One of the most stressful things about running a trucking company is dealing with the aftermath of an accident. You will have to make a report to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the families of anyone who was injured or died in the crash. If the accident was severe enough, you may even have to deal with the press.
When you look at the website of any company that helps truckers operate, you will see the law requires trucking companies to have plenty of liability insurance. Trucking contracts require you to have cargo insurance to protect your customer’s goods.
You also need personal injury protection to cover you if an uninsured driver causes an accident. PIP insurance will also cover you if the other driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your driver’s bills.
You need physical damage insurance to cover repairs to your truck. It is important to know the process for filling a PIP or physical damage claim with an insurance company. It is always a good idea to have the assistance of an attorney when filing such a claim.
You Must Provide Documentation of Your Case
When you first call an insurance company to report your accident, you will talk to a representative who will ask you for some basic information about your case.
They will require documentation of your case that includes:
The police report
Witness phone numbers
Stories about the crash from local media
Cell phone records
Inventory of products that were damaged in the truck.
Cost of repairing damage to vehicles.
The insurance company may also require information from a driver’s electronic logging device. The ELD will record the driver’s hours, miles driven, and the speed at which the truck was traveling at the time of the accident.
It is always good to work with a company that handles the administrative needs of truckers. They keep trucking records organized so your trucker’s driving records and your FMCSA compliance records are readily available.
Whenever a truck is involved in a crash that results in injury or death, the trucking company must make a report to the FMCSA. This report may be included as documentation.
An Adjuster Will Investigate
Once the insurance company receives your information, an insurance adjuster will investigate the claim. They will decide whether to approve or deny the claim. If they approve your claim, they will make you a settlement offer. An attorney will be able to tell you if their offer is fair or if you are owed more money.
If the attorney thinks you should get a better settlement, they can negotiate with the insurance company for you. If they are unable to get you a fair settlement, you can discuss a lawsuit with your lawyer.
Once you have settled, the insurance company will pay you. Most states have a time limit for when you must receive payment.
Trucking is a very lucrative profession, but it is also dangerous. Documentation is the key to getting the money you deserve from an insurance company.