What can I expect to happen after I filed a wrongful death claim? 27 Answers as of June 30, 2015

My daughter died as a result of being rear ended by an 18-wheeler last week. There was a police officer who witnessed the entire accident. Everyone has said that it was the truck driver's fault because he was being reckless. What kind of response can we expect from the truck driver's insurance company regarding this claim?

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
With or without an attorney?
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/30/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
I am very sorry to hear of your loss. It's hard to predict the response of the trucker's insurer without knowing a great deal more of the facts. They are not likely to respond with an offer of payment in a short time. If they agree after investigation that their driver was responsible for all or most of the negligence, they will make some kind of offer. I strongly recommend that you retain a personal injury lawyer promptly. Such people can negotiate with the insurance company more successfully than can a lay person, and a threat of a real lawsuit can move the insurers, at least sometimes. Good luck and may you never experience such a tragedy again.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/23/2015
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
Expect a denial to start with in the case. They usually defend the cases fairly hard. What happens after that depends on the facts of the case.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/23/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
A lot of litigation, but eventually it will work out. You have my deepest condolences.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/23/2015
Gregory S. Shurman, LLC
Gregory S. Shurman, LLC | Gregory S Shurman
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Wrongful death claims are a bit more complicated than a standard claim for personal injuries. I suggest you speak with an attorney immediately to learn more about it.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/23/2015
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    I'm trying to work out what you are asking. You use the phrase "after I have filed a wrongful death claim". does that mean you have filed, or that you want to know what will happen next after you do file? Is it that you have a lawyer and you want a second opinion, or that you are mistakenly attempting to do this on your own? You state that "everyone" has said that it was the truck driver's fault because he was being reckless. That's what's called a tautology, a self-defining phrase. It was is fault because he rear-ended your daughter's vehicle, but yes, that might have been due to his recklessness. You can expect the insurance company to defend, deny, delay and try to get off the hook by pulling every cheap stunt there is. You had better have a lawyer, one that knows what he/she is doing, otherwise, you are doing yourself and your daughter's memory a severe disservice.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    They will most likely make you an acceptable offer when your attorney has them on the courthouse steps.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Each case is different. If a police officer saw the accident, there will be no question of liability. But the issue probably will be damages
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    They will try to minimize their responsibility. Hire a good personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
    If you mean that a lawsuit has been filed, you?ll likely go through the full process of litigation, and settle it near the end, when the insurance company gets reasonable. If you haven?t filed a lawsuit, you absolutely need to, in order for the insurance company to get reasonable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    I think you should ask a personal injury lawyer to help you with the claim. Otherwise, you will not recover fair compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Jules D'Alessandro | Jules D'Alessandro
    I am very sorry to hear about your loss. You. An expect to be treated very badly by the insurance company as well as their insurance company. Wrongful death cases are very complicated and trucking cases are especially difficult. You need to hire an experienced truck accident attorney. My firm handles such cases feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    For a legal claim particularly that substantial you really must look for council. These matters are quite complex and you would certainly not operate on yourself if you needed a doctor. Many lawyers are specialized in dealing with insurance companies and building damage claims in the most significant way. The insurance company only has the job of minimizing its pay out to you . There may be different levels of insurance coverage with the trucking company and driver that need to be sorted through. If this happened in Connecticut please contact me for a free consultation and we can give you the best and effective guidance and/or representation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    Your daughter's death was a terrible tragedy. The case value depends on many factors, too numerous to mention here. Commercial truck policies CANNOT be successfully negotiated by a non-lawyer. If the at-fault driver were a private individual, I would advise you, differently. Most insurance companies would surrender their policy limits. With a commercial carrier, you probably have a $1,000,000,000 - $5,000,000,000 policy with a much larger umbrella. Insurance companies do NOT surrender policies of that size. Only nuisance value will be offered unless you demonstrate that you have the knowledge and resources to prosecute the claim. The best way to take care of this is to hire an experienced attorney who will file a lawsuit for Wrongful Death. Any family member can act as a special administrator to file such a suit. You can find an experienced Personal Injury attorney here on Law QA. Attorneys on Law QA want to help you but we are not permitted to solicit your business. You must contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It sounds to me like they should admit liability. The real issue should be the extent of damages. I highly recommend that you consult a lawyer familiar with wrongful death law, verdicts and settlements.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    They may or may not accept responsibility but probably will not offer that much money. ?You do not say how old your daughter was, as that may be important as to whom can file suit. ?See some local attorneys who handle major injury motor vehicle cases [they will not charge for the initial interview] to see what they say they can do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    I am sorry to hear about your loss. I assume that you are doing this with the help of an attorney. If not, I suggest you retain an attorney to help you. These are very complex cases, even when liability is clear. Please retain an attorney. If you have an attorney, he/she can best explain to you the process.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/23/2015
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    My sincere sympathy on the loss of your daughter. You have three years in Colorado to file a lawsuit resulting from a motor vehicle accident so you do not need to feel pressured into action so soon after your loss. However, when you do wish to discuss your legal options, do not expect the insurance company for the truck driver or trucking company to be fair - they are strictly interested in profits and will attempt to settle any claim as cheaply as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Losing a child is the worst event life can dish out. Sorry for your irreplaceable loss. The insurer will make a prompt response but proceed with caution before making any decisions. Find out why the crash even happened? Truck drivers need to be much more careful than car drivers because of the damage their mistakes can cause, even at low speeds. Preserve or photograph he car until you find out what happened? If the crash occurred in Montana, please feel free to call us with any questions you have in the future. Once again, take time before you make any decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    What you can expect is a battle. Remember that the insurance co. adjuster's job is to pay as little as possible. Do not expect them to be fair. Please put yourself in the hands of an experienced and aggressive lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    James M. Chandler | James M. Chandler
    You definitely need to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney right away. Do not make any statements to the insurance company until you talk to an attorney!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. | J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, Esq.
    My condolences to you and your family over this terrible tragedy. If the police officer actually witnessed the accident, then he will be able to serve as a witness in the case. It will also be very important to document the names and contact information of all witnesses. And it will be important to secure any photos and other evidence of the post-accident scene. In addition, the services of an accident reconstruction expert will be important. Time is of the essence. There are many laws and regulations that govern trucking companies. You can expect the trucking company to investigate the accident thoroughly and attempt to skirt responsibility in any way possible. For an important legal matter such as yours, it goes without saying that you should retain experience legal counsel immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Ankerholz and Smith
    Ankerholz and Smith | Rian F. Ankerholz
    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Trucking accidents can become complicated, even when eyewitnesses are available. Quick action should be undertaken to preserve all evidence. The insurance company that has the accident coverage will have a staff of adjusters and lawyers working on this claim file already. You should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer without delay. We are here to help.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    I am sorry to hear of your loss. This is something that would be best discussed with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Harris Kuhn Law Firm, LLP
    Harris Kuhn Law Firm, LLP | James Harris
    My deepest condolences on the tragedy of your daughter's death. Words are inadequate to describe a parent's heartbreak or losing a life that never had a chance to fulfill its bright promise. Unfortunately the motor carrier and its insurance company, while pretending to be sincere, will only have their best financial interests at heart. They will take advantage of your grief and assuredly will never pay the fair money for the harm they have caused. Truck collisions must be handled much different than an ordinary car accident. A different set of Rules of the Road apply. Different legal strategies must be taken, and the sooner the better. We offer free initial consultations which hopefully will give you some sound direction and allow you to make your own important decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    In order to answer your question, it would be helpful to know as much as possible about the case. It would be in your best interest to consult with an attorney to see what action you should take. The trucking company just wants to pay as little as possible for your daughter's case, so it might not be a good idea for you to deal directly with the trucking company at this time.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/22/2015
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    I am very sorry for your loss. This is an awful tragedy. My experience tells me that trucking companies will fight tooth and nail on these cases. It is important that you get an attorney involved right away so that a proper investigation can occur and more importantly, evidence is preserved. Please do not wait to do this.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2015
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