Clients often ask, “How much is my truck accident case worth?” We’ll make sure you know.
Large commercial truck accidents can be devastating. Just the trauma of going through such a life changing event can be trying to everyone involved. Not to mention that there are medical bills piling up, you’ve missed weeks of work, and your injury may require a lifetime of expensive treatment.
When we receive your phone call we’ll go through your case and the documents that the various entities involved have sent to us. Police reports, medical diagnoses, the report from your insurance company, amongst others. We then will carefully sift through all the information that we’ve received and appraise the value of your case so that you have an idea of what kind of compensation you’ll be looking for before you even get moving legally.
Questions answered in this article:
- How do we determine the value of your claim?
- What expenses do we look for in a truck accident case?
- How are possible damages calculated in your case?
How do we determine the value of a claim?
The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have a strong record of success with helping truck accident victims recover the maximum amount of compensation for their personal injury and wrongful death claims. The potential value of a truck accident case is dependent upon the extent of damages, including:
- Amount of medical expenses
- Estimated cost of future medical expenses
- Amount of lost wages
- Estimated future loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity or possibility of permanent disability
- Physical and mental limitations
- Past and future pain and suffering
How do we calculate the value of your claim?
The damages awarded in each area listed above will depend on the severity and nature of your injuries. The more extensive and permanent your injuries are, the higher your damages award will be. The value of your claim for medical expenses and pain and suffering will depend on the amount of your medical bills at the time of the settlement or jury verdict and what a medical expert estimates your expenses will be for future medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Similarly, your recovery for lost wages will depend largely on what your salary or hourly rate was at the time of the accident. However, if your injuries will likely leave you permanently disabled, your future lost wages and loss of earning capacity is harder to calculate, and you will need the assistance of one of our expert economists.
This economist will take all the elements of your career when calculating loss of earning capacity. He or she will look at what your current hourly rate or salary is, your age, how far into your career you are, and the amount of time you will likely be unable to work. We have a stable of experts that have vast experience in the medical, financial, and legal fields, so you can be assured that we’re working to get you the most accurate pre-trial estimation possible.
Here are some typical case values:
Have you ever noticed that when lawyers show examples of cases they’ve won, they list both the amount the case was resolved for and the exact type of injuries sustained? The reason for this is because the ethics rules that Texas lawyers are bound by dictate that lawyers can show the victories they’ve obtained, but the State Bar of Texas doesn’t want perspective clients falsely assuming that a million-dollar car accident settlement, for example, was obtained in relation to a minor accident. In other words, if someone burned to death and it resulted in a million-dollar settlement, the State Bar of Texas dictates that a lawyer must make it clear what precipitated the settlement. This is done so that the public doesn’t get a false sense of injury cases being akin to a lottery ticket. One has to suffer significant injuries in order to obtain a significant settlement.
That said, the following examples must not be misconstrued to mean anything definitive and you should not interpret this to mean that your case will be worth the exact amounts proposed.
- Broken Bones Not Requiring Surgery – These cases typically range in value from $50,000 to $150,000. The variance in value depends on which bones were broken, how many bones were broken, etc. A broken rib heals on its own and doesn’t require significant medical intervention, so juries would award a relatively low compensation for a single broken rib. Alternatively, a broken leg bone could result in substantially high compensation because it can severely disrupt your life.
- Broken Bones Requiring Surgery – These cases typically are valued in the multi-six figure range. Naturally, if the surgery is minimally invasive or is an inexpensive surgery with low recuperation time, then the value of the case may be significantly less. If for instance, the injured party has sustained numerous broken bones including compound fractures necessitating multiple surgeries the value of the case could approach seven figures.
- Back or Neck Injury Requiring Surgery – These injuries are typically valued in the multiple six figure range, but can also be multi-million-dollar cases if there is paralysis or permanent disability.
- Fatal Accident – Juries tend to award millions of dollars in wrongful death cases involving 18-wheelers. Now, there are a lot of variables to be considered. If a truck accident victim who died was only making $8 an hour and their only surviving relative was a single elderly parent, then the case may be worth significantly less. On the other hand, if the breadwinner of a family is killed and they make $80,000 a year and they leave behind a spouse and three young children, the case could be worth many millions of dollars.
- Brain Injuries – Brain injuries can include symptoms such as minor memory problems all the way up to the victim living in a vegetative state. However, even minor brain injuries can result in jury verdicts well into the seven figure range. Catastrophic brain injuries can result in jury verdicts into the multi tens of millions of dollars. Obviously, this is because loss of cognitive ability is one of the worst things that can happen to a person.
- Burn Injuries – Keith Purdue, one of the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices, grew up hearing his father, a burn doctor, share with Keith many horrific stories about his patients who were burn victims. One quote that Keith’s father often said was, “Some things are worse than dying,” referring to the severe agony that burn injury victims endure. As you can imagine, burn injury cases can result in jury verdicts worth millions of dollars. Of course, the amount of the verdict will depend on how severe the burns are. Just to give you an idea, we recently tried a case involving second-degree-burns on a client’s foot, which, in the grand scheme of things, is a fairly minor burn injury, yet the jury in that case still instructed the defendant to pay our client $65,000. On the contrary, we’ve had burn injury cases that have settled for twenty times that amount.
Again, these figures are realistic, but they may or may not apply to you case since there are so many variables to consider. The other things to consider are “venue” and “liability”. Venue refers to the particular court you file your case in. You can have a case with a favorable fact-pattern but just be unfortunate enough to try it in a court where juries are less likely to award full compensation and the value of the case can be cut in half. With respect to liability, Texas law says that the trucking company only has to pay for their share of responsibility. So, if a trucking company is found to be seventy-percent at fault for $100,000 worth of injuries, then the trucking company only has to pay $70,000.
Further, juries are only human and they sometimes can be biased. This can affect accident victims who have checkered pasts, or who belong to groups that are not held in high esteem. So, if you were a convicted felon and the leader of a biker gang, it’s highly likely that you would get less compensation than a college professor who suffered the same injuries.How Trucking Company Investigators Conduct Surveillance on Accident Victims Read More >
Grossman Law Offices Can Help You Get Maximum Compensation for Your Damages
No two large truck accident cases are the same, and no matter how extensive your damages are, our attorneys can help ensure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation and that you are taken care of in the future. Our attorneys have relationships with and work with a variety of expert witnesses in all of our truck accident cases to calculate your damages and more importantly, to effectively convey the extent of your damages to a jury. If you’ve been injured in a large truck accident, and you want to ensure that you and your family are taken care of, call us today for a free consultation at (855) 326-0000.
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