Victims of truck accidents face any number of uncertainties. After being injured in an accident, there may be questions about your health, your finances, your ability to work, and more.
If you believe the accident was caused by the negligence of the truck driver or another party, there are also legal questions:
- Will I be able to recover the compensation I need to pay for my medical bills?
- How do I handle the insurance company if and when it provides a settlement offer?
- What if their offer is not enough?
In truth, there are no easy answers to these questions. Truck accident claims often involve a significant amount of money because the injuries and damages they cause can be severe.
As a result, insurance companies are not quick to pay out fair amounts of compensation to accident victims. When this is the case, the best course of action may be to file a lawsuit and take the case to court.
Keep reading for more information on how your claim may be resolved, or contact a truck accident attorney at Colombo Law for free today. Our firm serves clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.
When Do Truck Accident Claims Settle?
One of the key issues insurance companies consider when evaluating an accident claim is the value of the damages. If your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other damages are relatively minor, the insurer is less likely to put up a fight. After all, going to court can be expensive and time-consuming. With lower-value claims, it is often in their best interests to settle quickly.
In many cases, this is the best outcome for both accident victims and insurance companies. It is faster, less expensive, and there is less risk involved. However, there are some situations where you may need to go to trial to get the compensation you deserve.
When Your Truck Accident Case May Go to Court
Truck accident claims often involve significant damages. As a result, although a favorable settlement may still be possible, it is more common for cases against the truck driver, the trucking company, and other liable parties to go to trial.
While going to court can pose some risk and it might take longer to recover compensation, it may be the right course of action in situations involving the following:
Your Injuries Are Serious
If your injuries are serious, it means your expenses are high. It also means you are more likely to recover pain and suffering damages, which are intended to compensate accident victims for the pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life they experience as a result of an accident that was not their fault.
These losses add up, sometimes to the point that the insurance company will be unwilling to compensate you fairly. If a fair settlement offer does not come, it may be in your best interest to pursue full compensation in court.
You Lost a Loved One in the Accident
The most heartbreaking truck accident claims involve the wrongful death of someone close to you. They also rightly involve substantial amounts of compensation.
That said, just because you are grieving the loss of a family member – and you may be scrambling to pay your bills and rebuild your life as a result – does not mean insurance companies will sympathize and gladly give you what you deserve. As a result, wrongful death cases more often go to trial than other types of truck accident claims.
The Settlement Offer Is Low
Knowing the right amount to pursue in compensation can be challenging. Not only must you consider your existing economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and more, you must also consider any future expenses. Further, you may also be eligible for pain and suffering damages.
While there are accepted methods for calculating these damages, the insurance company may tell you that you are asking for too much and your case is not worth what you think. Adjusters hope that you will take their word for it, assuming they are telling you the truth.
This is where you should lean on the experience of your attorney. If negotiations don’t result in a favorable settlement, it may be necessary to take your case to trial.
Liability Is Disputed and No Settlement Is Offered
The insurance company may refuse to extend a settlement offer at all. Usually, this is because the insurer refuses to accept liability on behalf of the insured. Commonly, insurance carriers will attempt to argue that the accident was your fault, and you are not entitled to compensation as a result.
Again, a lawyer’s insight and experience can help you determine if this justifies filing a lawsuit. Even if you are partially at fault for the accident, as long as you are less than 50 percent liable, you may still be able to recover some compensation for your damages.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
The question of whether or not to take a case to trial is often a difficult, personal decision. Nevertheless, making the right decision requires understanding the reality of your situation, including how much you deserve in compensation and how long it will take if you settle versus going to court.
At Colombo Law, we have extensive experience representing truck accident victims. We have achieved significant settlements and trial results on behalf of our clients, and we will pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Please call Colombo Law at (304) 599-4229 today for a free consultation. Our truck accident attorneys serve clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.