Six Facts About These Accidents That Nobody Wants You to Know
When you’re driving, you may be afraid of a crash with a drunk driver or a distracted driver running you off the road. We all think of possible collisions with other vehicles, but we may not consider other real risks on the road—like debris from other vehicles or trucks hitting your car.
Road debris hazards are more common than you think, and they can cause you to crash your car and suffer serious injuries.
Debris can hit cars in many different ways. Imagine this: A contractor fills a truck bed with supplies and tools—but fails to secure them. As the contractor drives on the highway, the wind blows something out of the truck, and it comes flying at your car. Items can hit your windshield—both cracking the windshield and scaring the daylights out of you, or penetrating the windshield and striking you or a passenger! Many drivers panic, then swerve or crash.
Here are a few things that nobody—other drivers, trucking companies, or insurance companies (including your own!)—wants to tell you.
FACT #1: These claims are very complex, and you’ll need the help of an experienced law firm to prevail. We have more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with debris-related accidents. We know the laws and all the “tricks of the trade,” and we know how to win these cases for our clients.
If you were in an accident caused by debris, call us right now at 800-898-4877 or contact us by clicking HERE to discuss your case for free.
How Cargo Comes Loose
FACT #2: Flatbed trucks are a major risk when it comes to debris coming loose. These trucks carry large or awkwardly shaped items such as lumber or machinery. When someone doesn’t properly secure items, they can fall off and hit other vehicles. Proper cargo loading and security are so important that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets specific regulations for how to do it. Not everyone follows the regulations, however. You often hear about lumber and construction equipment falling off a flatbed truck and causing a major crash involving many cars.
FACT #2.5: Other vehicles can allow debris to fly loose, too. Many cars and SUVs feature bike racks, cargo carriers, and other equipment. A bike rack that malfunctions or an improperly secured bike can come off the car and crash into cars behind it. While we don’t think of bike racks as particularly dangerous items, people can suffer serious injuries if a bike comes loose.
Like any accident, you want to know whom you can hold liable for your losses, which can include medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
FACT #3: The driver may be at fault. First, obviously, always take a look at the driver of the truck or vehicle. Did that person fail to properly secure the items that turned into debris, or drive erratically and cause the items to come loose? Answers to these questions can indicate driver negligence.
FACT #4: Corporations—like construction firms or trucking companies—usually own the vehicles that produce flying debris. In many cases, you can hold these companies liable for the actions of employees who drove or loaded the truck dangerously. You need an attorney who knows when to hold corporations liable, as they usually carry large insurance policies that can cover your losses more easily.
The first step after this type of accident is generally to file an insurance claim with the liable party’s provider.
FACT #5: As usual, you can bet that insurance adjusters will look for any way possible to limit your payout—even if they admit liability!
Adjusters will say you can trust them to help you, but really, they’re willing to use anything you say to reduce your settlement offer.
They can reduce your settlement by claiming:
- This accident didn’t cause all of your injuries
- You didn’t need all the treatments you received
- You could have returned to work before you did
- You can make a living despite disabling injuries
- You won’t need as much medical treatment in the future as you claim
- You exaggerated the pain and suffering that you felt
Just because you claim a certain amount of losses—even if you provide evidence of your losses—does not mean that insurance companies will automatically offer you that amount. They will almost always see if you’ll accept a lowball offer first—and it can take skilled negotiations by an experienced attorney to get them to increase settlement offers to the amount you deserve.
In some cases, an insurance policy won’t cover your losses or an insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer. In this situation, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit. This complicated process calls for a personal injury attorney at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, who will zealously fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Driver Often Doesn’t Realize What Happened
FACT #6: In many of these accidents, drivers may not even know that debris flew off their vehicles and caused injuries. If they just keep driving, you may not identify the driver at all, so you can’t hold that person liable for your losses.
All hope is not lost, however, as your uninsured motorist policy should cover losses in this type of accident.
Even though it’s your own policy doesn’t mean the insurance company will make it easy. Your own insurer will also want to limit payouts when possible—even though you pay monthly premiums! If you think you may need to file an uninsured motorist claim, seek help from an experienced car accident lawyer. A lawyer will help you prove that another vehicle caused your accident, as well as the extent of your losses.
The Insurance Process Can Be VERY Complicated
FACT #7: You might not just be dealing with one insurance company, as you might need to file multiple claims. Dealing with one insurance company is difficult enough when you must also deal with serious injuries, medical appointments, missed work, needing help at home, and so much more.
However, many parties might share liability for the debris flying into your car, such as:
- The driver of the truck or car
- The employer of the driver
- The crew that secured the cargo or put the debris in the truck
- The manufacturer of cargo carriers, bike racks, or other equipment that malfunctions due to defects
In these situations, you would need to file insurance claims against the insurers of all parties that have some degree of liability.
When an injury completely disrupts your life, the last thing you need is several insurance adjusters calling and emailing. You shouldn’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing during each communication. Contact our car accident lawyers right away after the accident so we can start handling all communications right from the very start.
Focus on your physical recovery, and let us focus on your financial recovery!
FACT #8: The insurance company will try to reduce or deny your claim. Many people think that insurance companies should willingly write checks for losses because policyholders pay costly premiums to have coverage. Yes, this is how it SHOULD work, but it is rarely how it DOES work.
Instead, insurance companies are out to make profits, and the number one way they do this is by collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible on claims. When this happens, the insurance companies win, and injured accident victims lose.
There are different ways that insurance companies work to take advantage of claimants like you:
Challenging liability – As discussed, you may not know just who was responsible for objects or debris flying off vehicles and hitting your car. The insurance company will definitely try to use this to its advantage, and it will try to blame someone else. You might not know how you can best challenge the insurance company’s claim that it should not be liable for your damages. It can take sophisticated evidence and arguments to stand up for your claim, and this is why you want professional legal help.
Challenging your injuries and losses – Even if the insurance company admits it should have liability, that does not mean that you will easily receive the amount you need. The insurance company will likely glance at your demand letter and the damages you deserve, then the adjuster will conduct their own calculations. These calculations might even come from computer software that does not understand human pain and suffering from serious injuries.
When you receive an offer that is far too low, you might not know what to do. Remember that this is common and expected when it comes to injury claims, and you have no obligation to accept this offer. In fact, this brings us to our next fact—
FACT #9: You should never accept a settlement offer without a lawyer’s review. Insurance companies love unrepresented claimants because they hope that you will accept the first offer you receive. Some people want a check in their hand as soon as possible, and others might not realize they have another option other than to accept the offer.
The fact is that if you accept an offer that is too low, you will lose out on the rest of the compensation you deserve. As part of your settlement agreement, you will have to sign a waiver that takes away your right to take additional action for compensation stemming from this accident. This means that what you accept is all that you will get.
Too many people miss out on a lot of compensation that they deserve because they accept a settlement without having a lawyer review it first. Our car accident attorneys can review your losses and the settlement offer and help you decide whether or not the amount offered is adequate. If not, we can negotiate with the insurer several times if needed to get you the full amount you deserve.
FACT #10: In some cases, you might have to file a personal injury lawsuit to get what you need to cover your losses. Insurance companies might simply refuse to offer you a fair amount, and fortunately, you still have other options. Your attorney can prepare and file a personal injury complaint against the liable parties in civil court.
While you might file this personal injury lawsuit against the driver, company, or other negligent parties, the insurance companies covering the parties have the duty to defend against such claims. This means you will face off against the insurance company’s legal team, so you need a lawyer who is ready to stand up to them.
The lawsuit process has many steps, and your lawyers can work to settle the case along the way. Often, once an insurance company realizes that you have a strong case and that your lawyer is not backing down, its representatives will offer a favorable settlement. You can accept the settlement if you are happy with it, and the case will reach its resolution.
However, some insurance companies continue to offer an insufficient amount or might even refuse to admit liability. In these cases, your lawyer will have to represent you at trial. This means the jury will hear all evidence from both sides and decide whether you deserve compensation and how much. While we all prefer to avoid a trial, we may need to go to court to protect your rights, and you want the right lawyer ready to litigate your case for you.
A Lawyer Can Help Your Case
After a shocking accident, like having debris fly off another vehicle and hit you, you may not know what to do. Should you hire a lawyer? Is it too expensive? Our next facts below explain how a lawyer can help with your debris accident case and why you should never worry about the cost.
FACT #11: A lawyer knows what evidence it takes to prove your claim. Proving liability can require evidence, and this is especially true when parties and their insurers try to deny responsibility. Most people do not know how to gather or collect evidence to prove their claims that specific parties should cover their losses.
The good news is that an experienced car accident attorney will know what evidence you need. We have the resources to collect all types of evidence, including witness testimony, video footage, documents and records, and more. We can present this evidence in the most persuasive way possible to present your strongest case—whether directly to the insurance company in settlement negotiations or at a jury trial.
While we gather evidence and build your case, follow your treatment and recovery plan. This takes stress off of you, knowing that you have someone you can trust to pursue your financial recovery for you.
FACT #12: A lawyer knows how to negotiate a higher settlement. As we mentioned above, insurance companies have one goal in mind – to limit your payout. Expect that an initial settlement offer will fall far below the amount you demanded for your damages, even if you asked for completely reasonable damages. Many people stop in their tracks when they see the first offer, as it is so much lower than they expected.
While it is always possible to negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a higher settlement, you might not know how to go about doing so. If you have never negotiated an insurance offer before, you might not know what arguments to make.
This is where your car accident lawyer comes in. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies and make the case for your full compensation. Leave the negotiating to us, and you continue to make sure that your injuries are recovering properly.
FACT #13: It costs you nothing to hire a car accident lawyer. Too many people try to handle their own insurance claims because they believe that a lawyer will be too expensive. Watching television and movies can make you believe that there is no way you can afford an attorney’s exorbitant hourly fees. However, car accident cases do not work like most cases you see on TV.
Personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingency basis. This means:
- We provide completely free case evaluations and will advise you whether you have a valid claim, answer your questions, and explain the personal injury process to you at absolutely no cost
- If you choose us to represent you, we charge nothing upfront
- We front all costs of your investigation, insurance claim, and lawsuit if needed
- If we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for you, we do not ask for a dime from you, and you owe us nothing
- If we are successful in recovering compensation for you, we take a percentage of your settlement as our fees
- The fees come directly from the settlement, and you never have to come up with any funds out of your own pocket to pay us
The reality is that anyone can afford a car accident lawyer to help them after they suffer damage and injuries from debris hitting their vehicle. You have nothing to lose by calling for a consultation with an experienced attorney and letting us help you.
Our National Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help!
Whether you need to file an insurance claim with a third party’s policy, an uninsured motorist claim, or a personal injury lawsuit, talk to an attorney at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers as soon as possible. Our lawyers will not only take the stress off of you, but will also do everything possible to make sure you receive the full amount of financial recovery to which the law entitles you.
With principal offices in Houston, Texas, the lawyers and legal professionals of our recognized car accident law firm, Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, have spent 20 years helping victims protect and preserve their rights after any type of traffic accident—whether you got hit by debris or another vehicle. Our law firm represents clients nationwide and we hope to help you.
If you suffered injuries after debris struck you or your vehicle, or in any other type of car or truck accident, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. To schedule your case evaluation, call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking HERE.