Claimant dreams of insurance-derived wealth can complicate the most simple of claims. It may not be in my own interest to view such dreams with a critical eye, since the carrier’s need for an adjuster in the field Is a common result of an inconsistency between facts and demands.
Trucking accidents seem to generate a disproportionate number of such claimants and so I have dealt with more than a few. In this particular case our insured was clearly liable – he was rolling to a stop at a red light and failed to stop before rear-ending the claimant. The result was minor damage to the rear bumper of claimant’s pickup truck. At the scene the claimant does not seek medical attention or complain of injury.
It was a morning truck loss call. Started out like many others, two trucks involved, disputed lane change. No injuries reported, but lots of damage. Then I found out the claimant truck was hauling ‘human solid waste’, and it was tipped over. I knew right then that this assignment was going to stink.
When I arrived on scene with my trainee, we immediately spoke to the officer on scene. We obtained his permission to park out of the way and talk to the people involved. We were also given permission to take pictures. I had the trainee take photos of the vehicles, the scene (including what was now escaping from the claimant truck) and get the license plate and VIN information. (Thank heaven for trainees. This one is going to make it – excellent photos despite environmental challenges.)
Truck Adjusting in Southern CA
I am an after-hours truck adjuster for David Morse & Associates (DMA). A successful truck adjuster makes life easier for the examiner and company assigning – and that means making settlement possible at the earliest possible juncture. If he or she can do that, there will be plenty of work assigned.
This is the story of a routine assignment that came in very early on a Tuesday morning – nothing spectacular, but a demonstration of effective adjusting that supports rapid file closure. We got to the scene (not always easy in Southern California on a weekday morning). Our driver and his damaged rig were on the shoulder, having rear-ended another big rig when traffic stopped suddenly. We waited for a wrecker to arrive and tow the equipment away. I then gave the driver a ride to his company’s yard.
Bad things can happen when a truck parks on railroad tracks. Fortunately this time the bad things did not include dead bodies or injured, only a totaled tractor and trailer and a few scratches on the Amtrak train.
It was 2 AM when I got the call. Our driver had been carrying thousands of pounds of Monterey Jack that were now spilled all over the scene at the railroad tracks. I got there just after the CHP had arrived and stopped the train passengers from looting the cheese. Continue reading
Claims assigned on Friday afternoon are one of the perils of specializing in cargo. Just about all your resources have taken off for the weekend and there you are sweating to arrange equipment or storage or whatever it takes to salvage the load.
This one arrived after 3 PM on a Friday. A trailer with 112,000 frozen burritos had been abandoned in a motel parking lot, the truck was missing and no one knew if the reefer was still running. The insured found it via the satellite system after the load went several days late and the customer called in to refuse it. Continue reading
The hard part about produce salvage after a truck spill on the freeway isn’t the sorting and moving of the material. Not if you have the manpower. And the hard part is not getting the manpower to the scene in the required 30- 45 minute time frame. Not if you know who to call. The hard part is not the drivers on that stretch of freeway – even California’s craziest motorists brake for several tons of cantaloupes. Continue reading
Getting an eighteen-wheeler through Manhattan presents its own unique set of challenges.Sometimes the challenges come out on top and we get a claim.
This one of our first claims from a client we have since done a lot of business with. Our driver had a 38-foot trailer on the tiny streets of lower Manhattan. In the process of making a right onto a street that would give a motorcycle trouble, his right rear wheels met the rear bumper of a soon-to be-very-compact car. Someone was not paying attention to the “wide turns” sign on the truck’s rear doors. The wheels did not stop at the bumper, or the trunk, or the roof. They rolled right over the car. Our driver thinking that the curb was a bit high, carried on down the street at a slow pace. Continue reading
Our client had transported a prototype of an expensive computer-operated lathe machine from a trade show back to the company’s offices. It arrived badly damaged. The company that owned the machine filed a claim and followed that up with a lawsuit within a few weeks. On the surface it looked like our client was on the hook. Continue reading
The assignment was to get photos and a recorded statement from the claimant on a disputed lane change accident. Our client was a trucking firm we had worked for over many years. The claimant said our truck “lane changed” into her. Our driver said the claimant “lane changed” into him, striking the left side of the trailer near the back. Continue reading
Even those in possession of super powers have to sleep. Thus it was that I was in bed at 2 AM when I received a call from a trucking company for whom we regularly work. My immediate on-site response was requested for a red light dispute accident. The party in the adverse vehicle had been transported from the scene to the hospital and our insured driver was adamant that he did not run the red light. Continue reading