How Different Is the Truck Accident Claim Process?

The process for securing compensation after a commercial trucking accident is different than the typical vehicle accident claims process in Tennessee. Even though, in theory, these two processes would not be much different, the reality is that there are several factors that present complications.

How Different Is the Truck Accident Claim Process?

There Are More Parties Involved in the Truck Accident Claims Process

When a traditional vehicle accident occurs, there are usually not too many parties involved. In fact, often, you can count how many parties are involved on one hand – perhaps a few drivers along with their insurance carriers.

However, when an accident involving a commercial truck occurs, the process is almost certainly going to involve many more parties than this. Not only will you have yourself and any other traditional vehicle drivers involved in the incident to deal with, but you will also have to handle communications with a truck driver, the trucking company, the insurance carrier for the trucking company, and most likely legal teams employed by the trucking company or the insurance carrier. Each of these parties has an interest in limiting how much compensation they pay out, and they will all work diligently to try and get the claim dropped altogether.

Even though having more parties involved should not necessarily affect the claims process, it will. More parties mean more complications, unfortunately making the process of recovering compensation more difficult.

Additionally, there may be more parties involved because there are often other parties who could hold liability for the trucking accident. Aside from the truck driver and the trucking company, some of the possible liable parties could include:

  • The owner of the truck if it is different from the driver or the employer
  • Whichever individual or company arranged deliveries
  • Maintenance or repair companies
  • Manufacturers of the truck or any defective part on the truck (brakes, tires, other necessary equipment)
  • State or federal regulatory agencies

The Investigation Is More Comprehensive

Investigations into commercial trucking accidents can be complex. However, we should say that the complexity of the investigation will change depending on the severity of the incident. For example, if a large commercial truck rear-ends a vehicle and causes minor damage, the investigation probably won’t be too comprehensive. However, in the event the incident involves multiple vehicles, injuries, a fatality, or extensive property damage, the investigation will be complex.

Looking into a commercial truck accident involves examining many types of evidence you typically would not think of after a vehicle accident occurs. Yes, there will be traditional types of evidence used, including photographs taken at the scene of the incident, video surveillance footage, accident reports, and eyewitness statements. However, some additional types of evidence necessary to complete investigations into these types of cases include:

In some cases where fault is not necessarily clear after gathering evidence, or when there has been significant property damage, injuries, or loss of life, there may need to be an accident reconstruction expert involved in the case. Accident reconstruction experts can use computerized mathematical models, along with the evidence already gathered, to help paint a clearer picture of what actually happened.

What is the MSC-90 Endorsement?

The MSC-90 Endorsement is something most individuals are not aware of because it only affects incidents involving commercial trucks. The MSC-90 Endorsement is a guarantee by insurance companies to the federal government that certain minimum levels of insurance coverage will be provided for public liability should an incident occur. This endorsement is required for motor carriers operating under the authority of the FMCSA. Some of the specific points of the MSC-90 endorsement include:

  • Federal requirements. The endorsement ensures that commercial trucks have adequate insurance to cover damages in accidents. This is crucial because trucks, due to their size and cargo, can cause significant harm and property damage.
  • Guaranteed coverage. It acts as a safety net, guaranteeing compensation for injuries and damages even if the trucking company’s insurance policy has other exclusions.
  • Affects Claim process. The presence of an MSC-90 endorsement can affect how claims are processed and negotiated. Knowing a truck has this endorsement may influence the strategy for pursuing compensation.

Navigating Your Claim with the MSC-90 Endorsement

If you have any particular questions about the MSC-90 Endorsement and your truck accident claim, we encourage you to speak to an attorney with experience handling these particular situations. An attorney can help you first identify whether or not the vehicle involved has or is required to have the endorsement. This is important for understanding the insurance coverage available for the entire claim.

As with any vehicle accident claim, gathering evidence is vital. However, with the added layer of the MSC-90 endorsement, your lawyer may also focus on obtaining specific documents related to the truck’s insurance policy and federal compliance. 

How Long Will Your Case Take to Conclude?

There is no set amount of time for how long it takes a commercial truck accident case to conclude in Tennessee. Often, these types of cases take longer to resolve than traditional vehicle accident claims due to the complexity of the overall claim.

For situations where fault is relatively clear after the commercial truck accident, a settlement could be reached within a few months, but even that is unlikely. Truck accident claims could take months or even more than a year to resolve, and that is not even considering the time frame and the event you have to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. If the case has to go to trial because the parties involved cannot reach a settlement agreement, it could take a year or more for the case to get scheduled on the court docket.

Should You Have an Attorney By Your Side?

Individuals involved in commercial truck accidents in Tennessee should seek out assistance from an attorney as quickly as possible. These claims are challenging, but having a skilled legal advocate by your side can help increase your chances of recovering complete compensation for your losses. The role of an attorney is to help you recover the money you need for your medical expenses, property damage losses, pain and suffering damages, lost wages, and more. Let a truck accident attorney in Nashville offer a free consultation so you can gain a thorough understanding of your best options moving forward.