Based upon a preliminary investigation by Arkansas State Police, fault will likely not be an issue in a deadly truck crash that claimed the lives of two adults and injured one victim on November 6, 2019.
Fayetteville, AR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/13/2019 -- Little Rock, AR NBC news affiliate KARK.com reported that the operator of an 18-wheeler truck crossed the dividing lines while driving eastbound along Interstate 30. The maneuver caused the semi to collide into a police car and a disabled vehicle that the officer had stopped to assist. The driver and passenger in the disabled passenger car were killed, while the police officer also suffered injuries.
Though fault may not be in dispute, there may be many questions regarding how the truck driver's insurance policy will cover the devastating losses of victims.
The police officer may have a claim for truck accident injuries, while the families of deceased victims also suffer. Under the current federal laws, there are certain minimum insurance coverage amounts a trucker must carry, ranging from $300,000 to $5 million. Monetary damages for victims of the recent Arkansas truck crash could easily exceed these amounts.
Timothy Smith, a founding partner at Elliott & Smith Law Firm in Fayetteville, AR, explained that insurance coverage limits can present challenges for those who file truck collision claims.
"The first thing an insurance adjuster will tell you is that the company is only obligated to pay out to the policy limit, no matter how much the victims' losses. That means victims are losing out on recovering for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional losses, and much more."
Mr. Smith noted that the most experienced personal injury attorneys have developed strategies to overcome these challenges.
"There are ways around insurance policy coverage limits, especially in truck crash claims, where there are multiple players, umbrella provisions, and direct suit options. With the right representation, you can still obtain more than the coverage amount." Specifically, Mr. Smith referred to three legal approaches for fighting insurance policy limits:
When there are several potential parties, it is possible to recover damages from more than one. Truck accident claims may involve the driver, employer, trucking company, and many others.
Larger truck companies may carry umbrella insurance policies, where victims can draw additional amounts as compensation for their losses.
It may be possible to bypass the insurance company and pursue a party directly, in which case insurance policy coverage limits may not apply.
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