What Defenses Are Commonly Used in Truck Accident Cases?

Commercial trucks carrying full loads can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When they are involved in accidents, life-changing and catastrophic injuries are often the outcome for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. The price of medical care and treatments alone will be astronomical and that doesn’t even take into account issues such as decreased quality of life or pain and suffering. Between the ever-growing stack of medical bills and the lost income due to recovery, you can quickly find yourself in dire financial straits. Although you are entitled to recover financial compensation, the freight company is going to do everything in its not-inconsiderable power to get out of paying what it owes, even when they are obviously to blame. This means that both the freight company and its insurance provider are financially incentivized to reduce their liability as much as possible by using underhanded tactics like claiming you were at fault or that your serious injuries were not the result of their driver’s negligence. If you sustained injuries in a commercial truck accident, contact the Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free consultation. 

How Do Freight Companies Try to Avoid Liability for Accidents?

In a civil claim, the at-fault party is allowed to defend themselves against the accusations being made. In truck accident cases especially, you can expect the opposing side to prepare a vigorous defense. They know that if they are found liable, they will be responsible for paying a substantial amount of financial compensation for your injuries and other losses. Defenses that are commonly used by the at-fault party in truck accident cases are: 

Claiming Your Injuries Were Not Caused by the Crash 

Be extremely cautious about releasing your medical records to an insurance company. To circumvent financial liability, an insurance adjuster will scrutinize your medical history for an injury you sustained in the past and claim that it is the reason for your current condition.

Running the Clock Out

To avoid any issues with Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations, you need to act quickly. It takes a considerable amount of time to fully investigate the accident and prove liability, so it is crucial to contact a Virginia Beach truck accident attorney as quickly as possible.

Shifting Fault Onto You

Virginia adheres to an archaic set of contributory negligence laws. Unfortunately, these laws prevent you from collecting any financial compensation if you are even a little bit at fault for the accident. Due to this, the at-fault party will work extremely hard to prove that you committed some small negligent act thereby absolving themselves of financial liability. 

Blaming a Third Party

In some instances, the opposing side may agree that your injuries were the result of negligence, but claim that a third party was responsible. If the accident involved multiple vehicles, they might try to shift blame onto another driver. Based on the facts of the collision, it is feasible that a third party, such as a mechanic, parts manufacturer, or cargo loader, could bear responsibility for the accident. Working with a knowledgeable Virginia Beach truck accident attorney who has the resources to fully investigate your accident is the best way to bypass this type of problem and identify all potential sources of recovery. 

Downplaying Your Injuries

After a serious accident for which you are taking legal action, exercise an abundance of caution when using social media. Both the at-fault party and their insurer will not hesitate to take your posts and pictures out of context and claim that you are clearly not as injured as you are making yourself out to be. To combat this deceitful strategy, make sure you see a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately after your truck accident and keep a detailed account of your injuries and medical expenses.

Using Your Words Against You

Never ever give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company without first seeking your attorney’s advice. They can advise you on the best way to interact with the at-fault party and the insurance adjuster and offer experienced guidance on what to say and what not to say. They may even recommend that the adjuster call them directly so they handle the situation for you.  

All We Do Is Injury Law

The experienced Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp know the defenses that at-fault parties, such as freight companies, often use to avoid liability in truck accident cases. We have the knowledge and skill to successfully counter the negligent party’s defense, gather evidence that establishes fault and liability, and ensure that you get the compensation you need. Those are the methods we used to secure a $3.5 million wrongful death settlement for the family of a man who was killed in a truck accident. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of the truck driver, freight company, or a third party, you can schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling (833) 997-1774 or filling out our contact form. For your convenience, we have offices in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton.