Photo of Lake County office location

What does the claims process after a semi-truck crash involve?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Most drivers Indiana have at least a vague understanding of how to pursue an insurance claim after a basic car crash. However, when the party at fault for the collision is an operator of an 18-wheeler or semi-truck, the situation is far different than the average traffic wreck.

Commercial trucks have the ability to cause the absolute destruction of smaller vehicles and devastating injuries to the people inside them. Those affected by such crashes may have to pursue a relatively lengthy and complicated insurance claims process.

What steps are generally necessary for people to obtain insurance compensation after a semi-truck crash?

A thorough investigation

The first step in any insurance claim is an investigation. Much of that process occurs immediately after the collision. Police officers come to the scene of the crash to document details and potentially issue a citation to the party at fault for the incident. When there are sizable losses caused by a semi-truck collision, a secondary investigation may be important for the person pursuing compensation. A lawyer assisting an injured individual could seek certain types of evidence, ranging from data recorded by cameras and logging devices in the semi-truck to traffic camera footage. In some cases, reconstruction may help provide a workable timeline of what happened before and during the crash. Those details can be important when handling a claim.

Requesting appropriate compensation

Once an investigation has validated someone’s claim that the semi-truck was to blame for the crash, communication with the commercial insurance company starts. The affected party can submit a claim based on what they believe the total financial impact of the crash may be. Oftentimes, semi-trucks produce far more expensive property damage losses and injuries than other vehicles. Thankfully, the law does mandate higher levels of insurance coverage for commercial vehicles. The potential for better compensation exists, but so does the likelihood of more significant pushback from the insurance provider. Negotiations can be quite intense and might last for weeks after the crash.

Settling may not be the best option. While many people coping with the aftermath of a semi-truck crash are eager to move forward, settling an insurance claim too quickly can be a major mistake. In some cases, an attorney familiar with insurance company tactics can push settlement negotiations in the right direction by countering low offers and providing documentation affirming the compensation requests. Other times, the insurance company may not offer a reasonable amount of compensation, forcing the matter to go to civil court. Litigation can sometimes yield more appropriate compensation. A pending trial date could also help motivate an insurance company to negotiate in a more reasonable manner.

Those preparing for an insurance claim after a semi-truck collision often need assistance, a realistic idea of their long-term losses and patience. Approaching a truck crash insurance claim with the right attitude and support can make a major difference.