When big rig accidents occur on large highways like I10, and people are injured, the resulting legal cases can become quite complex. Many times an at fault trucking company and their insurance company offers an injured victim a large sum of money to settle the case out of court; but it is unwise for any injured party to accept such an offer before a thorough settlement evaluation. Trucking accident attorneys know that offers such as these are frequently made to save insurance companies money. To ensure a settlement offer actually covers all fair, compensable damages, an evaluation by a client and their attorneys is essential.
Determining the Worth of An Injury Claim
Before any injury claim can be settled, a value must be put on that claim. Trucking accident attorneys and their injured clients work together to compile all damages, financial, emotional, and otherwise, and assign value to them all. This can be a difficult task to accomplish beyond the actual dollar amount of medical costs, since each person is different and affected by any devastating injuries in different ways. There are a number of formulas used to help determine the worth of injury claims; but the process, like the worth of these claims, will differ for every claimant.
Evaluating A Settlement Offer
Coming up with an agreeable settlement often requires negotiation by both parties involved. Insurance company attorneys who represent trucking companies that are responsible for accidents, will often make settlement offers early on to shorten the legal process; however, these offers often do not sufficiently cover the extent of true, compensable damages that an accident victim is entitled to claim. Proposals such as these usually do not take things into consideration such as long term or lifetime care; pain and suffering; emotional damages; and other compensable damages. For this reason it is important for a claimant and their accident lawyer to first determine the worth of the injury claim, then negotiate any settlement offers; or, refuse the offer and go to trial if there is a strong enough case.
Trial vs. Acceptance of Settlement Offer
Insurance companies like to settle out of court whenever possible, since this often means there will be fewer costs with both the settlement and legal fees. Skilled trucking accident attorneys understand that when a case is strong enough to go to trial, it can be used as a negotiating point in any settlement discussions. When settlement offers cannot be agreed upon, and an attorney feels their client is not being offered just compensation, they can set their case for trial. While it is definitely easier for all parties involved to settle out of court, there are times when going to trial makes the most sense, especially if the case against a trucking company is substantial.
For anyone who has been injured in a truck accident on any type of roadway or highway, including highways such as I10, it is important to not immediately accept any type of settlement offer presented by an insurance company without first discussing the value of their case with experienced trucking accident attorneys. Offers rendered by insurance company lawyers are commonly much less than the compensation injured accident victims are entitled to. Skillful negotiation is an important part of the process in obtaining the fairest settlement possible. Should negotiations fail, going to trial is still sometimes the best option when knowledgeable lawyers feel there is a solid case!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190