If you were recently involved in a trucking accident there is a good chance you suffered serious injuries because of the collision. As the victim of a Florida trucking accident, you could be entitled to compensation for both your out of pocket expenses and your pain and suffering. You may be wondering “How do I negotiate with a trucking company after an accident?” While there is no legal requirement that you work with an experienced Florida trucking accident attorney when it comes to negotiating compensation for your injuries, there are several important reasons why attempting to negotiate a settlement yourself will likely result in a much smaller settlement.
Negotiating a settlement for a small fender-bender involving only passenger vehicles may not require the assistance of a skilled attorney; however, when a tractor-trailer was at fault in the collision it is not usually in your best interest to proceed pro se, or without legal representation. Some common factors that complicate matters in a trucking accident include:
- Injuries – because of the sheer size and weight of a tractor-trailer, the injuries a victim receives in a trucking accident are generally much more serious than in a typical car accident. The more severe the injuries, the more valuable the claim. The more valuable the claim, the more difficult it is to negotiate a settlement as a general rule.
- Multiple defendants – unlike a typical car accident, in a trucking accident there are almost always multiple potential defendants, including the driver, the owner of the truck, the owner of the cargo and even the manufacturer of the truck. Even if you can agree on the value of the claim you then must decide who is responsible and in what proportions. Not surprisingly, each potential defendant will likely try and push the blame onto the other defendants, further complicating matters.
- Proving negligence – often, proving negligence, or fault, in a trucking accident case requires an accident reconstruction expert. The typical victim does not have the resources or funds to bring in an expert; yet, negotiating a settlement will depend first on proving negligence.
- Insurance adjuster – negotiating a settlement does not happen with the trucking company but with an adjuster for the company’s liability insurance carrier. Adjusters for a trucking insurance company are skilled negotiators whose job is to limit the company’s financial liability. The adjuster spends all day, every day, negotiating claims whereas a victim will do this once in a lifetime. Clearly, the adjuster has the upper hand unless the victim retains the services of an experienced trucking accident attorney to make the negotiations fair.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in the State of Florida it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Florida trucking accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Contact the accident team at Powers Sellers & Finkelstein PLC by calling 727-531-2926 today to schedule your appointment.