If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania truck accident, you are probably wondering how to pay your medical bills and whether you will be compensated for other major losses such as loss of income or employment, not to mention continuing treatment and rehabilitative costs. The settlement amount in a truck accident case can be challenging to estimate right at the beginning of a case. There are a number of factors that go into the amount of money you may be awarded in a Pennsylvania truck accident case. Each and every case is unique.
Settlement agreements can be complex, especially in truck accident cases. Multiple entities may be involved and responsible to different degrees for the accident. Each party’s level of negligence determines their liability in a personal injury settlement. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a big rig accident, you need an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer on your side. You need a skilled negotiator who can help you secure maximum monetary compensation for your losses.
Calculating the Value of Your Truck Accident Settlement
A number of truck accident cases are settled even before getting to a trial. Before a case can be settled, it is critical to understand the true value or worth of the case. Most truck companies and their insurers rely on a general formula when they assign a value to your case. While this value could provide a baseline amount to work from, it is likely to be much lower than what a fair settlement should be. Here are some of the factors that should be taken into consideration in a Pennsylvania truck accident settlement:
Medical expenses: You should take into consideration all your medical bills. This includes emergency room visits, ambulance or helicopter transportation, hospitalization, surgery expenses, cost of medication and medical equipment, cost of rehabilitative therapy, etc. In addition to past and current medical expenses, you should also factor in ongoing medical treatment, particularly if you have suffered major injuries. This may include additional doctor visits, future surgeries, therapy sessions, drug costs, rehabilitation and so on.
Property damage: Truck accidents also often result in significant damage to vehicles. You can calculate this value by getting a professional estimate of costs to repair your vehicle or use online tools such as Kelly Blue Book to estimate the value of your vehicle. You can add this amount to your medical expenses.
Lost earnings: Truck accident injuries are often so severe that you will need to take time off work to recover. If you missed work due to your injuries, you can also recover lost wages as part of your truck accident settlement. To calculate this amount, use your pay stubs to determine the total amount of time you missed as a result of your injuries. If you used accrued time off such as sick and vacation days, be sure to include those days in your calculations as well. If your injuries were so severe that you were prevented from fully returning to work or were forced to take more time off, you can estimate your lost future earnings and add this to your medical expenses, lost earnings and property damage as well.
Loss of earning potential: If you have suffered a catastrophic injury that will prevent you altogether from working or earning a livelihood, an experienced lawyer will be able to calculate the damages related to losing your earning potential and the ability to earn a living. These damages could be substantial.
Pain and suffering: This might be difficult or at the very least, challenging, to put a value on. There is no formula here that can quantify a monetary value for the pain and suffering caused by the accident. Every one of us responds and reacts differently to an adversarial situation or a traumatic event. Your truck accident attorney can help you estimate the value of your pain and suffering.
Should You Accept a Quick Settlement?
It would not be in your best interest to accept a quick settlement. If you have been injured in a horrific truck accident, you probably want closure and want to get on with your life. So, naturally, you want to put it all behind you. However, what is critical to remember at this point is: A settlement is forever. Once you sign that agreement you lose the right to take any further action because the case is closed.
It is important that you ask yourself a number of questions before you agree to a settlement. How confident are you that you will recover within a certain period of time? Did you factor in cost of future medical care and rehabilitation? Insurance company settlement offers tend to focus pretty much on your losses up to the moment. They don’t really care about your financial future or your health.
You also need to consider whether your injuries have the potential to worsen as you age. Certain injuries, especially those involving joints and connective tissues could be debilitating and degenerative. In addition, you must look into whether the settlement offer compensates you adequately for pain and suffering. Insurance companies often lowball victims because they know that injured parties don’t have experience with such complex negotiations.
However, an experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney who has negotiated similar settlements will be able to help you get maximum compensation for your losses. So, it is critical to consult a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer before you rush into any settlement.
The KaplunMarx Difference
The Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers at KaplunMarx have the knowledge, resources and experience to go up against the biggest insurance companies. We have a good understanding of their strategies and use our expertise to help you get maximum dollars for your truck accident case. We offer personal service and compassionate legal representation to each and every one of our clients. When you contact us, you will speak with a lawyer, not an assistant. Your lawyer will be available to answer your questions and address your concerns so you are at ease with the process. Call us for a free consultation and comprehensive case assessment.