If you have been in an accident involving an eighteen-wheeler, you need the best semi-truck accident attorney Brookings can offer.
Semi-truck accidents are different than when two non-commercial vehicles are in a wreck. An accident can be a career-ender for a professional driver and cause considerable damage to any smaller cars involved.
Unfortunately, even the best driver can wind up in an accident. Although you can take all the precautions in the world, collisions are a hazard of driving. You can control how you drive, but you cannot control all the other drivers on the road.
If you get in an accident with a big rig, you should know what to do. This includes what impact commercial driving can have on liability and compensation. Unfortunately, if it is not your daily job to be on the road, you may be unaware of the finer details involved in an accident.
Even the most clear-cut accidents can be difficult to deal with. This is especially true if your insurance company does not cover your policy as it should. Discover how a semi-truck accident attorney can help if your insurance company is acting in bad faith.
Semi-Truck Insurance Coverage
Commercial drivers have different insurance requirements from everyday drivers. Dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of an accident is sometimes difficult. However, it can be much easier to know what types of insurance the other driver carries.
No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, always read insurance policies carefully. Doing so ensures you are clear about what coverage the policy actually provides. Contacting a semi-truck accident attorney will help answer any questions you have.
Types of Insurance or Coverage Specific to Semi-Trucks
Primary Liability Insurance
Law requires all drivers to carry primary liability insurance. Liability insurance provides coverage for any damage caused to another driver by a semi-truck driver. Unfortunately, if the truck is damaged in an accident and the truck driver is at fault,
this insurance will not provide coverage for the at-fault driver. It will, however, provide coverage for you. If the truck driver is not at fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance should compensate for any damage to the semi.
Physical Damage Insurance
Physical damage coverage is usually required for big rigs that are leased or still being paid off. It is a more comprehensive form of insurance and often includes not just collision coverage (for accident-related damage to the own truck). Physical damage coverage also includes other forms of damage or loss, such as fire or theft.
Bobtail insurance is most necessary for semi-truck drivers who frequently drive without a trailer (called “bobtailing”). It covers issues that occur when the trailer is not attached.
Motor Truck Cargo Insurance
Cargo insurance is specifically to cover the loss of any cargo the truck may haul. If the semi has a full trailer when an accident happens, the cargo can be damaged or destroyed. Cargo insurance should cover this; it may also cover other types of loss (like theft). Some cargo policies can be tricky, or exclude specific forms of accident or loss.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
Unfortunately, even if a truck driver has all the different types of insurance coverage in the world, insurance companies can still act in bad faith. When dealing with big rigs and commercial driving, you may also be dealing with multiple parties with various insurance companies, making the whole ordeal more complicated. Having a semi-truck accident attorney on your side makes determining liability and navigating the process less frustrating.
Signs of Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance provider fails to uphold its duties to its clients, both those expressly written out and those expressly implied in a policy. Denying a valid claim or failing to properly investigate an accident are two examples of how an insurance company might act in bad faith. The company might also make unreasonable (and unnecessary) requests for documentation they do not need, or intentionally misinterpret the language of your policy to make it sound like they are not financially responsible for what has occurred.
Some nefarious companies go even further. They may delay payments and then make incredibly low offers. They do this hoping the client will accept an unreasonably low amount to have some sort of compensation, instead of getting the compensation they deserve. Contact a semi-truck accident attorney immediately if you encounter these issues.
Commercial Drivers and Bad Faith Insurance
When this happens in an accident involving a trucker, even more, serious consequences may occur. Commercial drivers typically have more people and companies involved in their insurance coverage. This might mean you are more likely to get prompt responses and thorough service.
Unfortunately, it can also mean there are more individuals behind the other driver, helping make things difficult for you. Whether the accident was your fault or another driver’s, whether your own insurance company performs the bad faith or the at-fault driver’s, not having access to compensation can interfere with many factors of your life.
If your vehicle was so damaged that it was undrivable in the accident. Insurance bad faith can make repairs or purchasing a new vehicle virtually impossible. If you experienced a bodily injury, you may be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills. Even more troubling, if the injury was severe enough to prevent you from working. You have no way to make the money required to pay those bills.
How Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys in Brookings Can Help
A trucker who works for a large company may benefit from a large legal team and expansive insurance policy. Those bodies may have their own plan. They may fight for the driver, for a fair outcome, or for the business paying them. After a semi-truck accident, an attorney who partners with you and fights for you can make a huge difference in what happens after an accident.
If your claim is denied, you have legal options. The first step is to find out why your claim was denied. Insurance claims are sometimes denied for legitimate reasons – perhaps your policy does not cover what you expected, or your original claim had some mistakes. If you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith, however, hiring an expert attorney in insurance fraud to help you is crucial.
A semi-truck accident attorney can help you understand why your insurance company denies your claim, and figure out how to appeal the denial. In the case of a legitimate denial, a good accident attorney can help you resubmit your claim with the essential information to rectify the situation.
If you have been denied because your insurance company or the other driver is acting in bad faith, your attorney will represent you and help influence the company into sticking to the policy. If the worst should happen, your attorney will also prepare your case for trial to get the compensation you deserve.
For More Information
If your insurance company isn’t coming through for you, Turbak Law will. Our expert team of accident and insurance lawyers will help you understand the process and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Get the best semi-truck accident attorney in Brookings: Contact Turbak Law today to schedule a free consultation!