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What To Know Before Talking To An Insurance Company After An Ohio Truck Accident

Feeeling tired. Using smartphone. Young truck driver is with his vehicle at daytime

Despite the strict safety regulations that trucking companies and their drivers face, trucking accidents remain common in Ohio. In 2023 alone, the state saw over 15,000 trucking-related accidents, among which nearly 500 were fatal or caused serious injury. 

If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, know that you have the right to seek the justice and compensation you deserve. One of the first steps in beginning this recovery process involves contacting your insurance company and reporting the accident. 

But what should and shouldn’t you say when you call? And what information should you provide if you are contacted by the truck driver or trucking company’s insurance? Read on as we uncover what you should and should not say to your or the other party’s insurance company after a trucking accident.

If you were injured in a big rig or 18-wheeler accident, Slater & Zurz is here to help. Our injury attorneys can handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Call 330-762-0700 today to schedule a free consultation with a leading trucking accident attorney in Ohio.

Filing An Insurance Claim After A Truck Accident

Being involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other commercial truck while riding in a passenger vehicle often leads to serious injuries and extensive property damage. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious about what comes next.

Under Ohio law, you have the right to recover your losses from the party at fault for the crash. If the truck driver caused the accident, you can file a claim for damages with the driver’s insurance company or the insurance of the trucking company that the driver works for.

The types of compensation you might be able to receive include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Costs for future medical care or rehabilitation
  • Loss of past and future income
  • Repair or replacement of your vehicle
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment

If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you might be entitled to wrongful death damages, which typically include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Lost benefits
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost future income

The Role Of An Insurance Adjuster

Each time an accident claim is filed with an insurance company, the claim is assigned to an adjuster. An adjuster is a professional hired by the insurance company to handle claims on its behalf—their job is to investigate the accident, determine who or what was at fault, and negotiate a settlement for damages with the party who initiated the claim.

Adjusters aim to settle the claim as quickly as possible and save their company money for as little money as possible. That’s why it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t say after a truck accident. 

What To Keep In Mind When Talking To An Insurance Company

If this is your first time speaking to an adjuster, the task can be particularly daunting. This is especially true if the accident only happened recently—you may not yet fully grasp the extent of your injuries, how they might impact your ability to work, or even the lasting changes they could bring to your daily life. You might also be unaware of the full extent of the property damage that resulted from the crash.

Given these complexities, we strongly recommend seeking the support of a trucking accident attorney. With a trucking accident attorney as your advocate, you gain not only legal expertise but also a strategic partner who can anticipate insurance tactics, manage all communications, and fight to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

If you choose to engage with the insurance company directly, keep these tips in mind on what you should and shouldn’t say after a trucking accident:

  • Do not agree to give a recorded statement: When you speak to the adjuster, they will ask whether they can record your statement. Remember: you do not have to say yes. The purpose of recording you is to lock you into the details you give them, including the events of the accident, the amount of property damage you sustained, or the nature and extent of your injuries.
  • Stick to the facts: Try to reply using a simple “yes” or “no” when you can, and don’t volunteer any additional information.  The more information you give, the more likely you are to say something that can hurt your case.
  • Don’t say you’re sorry: It is not uncommon for accident victims to apologize or take some of the blame for the accident—even when the crash was not their fault. Do not say sorry or give details about your role in the accident.
  • Don’t talk about your injuries: This might seem counterintuitive, but discussing your injuries prematurely can lead to inaccurate assessments that may affect your compensation later. Injuries may not present themselves for days, weeks, or even months after a truck accident, and adrenaline and shock can easily mask symptoms of serious injuries. 
  • Keep track of all communication with the insurance company: Write down who you spoke to, when the conversation took place, and what you discussed. The insurance company is doing the same thing, so keep your conversation professional and to the point.
  • Don’t back down: Insurance adjusters will try to get you to settle for as little as possible, so don’t be quick to accept their offer. Even if you feel the offer is fair, you might be unaware of the damages you are entitled to. That is why we highly recommend speaking with an injury lawyer to see whether you should accept the settlement, continue to negotiate, or take the matter to an Ohio court to receive full and fair compensation.

Injured In A Truck Accident? Our Ohio Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help

Dealing with insurance companies following a trucking accident can be extremely stressful and frustrating. It’s not just about rehashing a traumatic event, but also about facing someone who’s there to scrutinize every detail to minimize their financial liability.

Our experienced trucking accident lawyers at Slater & Zurz can help you navigate this challenging time. By handling all communication with the insurance companies and any other third parties relating to your accident, we empower you to focus on healing from your injuries. 

To learn more about pursuing compensation or how our skilled personal injury lawyers in Ohio can assist you, call 330-762-0700 for a free, no-obligation case review. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and have offices across Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.