There is no magic number for the “right” settlement amount after a truck accident. Rather, the amount you should settle for after a truck accident depends on factors unique to your case, including your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
How a Lawyer Will Calculate Your Damages
When you hire a Chicago law firm to help you settle your damages after a truck accident, your lawyer will conduct exhaustive research to identify all the ways in which you suffered loss as a result of your injuries.
Some of your damages will be economic (or special) in nature and will account for your quantifiable losses that can be calculated as specific dollar amounts. Examples of special damages include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Emergency transportation
- Loss of wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Replacement costs (cost of paying someone to handle tasks you would ordinarily do but can no longer handle because of your injury)
- Lost or damaged property
Your lawyer will determine the values of each of these types of losses by gathering all your injury-related medical records, receipts and banking records, and wage statements from your employer.
Your injuries have likely affected you in other ways that do not have a register in your bank account. Your lawyer will fight to get you compensation for these losses, too.
Examples of these non-economic (or general) damages include:
- Pain and suffering (physical)
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
Your lawyer can speak to psychological and medical experts who can offer reports on the extent to which your settlement for your truck accident injuries should account for your general damages.
In the event that your loved one died as a result of the injuries they suffered in a truck accident caused by another party, you have the right to pursue a wrongful death action against the negligent individual. A successful legal action will cover the costs of funeral and burial, loss of consortium, and any damages your loved one might have collected in a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
Most personal injury law firms have wrongful death attorneys who can handle this effort on your behalf.
Understanding the Insurance Company’s Approach to a Settlement
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle before they ever go to trial. The at-fault party’s insurance company—who ultimately pays a settlement or judgment—wants to resolve your claim quickly and without a trial. Trials present the insurer with a degree of unpredictability that does not mesh well with their risk-averse business models.
Despite their motivation to settle your claim quickly, an insurer will not let this incentive stand in the way of their profit margins. After all, they make their money by selling policies, not by paying out claims. You should also be aware of the vast machine of data and technology that powers an insurance adjuster’s ability to know the value of your claim, as well as the likely amounts that a court will award you if your case goes to trial.
Tempting You with Less than You Deserve
The insurance company will implement tools that enable them to cleverly undervalue your claim, taking advantage of the fact that you do not know its true value. Be wary of accepting settlement offers without talking to an attorney. The amount the insurance company offers represents a fraction of what you could get in a settlement or court award. By accepting the insurance company’s offer, you forfeit the right to obtain additional compensation when you discover that your damages far exceed the amount the insurer paid you.
Supporting Your Claim with Evidence
By hiring a law firm to negotiate a fair settlement after your truck accident, you can rest assured that someone with knowledge of your state’s personal injury laws (and insurance company tactics) will be fighting in your corner.
Your lawyer will know that in order to build a strong case, they must prove four essential elements, often referred to as the “duty of care” doctrine. The required components they must prove are:
- Duty: Proof that the defendant owed you a duty to act in a way that would keep you free from injury
- Breach of Duty: Proof that the defendant breached this duty
- Causation: Proof that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injury
- Damages: Proof that you sustained damages as a result
Juries and insurance companies look for specific types of credible evidence to support these claims. Your attorney knows what to look for and where to find it.
- Investigate the cause of your accident by visiting the scene;
- Review driver logs to ensure the truck operator did not exceed maximum driving times set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) regulations;
- Evaluate “black box” data;
- Work with accident reconstruction specialists;
- Assess photos and videos from the accident scene; and
- Analyze the police accident report.
Let a Lawyer Determine How Much You Should Settle for After Your Truck Accident
Seeking compensation after a truck accident is no easy task, and it is one you should not have to tackle as you recover from your injuries.
A truck accident lawyer from The Kryder Law Group, LLC can handle every aspect of your case, and we will not charge you unless/until we win you a settlement or jury award.
Call us today for a free case evaluation at (312) 223-1700.