WARNING: The Settlement Amount Offered May Not Be Going in Your Pocket
If a truck driver was clearly at fault, company representatives will often try to convince an accident victim or his or her family to quickly settle by offering a settlement amount that – at first glance – seems fair. What these company representatives usually fail to mention is that the accident victim (or the family) may not be legally entitled to keep all of the money being offered.
Often a truck accident victim has had crash-related medical bills or lost wages paid by:
- Health insurance (either a private plan or Medicare or Medicaid)
- Auto insurance (under “medical payment” coverage)
- Disability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance (if the victim was on the job at the time of the crash)
Almost all of the insurance policies described above require an accident victim to pay back any insurance payments received if the accident victim reaches a settlement with the driver who caused the wreck. This legal requirement, which is known as subrogation, is hidden in most insurance contracts and can leave an accident victim with little or nothing after an inadequate settlement.
Truck accident victims should find out how much of any settlement amount they will be allowed to keep before they agree to settle their claims. This determination requires a careful review of all paid medical bills and applicable insurance policies. In addition, an experienced truck accident attorney can sometimes negotiate a reduced repayment amount with an insurance company before a settlement with the trucking company is finalized.
To find out other important things that should be considered before settling a truck accident injury claim, use the form to the right to download the entire Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Truck Accident Claims.