Get Gephardt helps South Jordan man prove his insurance claim

Oct 25, 2022, 11:27 PM

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — If you have been in a crash caused by a semi-truck driver, you should be able to count on the trucking company to fix your car. But if the company refuses to believe their driver was at fault, right or wrong, they could refuse to pay your claim.

Craig Allen says he was stopped behind a semi-truck and trailer in a South Jordan parking lot.

“Directly to the side, but behind him about six feet,” Allen said of his position.

The truck was turning but apparently ran out of space. The driver threw it into reverse and Allen could not get out of the way and got crunched to the tune of nearly $1,200 in damage to his car’s front.

Now this accident happened in a busy parking lot. There were witnesses and a police report confirming the collision that day.

“Surprisingly, to my shock, they said I was never even hit by their truck,” Allen said.

The trucking company said their truck did not cause the damage because their truck is taller than the height of the damage on Allen’s car. When his protests got him nowhere, he decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

Most of the damage on Craig Allen’s car runs between 20 and 22 inches from the ground which is consistent with the required height of a semi-trailer’s rear underride guard. (KSL TV) KSL’s Matt Gephardt takes measurements of the damage on the car. (KSL TV) Craig Allen shows KSL’s Matt Gephardt his position behind a semi-truck and trailer he says backed into him. (KSL TV)

Let’s investigate the reason for the denial. The truck is too high? Well, U.S. Department of Transportation sets how low trucks must be. Those steel bars hanging from the truck’s platform bed are known as rear underride guards, and they must be “no more than 22 inches” off the ground.

With a tape measure, we saw the damage on Allen’s car runs between 20 and 22 inches, right in line with federal requirements for underride bars.

“But they say there’s no way because it’s too low?” I asked Allen.

“Right, they said it would have come from a prior occurrence and it would have happened much lower,” he responded.

“That’s ridiculous.”

“That is ridiculous,” Allen said. “That’s why I called you.”

So, this time, we reached out to the trucking company, C.R. England, on his behalf, and sent them my measurements and photos and asked how they found insufficient evidence that their truck did the damage. Just like that, they had a change of heart. In an email, a spokesperson told us, “This claim will be reconsidered.”

And within hours, Allen received good news — C.R. England will pay him for that damage.

To save money, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does allow trucking companies to self-insure their trucks. This also gives them more control on how they handle their claims, which can also save them money.

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Get Gephardt helps South Jordan man prove his insurance claim