Yes. An injured victim can make insurance claims with many different companies, depending on the circumstances of the crash. At our firm, we have often seen multiple insurance policies in play. In many ways, this is ideal, since it increases the likelihood that our clients will receive just compensation for their injuries.
Contact MG Law if you need help navigating the insurance claims process following a truck accident. Our lawyers are skilled at working with multiple insurers to make sure our clients are made whole.
Identify Who Shares Partial Blame
A person or entity at fault for an accident should pay compensation to injured victims. This is basic law here in Georgia.
It is also a black letter law that more than one person or entity can be at fault for a crash. Georgia recognizes something called comparative negligence, or comparative fault. It might be the case that two or more entities share some of the blame for an accident.
In truck accidents, many parties are possibly at fault:
- The truck driver. He could have been negligent or reckless by speeding, driving while texting, driving under the influence of drugs, or operating a vehicle when fatigued. A truck driver can be sued individually and might have a policy that covers him.
- The trucking company. If a driver is an employee, then the employer is automatically liable for the truck driver’s negligence on duty. Trucking companies also carry large business liability policies that should cover injuries.
- The truck manufacturer. If there is a defect on the truck, then the manufacturer of the truck and/or a component part could be sued. These companies also have insurance policies.
- The loading company. Cargo is often loaded by a different company. If unbalanced cargo contributed to an accident, a victim could sue the loading company, which should have business liability insurance.
- A mechanic. Defective or shoddy repair work can contribute to accidents. An injured truck accident victim could sue the mechanic or the shop he works at.
- The trucking insurance company. In Georgia, we have the “Direct Action Statute” O.C.G.A. Sec. 40-2-140 that allows an injured person to name the insurance company directly, as a party in the lawsuit.
These are only some of the defendants in a truck driving accident. Not all will be defendants in every case. However, you need to meet with an attorney who can investigate a wreck. Identifying all possible defendants is vital to bringing a successful claim.
Tapping Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In some accidents, the defendant might not have enough insurance to fully cover a victim’s losses. For example, someone who is paralyzed due to a brain or spinal cord injury could require millions of dollars in past, present, and future medical care. This person also probably can’t work, which might result in substantial lost income.
Serious injuries also warrant compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress. With permanent disabilities or disfigurements, the amount a client could receive might be $100,000 or more for this pain.
Added up, someone who suffers serious, life-changing injuries could deserve millions of dollars in compensation. However, what happens if the defendant’s policy does not cover the full amount? What happens if the defendant actually has no insurance?
This is where underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage comes in. A motorist (you) carries this insurance as added protection in the event the person at fault for your injuries either lacks insurance or carries a policy that is too small.
Here’s how this insurance works. Imagine that a motorist suffers $1.5 million in damages, and the trucking company is to blame for the collision. But the trucking company has a $1.0 million policy limit. This leaves $500,000 uncovered. If the motorist has underinsured motorist insurance, then he can tap that policy to cover some or all of the $500,000.
At our firm, we can work with your insurer to make a claim. Even though the company allegedly represents you, many of them aggressively deny claims, so an attorney’s assistance is always welcome.
Making Claims On Other Policies
Some of our clients also end up using medical payments coverage or their own health insurance to pay for medical care. Deciding which policy to use is often difficult. Your health insurer, for example, probably retains a right to be paid out of any settlement, whereas a medical payments insurer does not.
Let us help you navigate the insurance claims process. At MG Law, we have negotiated with every type of insurer, including business liability carriers and underinsured motorist insurers. We will do everything we can to maximize the amount that our clients take home after a serious truck accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.Tractor-Trailer Trucks Can Be Deadly