and can help you as well.
Do I Need to Report an Accident to My Insurance If It Was the Other Driver’s Fault?
Fault can be a complicated matter in truck accident cases. It’s unlikely that a truck driver will be completely forthcoming after an accident if they were at fault. Accident scenes are often messy and chaotic, and it can take an investigation to adequately determine fault. However, sometimes a driver will admit fault and a settlement will be offered with the hopes of bringing the case to a close.
In other instances, even an obvious case of negligence on the truck driver’s part will be challenged by their employer or insurance company. They may even attempt to accuse the claimant victim of negligence in an attempt to either reduce the damages or avoid paying out entirely.
Arkansas’ comparative negligence statute says that an individual may not pursue damages if they’ve been found to be at least 50% responsible for the accident. The amount of damages owed is also directly affected by the portion of blame of the negligent party. These rules explain the behavior that insurance or trucking companies sometimes exhibit after a particularly bad accident. It’s in their financial best interest to fight for every point possible when defending against accusations of negligence.
Your insurance company will aim to discover any potential claim that could be filed after an accident where you could be allegedly at-fault. Withholding information about the accident could be legally compromising. If you have other forms of insurance, like comprehensive or collision insurance, they’ll want to know about it, as well as any third-party liability claims that could be filed.
Your insurance company is usually on your side when another driver is at fault, but it’s important to remember that their financial interests are their own. Your recovery is ultimately of no interest to them in comparison to their own profit motive. This difference in motives is obvious when dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
What Should I Tell the Insurance Company?
Firstly, if the trucking company, their insurance, or any legal entity representing the other driver in an accident contacts you, you have no legal obligation to speak with them. You simply need to provide notice of a possible claim, give them your contact information, and confirm the details on the police report. We advise that you do not speak to them without counsel.
Even when speaking with your own insurance company or the police, be cautious and avoid oversharing. Simply stick to the facts of the case. It’s important to remain consistent when describing the events, as any doubt about your credibility could hurt your overall chances of recovering damages.
Sometimes, your insurer may have a different vision of how your case should end. In some instances, they may want to settle for less than you think your damages are worth. Depending on the information you’ve provided, you’ll have a harder time making an argument for continuing the fight.
The most likely situation where you and your insurance company are at odds is when dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver. In truck accident cases, many drivers behind the wheel of a big rig are private contractors, meaning you may not be able to seek damages from the freight company if you’re unable to prove an employer-employee relationship.
If a private contracted truck driver doesn’t have the insurance necessary to cover your damages, you may need to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, putting you and your insurance company at odds. In this case, your insurance company will aim to reduce the damages owed by as much as possible, and anything you’ve told them will be used to do so.
Get a Truck Accident Lawyer to Help You With Insurance Companies
Having a solid strategy in mind when informing your insurance company of a truck accident is key to boosting your chances of recovering the maximum amount of damages you can. Report your accident to your insurer promptly, but consult with a local Little Rock truck accident lawyer to get your facts straight before doing so.
Little Rock Trial Lawyers can help prepare you for when you call insurance by having a lawyer present. Unlike the insurance companies, we only get paid if you come out of your truck accident case with a settlement or favorable verdict. Call us at (501) 404-2333 to get started on your Arkansas truck accident case today.