What to Do on Your First Offer From the Insurance Company Truck Accident

June 10, 2024 | By Mike Hancock
What to Do on Your First Offer From the Insurance Company Truck Accident
Insurance policy with a legal gavel and a pen.

You should not accept the first offer from the insurance company until you have retained a truck accident lawyer. First offers are, in many cases, lowball offers. The insurance company that extends the offer may hope you accept the lowball offer and free it from paying you any additional compensation.

Accepting an insurance settlement offer is a final decision, so never assume you can't pursue more compensation if the offer proves to be less compensation than you need. Protect yourself and your financial future by hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer to review all offers (and handle other details of your case).

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Why You Should Be Skeptical of the First Offer from Any Insurance Company

An insurance company may volunteer the entire sum of money you deserve without negotiations. It’s not likely.

Some realities you must consider when it comes to an insurer’s settlement offer include:

  • Insurance companies are for-profit organizations: First and foremost, you should consider insurance providers as for-profit businesses seeking to maximize profits and minimize losses. Your claim represents one of many losses insurance companies must deal with. Remember that the insurer may have financial motivations other than paying you fairly.
  • Saving money on claims, time and again, can save large sums for insurers: You might think, “My claim is not going to make much of a financial difference for an insurance company, so why would they try to underpay me?” If the insurer saves money on many claims, this can save millions of dollars in the long run. You may be just one of many claimants the company tries to underpay.
  • Many accident victims accept the first settlement offer without second thought: Many of us consider insurance companies on our side, perhaps because we engage in contracts with so many of them. It can lead accident victims to assume (wrongly) that insurers would only extend a settlement offer if it were fair. This is not the case, and you should never accept an offer without being 100 percent certain it covers all of your losses.
  • Only you can protect your best interests: No insurance company will look out for your long- or short-term interests. Only you can protect yourself from financial harm, though you can hire a truck accident lawyer to assist you.

While an insurance company can provide much-needed compensation to a truck accident victim, insurance companies do not always act in your best interests.

What to Do Before You Ever Accept an Insurance Settlement Offer

A man truck driver uses his fingers on a virtual screen to search for the location of an electric truck charging station, featuring solar panels and wind turbines in the background.

The cost of a motor vehicle accident resulting in injuries can be far more than you can pay out of pocket. Even if you can afford the cost of your damages, you shouldn’t have to. Insurance policies exist to compensate accident victims fairly, and you should expect such fair payment.

Steps to take to ensure you do not accept a lowball settlement offer include:

You must prove the full cost of the truck accident if you hope to obtain fair compensation for your losses. Proving the nature and severity of your injuries is one of the first steps in proving the cost of your covered losses.

Getting immediate and extensive medical treatment can:

  • Protect you from potentially serious health complications
  • Get a certain diagnosis for all accident-related injuries
  • Provide proof of your injuries (which may come from medical images and your doctors’ written notes)

Once you hire your truck accident lawyer, they will help ensure you’re receiving necessary care while they implement documentation of your injuries in your case.

Hiring a Capable Truck Accident Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure you don’t agree to an unfair settlement offer.

Specific ways your lawyer will protect you from such a fate include:

  • Determining the exact financial cost of your accident-related damages (your settlement should equal or rival this amount)
  • Dealing with insurance companies on your behalf will prevent insurers from talking you into accepting a lowball settlement
  • Fighting for the maximum compensation you are entitled to
  • Reviewing all settlement offers with you, providing their advice, and allowing you to accept or reject the offer

Your lawyer will spare you from making a financially devastating decision, but that’s far from the only way they’ll help.

Get All Necessary Mental Health Treatment

Accident victims often suffer non-physical ailments, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

People experiencing stress consult with a psychologist for help.

Before you can understand the actual cost of the truck accident, you must know:

  • The psychological and emotional toll of the accident
  • The toll any physical pain is taking on you
  • The types of treatment you may need to alleviate your pain and suffering
  • The cost of treatment
  • The duration for which you may need treatment for pain and suffering

Your truck accident attorney can seek compensation for any mental health treatment you need as part of your claim. Your lawyer can work with mental healthcare providers to detail your pain and suffering and assign a financial value to your damages.

Bringing All Economic and Non-Economic Harm to Your Lawyer’s Attention

Accident victims should never take the tough route. If you do not vocalize all forms of economic and non-economic harm you’re suffering, your lawyer may not know the true scope of your damages.

Whether it is a new form of pain, an unexpected expense, a mental health difficulty, or any other form of harm, make sure your lawyer knows what you’re going through after the truck accident.

Never Signing Anything Without Speaking with Your Lawyer

Though your attorney will likely be dealing with insurance companies, it bears repeating: Do not make any recorded statements or sign paperwork from insurance companies without consulting your lawyer first.

Damages a Fair Insurance Settlement Offer Must Cover

You cannot know if an insurance company’s settlement offer is fair unless you know the exact financial value of your accident-related damages. One of your lawyer’s most important duties is to identify and calculate each of your damages, including:

Medical Bills

Your lawyer will include all accident-related medical bills in your case, including the cost of:

  • Emergency medical services
  • Medical imaging
  • Hospital services
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Specialist appointments
  • Rehabilitation

The cost of your medical bills will depend on several factors, including your specific injuries. For instance, one source notes that the cost of a spinal cord injury can exceed $1 million in a single year, while other injuries are not as costly.

Pain and Suffering

The sight of a large truck bearing down on you and the experience of a high-impact collision can leave lasting mental scars.

Your injuries may further contribute to your pain and suffering, which may include:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Inability to sleep as you usually do
  • Lost quality of life

Physical pain can also qualify as pain and suffering. Your truck accident attorney will know how to document and calculate your pain and suffering, which can be one of the most significant damages in a truck accident case.

Truck accident victims often face several property-related expenses, including:

  • Vehicle repairs
  • Replacement of totaled vehicle
  • Temporary transportation costs
  • Repair or replacement of cell phones, clothing, and other items damaged during the accident

Your lawyer will account for all your accident-related damages, including expenses resulting from damaged property.

Professional Damages

Truck accidents can have a steep cost on your professional life, including:

  • Lost income
  • Lost opportunities for overtime, bonuses, and other incentive-based compensation
  • Diminished earning power (which can result from reduced hours, changed roles, or other injury-related changes)
  • Lost benefits

The details of your career and the degree of disruption in your professional life will affect the cost of such damages. If you are disabled from accident-related injuries, your professional losses may be significant and lifelong.

After a truck accident, disabled people can face many difficulties in their daily routine.

Those who suffer disabling injuries suddenly face radical changes in their day-to-day life.

Many of these changes can be costly, distressing, or both, and may include:

  • The addition of handrails, ramps, and other disability-related resources to your home
  • Indefinite rehabilitation
  • Long-term caregiver services
  • Long-lasting pain and suffering 
  • The purchase of a wheelchair-friendly vehicle

Truck accident attorneys carefully document the many harms their clients face after being in a truck accident. If a truck crash disabled you, your lawyer will reflect this in your settlement demands.

The Cost of Losing a Loved One (Tragically)

Truck accidents pose a higher-than-average risk of fatality, and it is tragic when victims do not emerge from the collision.

Such devastating accidents often lead to wrongful death cases in which survivors seek compensation for:

  • Loss of consortium, which is certain non-economic benefits the decedent provided loved ones
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial or cremation costs
  • Loss of the decedent’s financial support
  • All other economic and non-economic harm resulting from the wrongful death

A lawyer can spare survivors the trauma of dealing with the details of their loved one’s passing. An attorney may also deliver a measure of justice after a loved one loses their life.

How a Truck Accident Lawyer Will Fight for the Settlement You Deserve

Expect your attorney to take the entire fight for justice off your hands, and their process may include:

Gathering and Analyzing Evidence

Your lawyer will secure all relevant evidence, which may include:

  • Video of the accident
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Expert testimony
  • An expert’s reconstruction of the accident
  • Photographs of vehicle damage
  • A police report

If evidence helps your case, your lawyer will obtain it to help prove who is at fault for your damages.

Establishing Liability for Your Damages

Your truck accident attorney will analyze the evidence to determine:

The party who caused your accident may not be solely responsible for your damages. For instance, if an employee caused your accident while on the job, their employer (perhaps a trucking company) can share financial responsibility for your accident-related damages.

Documenting and Calculating Your Damages

Liable parties may contest your damages, and having concrete proof of those damages can shift negotiations in your favor.

Your lawyer may prove the nature and cost of your damages with:

  • Images of your injuries (including photographs, X-rays, and other medical images)
  • Medical bills
  • Pre-accident income statements that prove your lost income
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs
  • Bills for non-vehicular property you must replace (like a damaged cell phone)
  • Expert testimony about physical injuries and mental health problems

If any other documentation confirms your damages, your lawyer will incorporate it in your case.

Negotiating a Settlement with Insurers

Your lawyer should be an experienced negotiator, which will be one of the key reasons for hiring them. Your attorney will prepare and present the most convincing case to insurance companies.

It may take multiple negotiation rounds, but most truck accident cases eventually settle. Your attorney will also hold the card of being able to file a lawsuit, and this should benefit them as they seek a fair settlement for you.

Filing Your Lawsuit (If You Take This Path)

Tipper truck with a wooden gavel and scales of justice. 3D rendering isolated on a white background.

Your lawyer will evaluate all settlement offers with you. It is possible that insurance companies are not willing to pay the amount of compensation you deserve.

If you decide to sue liable parties because you never receive a fair settlement, your lawyer will file suit and inform the defendants that they’re the subject of your case.

Representing You in Court, If Necessary

Your attorney may obtain a settlement after filing a lawsuit. If not, your case may go to trial. Your legal team will handle every aspect of your trial, from discovery through closing arguments.

Why You Should Hire Your Truck Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

Statutes of limitations often require truck accident victims to file their cases within a set timeframe. If you miss the deadline for filing your case (because you waited to hire a lawyer), you cannot use the courts to recover the compensation you deserve.

Seek and hire your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Let them fight for the financial recovery you deserve.

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Mike Hancock


People involved in serious accidents experience loss and often don’t know what to do next. Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Mike Hancock has dedicated his career to handling the recovery process for his clients so that their lives can get back to normal.

Mike has excelled in personal injury litigation for over 30 years and even though that’s earned him numerous professional honors, what’s most important to him is meeting directly with you and his commitment to giving you peace of mind.

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