What to Expect in a Trucking Accident Settlement with Progressive Insurance
One of the largest insurance carriers in the United States, Progressive Insurance covers millions of motorists, including commercial vehicle drivers. While most people are familiar with Progressive from their popular commercials, many do not know what to expect when dealing with the insurance giant, especially when they have been hurt in a trucking accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler accident and are dealing with Progressive, contact the truck accident attorneys of Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our truck injury lawyers.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Yes. Collisions involving commercial vehicles are often very complicated, since multiple parties may be partially at fault for the incident. If you have received an offer from an insurance company, you likely do not have all of the information you need to fully evaluate your case. You may have a crash report and your medical bills, but that is only part of the story.
Insurance adjusters at Progressive are trained to investigate a case from the very beginning. They take pictures of the 18-wheeler, the scene of the incident, and even your car. They may even download the truck’s black box, which, if done improperly, can destroy valuable evidence.
An attorney will be able to lead you through the minefield that makes up a trucking accident. You may not know if the settlement offer you receive from Progressive is unfairly low, or if there is other information you need to fully evaluate your case. Your lawyer should be able to combat any differences in the story and to fully investigate the crash.
How Do I File My Claim?
If you have been involved in a trucking accident with a commercial vehicle driver or a company insured by Progressive, you must start by filing a claim with the company.
Progressive will assign an insurance adjuster to review your claim and begin the investigation. The adjuster will apply a standard formula to your claim to help determine Progressive’s initial offer. They will run your damages through a computer program or a claims book, which do not take into account all of the variables.
How Do I Put a Value on My Case?
Case value comes from a number of different things:
- Medical expenses already incurred
- Future medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical impairment
Your Progressive insurance adjuster will primarily be looking at your medical expenses and will likely not take into account the full value of those expenses or the other damages to which you are entitled.
Another important factor that helps determine value on a case is whether there were any bad facts on the other party–that is, did the other party do something really bad that caused the accident?
In cases like this, there are many different things that can help tell that story. From the driver’s daily logs, which every truck driver is required to keep, to the download of the vehicle, you can get a lot of information. You can find out whether the truck driver was spending too much time on the road and if they were likely tired at the time of the accident. You can also find out whether there were any mechanical problems with the vehicle.
How Do I Negotiate My Claim?
The primary way to negotiate is demand more than your case is worth and know your case’s value. If you do not know what your case is worth, you will not be able to negotiate effectively and will likely settle your case for less than its value.
You also must stand strong. Progressive insurance adjusters will pressure you to take a lower settlement amount early because they know truck accident victims are often in a financial bind or do not realize the full extent of their damages. If you are negotiating your case before you are finished treating for your injuries, you are likely negotiating from a disadvantageous point.
The best way to achieve a satisfactory resolution is to start with building your case from the beginning and making the strongest case possible. Here are some tips that will help maximize your claim:
- Before negotiating, compile all of your documents, including the crash report, your medical bills, any item related to property damage, and your lost wage documents, as well as photographs of the vehicle, your injuries, and the scene of the accident, if possible.
- Get a report from your doctor that details all of your injuries, your recovery, any disabilities, whether your injuries will be permanent, and whether you will fully recover.
- Once you have all that, make a first offer that is strong but not unreasonable. You could start by demanding the insurance policy limits in many cases. It is important to know what those limits are, though, because if you have a $1,000 claim and you demand $1,000,000, the Progressive insurance adjuster will not take you seriously.
Finally, know what your top dollar is, the amount that you could never walk away from, and what your bottom line is, the least amount for which you would ever settle your case. If you are just exchanging demands and offers without the forethought of what your case is worth, you are giving away too much power to the Progressive insurance adjuster.
Remember, the Progressive insurance adjuster’s primary job is to get you to settle for the smallest amount possible. They have an incentive to keep as much money in Progressive’s pockets as possible and will do anything to make sure you do not walk away with as much money to which you are likely entitled.
Truck Accident Lawyers with Nationwide Reach
If you or a loved one has been injured by an 18-wheeler, our truck accident attorneys can help you seek compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Zinda Law Group has a breadth of experience in handling these types of cases, and you will pay nothing unless we win.
Contact us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.