A common question from our clients who were injured in a semi-truck collision is, "How much should I expect to receive from my settlement?" Unfortunately, we will not be able to answer this question with any certainty for some time. Why is that? Semi-truck accidents are oftentimes devastating. The injuries (both physical and emotional) are usually significant and require long-term treatment. Your treatment and prognosis, medical bills, missed days at work, and pain and suffering will all be factors in determining how much your claim is worth. Until we have all of the necessary information, we won’t be able to determine the value of your case.
The Value of a Truck Accident Claim Depends on Resolving These 4 Issues
In order to understand what your claim is really worth, several factors must be resolved, which can take time and patience. At Keller & Keller, we will ensure that you get top-dollar for your injuries by resolving the following issues before valuing the claim:
- Treatment and Prognosis. The violent nature of a semi-truck accident case can easily leave you with injuries that require progressive, sometimes long-term treatment. It may be several months before we will have a clear picture regarding the totality of your injuries, whether or not they are permanent, and how it is believed they will impact your life going forward. It's not uncommon for victims of a semi-truck accident to sustain permanent injury and receive what is known as a PPI rating, or Permanent Partial Impairment, which would make the case worth substantially more. Some clients are fortunate enough to escape traumatic injury, yet have still suffered from soft-tissue injuries and emotional scarring. In short, treatment and prognosis will typically play a large factor in determining the value of your case, and every case, no matter how similar, will have unique medical factors involved. Retaining our services so that we can monitor your progress will be imperative so that we can help you put a dollar amount on your claim as soon as possible.
- Medical bills. Recovering for the total amount of your medical bills is not only your right as a victim, it's also a large factor in determining the value of your semi-accident claim. The total bill will usually mirror the seriousness of the injuries you sustained. Accident victims often call our offices and tell us that they've "heard from someone" that they can expect to receive a settlement that is three times the total of their medical bills, i.e., $100 in bills equals a $300 settlement. This is simply untrue. Claims can be worth more or less than three times your medical bills depending on your individual circumstances. Our experienced attorneys will gather all medical and related bills to determine what you are owed.
- Lost wages. If you were employed at the time of the accident, you have the right to recover for any documented wage loss you've incurred, assuming that your doctor declared you unable to work for a specific period of time. Self-employed clients can sometimes have a more difficult time documenting wage loss; however, our lawyer will work with you to estimate your losses through the use of prior tax returns, etc.
- Pain and suffering. The value of client's pain and suffering can vary widely depending on several factors, including the client's age, injuries, loss of employment, documented emotional effects, and the impact the accident has had on your life. This will be the most subjective portion of your claim, and the value will directly relate to your individual circumstances. Your lawyer might ask you to document your daily experiences through the use of a written or audio journal. This will help us better track your recovery process and submit a demand that gives the insurance company a much better picture of the problems this accident has created for you and your family.
As you can see, determining the value of your claim is not a simple math problem. There are no two accidents that are alike, no matter how similar they may seem on the surface, and you'll be working closely with your paralegal and lawyer for several months to help determine the highest possible value we can assign to your injury claim.
You Can Trust Keller & Keller to Get You What Your Claim Is Worth
If another law firm has promised you a settlement amount up front, you can be sure they are just guessing. Commercial truck drivers and their employers are required by federal law to carry insurance policies in excess of $1 million, which means the potential for a large recovery is definitely there. You can trust our New Mexico truck accident attorneys to take the time to determine the full value of your claim.