If you ever get into an accident with a large truck, you should probably count yourself fortunate to survive. You may not feel fortunate, but trucks are far more lethal than smaller cars and SUVs thanks to their size. So, simply surviving is a win, even though you’ll then likely find yourself facing new battles.
Recovering from a truck crash can be a long and agonizing process. You may need extensive medical treatment and physical therapy. You may need to adjust your lifestyle. And you may need to fight your case against a small army of the truck company’s lawyers.
The problem of truck accident fraud
There are many reasons truck companies and their insurers want to deny or minimize your claim. One is simple economics. If they pay, they have less money. They’d rather not pay. Another reason is more surprising: There are scammers out there who actually try to trap trucks into crashes. They look for ways to stage crashes where the truck driver could appear to be at fault. Then they exaggerate their injuries to sue for millions of dollars.
This is likely more common than you think. It’s common enough that the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has identified several “common schemes.” These include:
- Slowing down as if allowing a truck driver to merge. Then accelerating until the truck hits the side of the vehicle.
- Pulling in front of a truck, using a spotter to catch the driver looking away and then braking hard.
- At an intersection with two left-turn lanes, the car in the outer lane pulls ahead of the truck in the inner lane and turns too tightly. This causes the truck to strike the other car.
Often, the criminals in these schemes get caught. But the schemes don’t always stop with the drivers. From the truck company’s point of view, everyone could be in on these fraudulent claims. The driver, passengers, doctors and even the lawyers.
How you can use this information to strengthen a legitimate claim
It’s frustrating to think that these scammers might encourage truck companies to deny you the compensation you deserve. However, to avoid getting caught by these scams, truck companies use all kinds of technology and investigative techniques to gain evidence. These may include:
- Video recording
- Onboard data systems
- Checking call records
- Checking prior claims by the plaintiffs
When your claim is legitimate, such evidence may very well support it. So long as you gain access to it. Truck companies aren’t always happy to share their data and evidence, but experienced truck accident attorneys know where to look. This is one of the reasons it’s important for victims to work with an attorney who can use the truck company’s own records to support your case.
The high cost of damages lies at the center
Ultimately, the reason truck companies fight so hard is that truck crashes can be devastating. This means victims can face damages worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Insurers don’t want to pay for all your medical bills, therapy, auto repairs, lost wages and pain and suffering. They want to pay even less for fraudulent claims.
As a result, you can expect the truck company and its lawyers to fight you. They’ll fight you at every turn. You may feel like they’re adding insult to your injury. But knowing that you can use their techniques against them? That might help you carry on, struggle through and get the justice you deserve.