5 Ways Truck Companies Try To Avoid Liability
One of the things you’ll find after getting into a truck accident anywhere in the state of Arizona is that these companies will, quite quickly, begin moving to delay, deny, and defend against your claim. Truck accident cases are expensive. They bring bad PR. They don’t want to pay them also. To Avoid any claim, there are 5 ways truck companies try to avoid liability in an accident.
This is why you need an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. With the proper experience, your lawyer will be able to defend against most of these tactics. Yet you should be aware of them as well because if you get blindsided it can be easy to make mistakes that devalue your case.
#1) Claiming the driver is just an independent contractor.
This is a favorite of all trucking companies. If the driver can be made responsible as an independent contractor then their own commercial insurance (which the driver will not always have because they think they’re covered by the trucking company) would kick in instead.
Fortunately, there are established legal tests that can be used to determine if someone is an independent contractor or an employee, and trucking companies usually fail the test. They may designate a driver as an independent contractor, but when it turns out that the company is the trucker’s only “client” then their true employment status becomes very clear very quickly.
#2) Shifting the blame to a different party.
Trucking companies will try to blame anyone else they can. The truck part manufacturer. The state, for the condition of the highways. Other drivers on the road.
The truth is most trucking accidents are caused by truckers, and that truckers who are operating some of the biggest vehicles on the road have a much higher duty of care to their fellow drivers than the average driver does.
Of course, we do want to identify every complicit or responsible party so we can hold them all accountable for their percentage of the settlement. That’s a basic step any competent personal injury attorney will take. Yet we will also investigate the facts of the case to make sure the trucking company doesn’t wriggle out of any responsibility.
#3) Finding ways to increase your percentage of responsibility.
Using Arizona’s status as a pure comparative negligence state is a pretty common tactic. If they can’t avoid paying you altogether they’ll look for ways to pay you less. In a truck accident case, every percentage point of fault they can assign to you can end up being worth several thousand dollars, sometimes more.
They will pick apart your every action on the road. If they can find a way to get you named the at-fault party, so much the better.
#4) Finding ways to downplay your injuries.
This is another tactic to reduce the final bill. If they can prove you’re not really as hurt as you say you are maybe they can reduce your pain and suffering multiplier, which could easily cost you a quarter of a million dollars or more.
They will bend over backward to link your injuries to pre-existing conditions. They might hire private investigators to show that your daily activities are inconsistent with the injuries you’re claiming. No dirty trick is too dirty for them.
#5) Destroying or altering evidence.
It happens. Logbooks get altered, GPS systems get erased, physical evidence gets swept away. You need an attorney who can either find where the alterations have happened or who can make the lack of evidence work for you in court.
Ideally, you’ll get an attorney quickly enough to ensure that they can subpoena the evidence. You need it before anything happens to it.
Get help today.
Truck accidents are some of the most complicated personal injury cases anyone will ever face. Make sure you put an expert on your side.
Tony Merchant has 30+ years of experience helping Arizona truck accident victims. Contact us to set up a consultation today.