Truck Accident Lawyer
Georgia law requires every driver to carry liability insurance. When a truck driver causes an accident, that driver’s insurance pays compensation to injured victims.
The amount of compensation depends on the extent of the injuries and on whether the truck driver and the injury victim were both responsible for the accident. It may also depend on the liability limits that the policy holder purchased.
A truck accident victim’s claim for compensation will usually be made to the truck driver’s insurance company. Your own insurance company may not be required to pay anything.
Still, there is probably a clause in your insurance contract that requires you to notify your insurance company if you were involved in an accident. If you fail to do so, your insurer might not be responsible for paying any compensation that it would otherwise be required to pay.
Since it is difficult to know in the days following an accident how questions of fault might be decided, it is wise to obey the policy terms and to notify your insurance company of the accident. To assure that your interests are fully protected, it is also smart to get legal advice before providing that notice.
Calling Your Insurance Company After a Georgia Truck Accident
There are times when you might need to make a claim against your own insurance company. If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may need to look to your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to obtain full compensation for your injuries.
Fortunately, most trucking companies carry ample insurance. Some independent operators, however, violate Georgia law by continuing to drive after their insurance lapses.
Uninsured motorist coverage also protects against hit-and-run drivers. If you are sideswiped by a merging truck that keeps going after the crash, you will need to rely on your uninsured motorist coverage unless you (or the police) can identify the truck that hit you.
When you make a claim against your insurance company, the company has a duty to pay that claim in good faith. Unfortunately, most insurance companies care only about their bottom line. They often resist paying claims or invent reasons to pay less than full compensation.
Every conversation you have with your insurance company is important. Statements you make might be misunderstood. Your words might be twisted and used against you. Having your truck accident lawyer report the accident on your behalf is the best way to protect yourself if it later becomes necessary to make a claim against your own insurer.
Dealing with the Driver’s Insurance Company After a Georgia Truck Accident
You do not need to call the truck driver’s insurer. A claims adjuster for the truck driver’s insurance company will probably call you.
Claims adjusters want to take statements as soon as they can. They hope to talk to accident victims before they have a chance to talk to a lawyer. They also want accident victims to give a statement before they have had the opportunity to review accident reports. They take advantage of accident victims who are not fully prepared to discuss the accident.
The claims adjuster wants to save the insurance company’s money. The adjuster will ask questions, and may try to shape your answers, with that end in mind.
While your insurance policy requires you to cooperate if you make a claim against your own insurance, you have no legal obligation to talk to a claims adjuster who works for the truck driver’s insurance company. It is best to tell the driver’s claims adjuster that you need to get legal advice before you answer any questions.
Your truck accident lawyer can contact the claims adjuster on your behalf. There is no rush to talk to the truck driver’s insurance company. Letting your lawyer do the talking for you will relieve your stress while you focus on recovering from your injuries.