• Des Moines Truck Accident Injury Attorneys
  • Phone: 641-792-3595
  • Directions

In the vast expanse of highway networks, trucking accidents can wreak havoc, leaving victims grappling with life-altering injuries. Amidst the chaos, Des Moines trucking injury lawyers emerge as stalwart champions, guiding survivors through the tumultuous aftermath. Specializing in the intricate realm of trucking laws and regulations.

We all want to be treated fairly, whether by an employer or an insurance company. Navigating the complexities of insurance claims can be daunting, especially when trying to get a fair settlement. Here are six little-known secrets to help you achieve a fair settlement:

1. Know Your Facts and the Law

Understanding the specifics of your case and how Iowa laws apply is crucial if you’re handling a case on your own. Insurance adjusters are trained to employ various techniques to persuade you to settle for less than the fair value. One common tactic is the "I am your friend" approach, where adjusters suggest you don't need a lawyer, claiming it will cost more and delay the process. However, they won’t disclose that it’s legal for them to mislead you to settle for less. Adjusters might also downplay your case, saying they only cover treatment for a limited time after a "soft-tissue" injury. Without legal knowledge, you’re at a disadvantage.

2. You Do Not Have to Give a Recorded Statement

In many cases, you are not required to provide a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance adjuster, especially in car accidents with a police report. Politely decline and refer them to the police report and your medical records. However, for claims against your own insurance company for underinsured motorist (UIM) or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you might be required to provide a recorded statement. If unsure, consult a qualified Iowa personal injury attorney. We offer a no-cost, no-risk injury evaluation at 641-792-3595.

3. Always Tell the Truth

Honesty is vital. Insurance companies have extensive databases of prior claims. If you lie about previous claims, it can harm your current case’s value. Always disclose any past claims accurately to maintain credibility and strengthen your position.

4. Ask About Insurance Coverage in Car Accident Cases

Asking the adjuster how much insurance coverage is available can catch them off guard. They often prefer to withhold this information. Under Iowa law, the minimum coverage for personal injuries in car accidents is $20,000 per person. For serious injuries, you might need to look at your own underinsured motorist policy for additional coverage. Remember, specific procedures must be followed, such as getting permission from your insurer before settling.

5. Making Threats Will Not Help Your Case

Threats like "I am going to sue you" or "Let me talk to your boss" are counterproductive. Insurance adjusters are professionals trained to pay as little as possible. Anger doesn’t help your case and may lead to your file being transferred to another adjuster, reducing their workload. They also have legal teams ready to defend against lawsuits, so threats are ineffective.

6. Do Your Research to Know Your Case’s Worth

Negotiation is difficult if you don’t know your case’s value. Research similar cases in Iowa to understand potential settlements. This information is crucial for effective negotiation. Without it, you may settle for less than your case is worth.

Important Records for Truck Accident Claims

When filing an injury claim for a truck accident, specific records are essential:

- Police Report: Crucial evidence detailing the accident scene and the officer’s opinion on fault.
- Medical Records: Necessary to establish injuries and associated costs, crucial for compensation.
- Truck Driver’s Driving Records: A history of reckless driving can strengthen your case by showing the trucking company’s negligence.

Preservation of Evidence

Commercial trucking companies are required to preserve hours of service records for only six months, after which they can destroy them. To prevent this, your attorney can send a spoliation letter, ensuring relevant records are preserved for your claim. Records such as medical records, cell phone logs, and the truck’s "black box" data are vital. These can indicate if the driver was fit to drive, on the phone, or operating beyond allowed hours, contributing to the accident.

Walker, Billingsley & Bair is prepared to act fast to defend your rights after a truck accident in Iowa. Contact our office at 641-792-3595 to speak with an attorney.