There are many. If you were injured in a commercial vehicle crash in Kansas or Missouri, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent trucker and/or his fleet transportation company.
Unfortunately, it may not be easy to settle your claim with the liable party's insurance company for what you deserve—even if you believe that you have an open and shut case for fault. The carrier will most likely raise defenses to your claim in an effort to reduce or deny it.
Insurance Companies Defenses Against Truck Claims
The specific defenses an insurance company may raise in your case depends on the facts of your crash and injuries.
However, it's important to understand common defenses that may be used in your case so you can anticipate them and collect the evidence you need to refute the insurance company’s arguments.
This can make your claim stronger and enable you to settle it faster. Large truck accident defenses often include the following factors.
If an insurance company cannot claim you were the at-fault driver in your accident, it may argue you were partially to blame in an effort to reduce your claim. Both Kansas and Missouri have comparative fault laws which limit victims' rights to compensation if they were partially at fault in causing a collision.
Under Missouri’s comparative fault guidelines, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the crash. For example, if you were 30 percent negligent, you would only be entitled to 70 percent of the total potential compensation. Kansas follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine that completely bars you from receiving any damages if you're found to be 50 percent or more to blame for your truck accident.
Another common defense an insurance carrier may use is to point the finger at another party. It may argue another driver involved in the collision or another entity, such as the shipper or truck maintenance facility, was responsible for causing your wreck.
Failure To Mitigate Damages
You have a duty under the law to mitigate or reduce your damages. The insurance company could argue that you caused injuries to worsen by not seeking prompt medical care, or you received excessive or unnecessary medical treatments.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the deadline to file your lawsuit against the negligent trucker and/or trucking company. If this time period expires, the insurance carrier would use this to bar your claim.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations is five years from the date of the accident for personal injuries; and three years from the date of death if a loved one died as a result of the accident. In Kansas, you must file your complaint for personal injuries within two years of the date of the wreck; and two years from the date of death of a family member due to crash-related injuries.
Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?
If you've been injured in a tractor-trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.