Understanding the Opposition in a Fatal Truck Accident Case
As discussed in further detail on our page explaining the basics of these crashes, accidents with commercial vehicles need to be handled differently than those involving passenger vehicles. At Grossman Law Offices, one of the ways we prepare to do so is by researching our opponents, so that we can stay a step ahead of the trucking companies. This article will hopefully give you a better idea of what to expect as you attempt to hold them accountable for your losses.
Questions Answered in This Article:
- Who are the entities on the other side of your truck accident claim?
- What will trucking companies do to discredit your case?
- What kind of behavior can I expect from the trucking company, their driver, and their insurer?
Who is the Opposition?
This might seem like an obvious question. But there are several entities fighting against you in a truck accident case, each with their own varying motives:
The Truck Driver
Obviously the driver is one of the first people we look at when dealing with this kind of case. While it's rare for a driver to willfully seek out the opportunity to do harm, even the most well-meaning of individuals has to consider their own well-being. For the truck driver, driving is their livelihood. Therefore, they won't want to do anything to endanger their source of income. That often creates a situation when they are less than forthcoming regarding the circumstances of the accident. This dynamic is exacerbated by the respective agendas of the trucking company and their insurer.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company ultimately bears liability for the mistakes of their employee. That means that both the company itself and the lawyers that work for them are highly motivated to make sure the events of the case are viewed in the best possible light for them. The trucking company's attorneys aren't at all above trying to influence the driver that caused the accident to modify their account of what happened, or to seek out witnesses before the authorities can speak to them. We've even seen companies follow victim's families to try to get dirt on them. In short, given how much they have at stake financially, the trucking company is willing to do whatever they legally can to tarnish the reputation of the victim or their family if it avoids them having to pay for the costs of their negligence.
The Trucking Company's Insurance Provider
Insurance companies that represent the trucking company are another entity involved in your claim that must be kept in mind. Trucking companies are required to carry major insurance policies that can be worth millions of dollars, depending on what kind of cargo they are carrying at the time of the accident. Just like trucking companies, insurance providers are more than willing to fight dirty if it avoids them having to pay out on an expensive commercial policy. They often try to tempt victims to settle their claims quickly, and for far less than fair compensation. Settling early to get this whole ordeal behind you may seem beneficial, but you could be wind up getting a settlement that doesn't begin to cover all of the costs you've already endured, to say nothing of the ongoing costs coming down the pike.
It's also important to note no lawsuit has any value until you prove it. That means you have to prove that the damages were severe and that the truck driver is to blame. If your loved one was killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the value of that case can be significant. But if you can't prove that the truck driver was at fault, they don't have to pay you anything.
As we've already seen, the insurance carrier and the trucking company are both going to put up quite a fight when it comes to accepting liability for a fatal accident. This will manifest in attempts to shift the blame elsewhere and assaults on the character of the victim or their family. It's also much easier to pin the blame on someone who's dead and can't argue otherwise, a fact of which the trucking company and their insurer will take full advantage. This is part of the reason why evidence is incredibly important to proving your case: it speaks to what actually happened as your loved one is no longer able to.
What They Will Do To Deflect Liability
Here are just a few examples of the shocking behavior trucking companies and their lawyers exhibit while trying to shift the outcome of a case in their favor:
- Attack the character of the victim or their family.
- Look through the victim's social media accounts.
- Look into the personal history of the victim for incriminating information.
- Look at the victim's police records.
- Obtain the testimonies of friends, family, neighbors, to twist for their own use.
- They will even spy on your family without your knowledge.
This kind of behavior is unbelievable, but when a company with millions of dollars on the line is put in a tight spot, they often fight dirty. Luckily, being a Texas based law firm, we're not afraid of a little dust. We have over 25 years of battling with trucking companies and we can answer whatever questions you have about your case. Give us a call today. We have attorneys available to talk to you 24/7. You can reach us anytime at (855) 326-0000 if you or your family need clarification on anything you've read in this article.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Texas Wrongful Death Case?
- What Compensation Is Available after a Fatal Truck Accident Case?
- What Injured Truckers Need to Know About Truck Accident Law