Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are substantially larger than passenger vehicles. It is partially because of this enormous size difference that truck drivers must carry additional licensing and certifications such as a Commercial Driver’s License and more. The certifications show that the driver has an understanding of how to operate these vehicles and that they are subject to special regulations and restrictions. But there is no license that will ever guarantee that the license holder will never cause an accident. That is why most commercial trucking insurance policies have limits at, or in excess of $1 million to account for the significant potential damage these vehicles can cause in an accident.
High policy limits are a great start when filing a claim after a serious accident, but they are in no way to be confused for getting the money you are rightfully owed. Insurers focus on settling claims for as little as possible, and when a victim handles their own claim, that unfortunate outcome is more likely. If you have been hurt or a loved one has been killed in a trucking accident, working with an experienced personal injury attorney is one of the best ways to move forward with a good chance of getting the money owed to you.
Contact Fasig | Brooks Today To Connect With a Truck Accident Attorney
Our law firm offers a free consultation for victims of truck accidents and for the family members of those killed in truck accidents that others caused. When someone else causes an accident that leads to injuries or death, the victims are entitled to seek compensation through a tort claim. It is often in the form of an insurance claim intended to repay the victim for the damages that they have endured as a result of the accident. However, insurance companies must focus on staying profitable while resolving these claims, meaning that they are incentivized to settle for far less than a victim is owed.
The personal injury lawyers at Fasig | Brooks are highly skilled in handling insurance claims of many kinds, including commercial truck accident claims. While our clients take the time they need to focus on healing and recovering from this traumatic and painful experience, we will go through the details of their legal situation to build a case and fight for the money they deserve. Following the insurance adjuster’s lead through an insurance claim is not complicated, but getting a fair settlement is. Instead of taking on the stress of facing an experienced adjuster, let us handle this process on your behalf.
How Much Is Your Truck Accident Claim Worth?
When a victim files an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer, the question is about compensation — what is the extent of the damages the victim has incurred, and how much are they owed in compensation?
Tort claims are based on impacts known as damages, which are the losses that a victim experiences after a personal injury. In an insurance claim, a victim is seeking compensatory damages, which, as the name implies, seek to compensate the victim for their losses. Other damages, known as punitive damages, are sometimes awarded to victims if the at-fault party’s actions were particularly dangerous or egregious. But a personal injury attorney does not seek these damages — they are awarded in rare instances by a judge at the end of a trial to punish the defendant. The following subcategories of compensatory damages are the types that your attorney will be seeking.
Economic damages are the primary damages in a personal injury case and include all repercussions that have measurable dollar values associated with them. These include things like the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, a victim’s medical bills, as well as their lost wages and other impacts to their earnings. In addition to these effects, there are many other economic damages such as the cost of assistive devices, long-term losses to things like savings, pensions, or 401Ks, and the cost of services that a victim may need to help them perform standard duties like shopping, driving, or cleaning.
Economic damages are repaid as 1:1, meaning that there are no multipliers or room for additional negotiation beyond precisely what the victim has suffered. However, non-economic damages are often based on economic damages, meaning that every dollar accounted for in this category may ultimately be multiplied by a factor of 1.5 – 5x. With this in mind, it is essential to go through your economic damages with a close eye for detail and realize that no impact is too small to seek repayment for.
Non-economic damages are the impacts of an accident that do not have dollar values, such as intangibles like the pain and suffering a victim endures from their injuries, the psychological impact of such a terrifying and painful experience, emotional distress, and more. As you can imagine, victims often find it difficult to determine how much money they are owed for something as abstract as “pain,” and insurers capitalize on this uncertainty by rejecting amateur calculations outright. Working with an attorney who will negotiate aggressively to reach a fair and reasonable settlement is the best way to get an estimate of non-economic damages.
There are various methods an attorney can use when determining non-economic damages, each of which has benefits and drawbacks that an experienced personal injury lawyer can weigh before moving forward. Keep in mind that calculating these damages is only the first step: insurers will initiate settlement negotiations by offering a low sum as a one-time payment, and your lawyer will need to work to close the gap between their offer and what you need. These negotiations can take some time, and in some cases, an attorney may decide that the best path forward is through a lawsuit filed in the Florida courts.