Truck accidents are a dangerous and costly situation, given the sheer size of the vehicles involved. The victims of these accidents deserve restitution for their injuries, but obtaining it can be challenging.
Truck accidents are some of the most complex motor vehicle accidents that can occur. Many people are involved in the trucking process, and identifying the properly liable party can be difficult. An experienced Alexandria truck accident lawyer can be crucial to helping identify the liable party and seeking compensation.
At Whitlock Law, LLC, we have extensive experience with truck accidents and other motor vehicle accidents of all sorts. We understand the range of complexities that can be involved in these incidents.
The challenges of pursuing proper compensation aren’t foreign to us, and we can help our clients navigate the process of getting what they’re owed. Whether by settlement or through litigation, we can pursue fair compensation for our clients.
One of the most complex parts of truck accidents is understanding what party or parties are liable for the accident and the costs of the injuries. This is because many trucking operations have a number of different contractors and subcontractors who come into contact with the vehicle and the freight.
A negligent act by any of them could be the causal factor in an accident and lead to their liability. Some of the parties that might be liable include:
The compensation that is awarded in a truck accident claim in Alexandria, VA is the same that is available in any personal injury claim, as truck accidents are filed under those rules. The compensation will only cover those costs that are a direct result of the injuries suffered in the accident.
Proving that connection in court is required to receive compensation for those injuries. The compensation paid will typically come through two forms of damages, although there can occasionally be a third form involved as well. The different kinds of damages are:
If an injury has a documented cost that is associated with it, then it is compensated as economic damages. This includes medical bills related to your injuries, property damage to your vehicle, and any lost wages from missing work as a result of the injuries.
If the injuries are serious enough that the impact will extend into the future, any lost earning capacity and future medical costs are compensated through economic damages as well.
Any costs that are more emotional or psychological in nature would be addressed as non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, and loss of the use of a body part are the kinds of issues that are addressed through these damages.
Of course, money will not solve these issues. The financial award is meant to be an indirect form of assistance and an acknowledgment of what you’ve suffered.
The final set of damages is not meant to cover any costs that the injured party suffered. These damages are instead meant to serve as a kind of punishment and deterrent based on the behavior of the defendant.
They aren’t often part of a settlement or ruling, but if the court believes that the defendant acted out of ill-intent or otherwise egregiously, they could be awarded in some situations.
Contributory negligence could negatively impact your claim. This legal doctrine allows the defendant in the case to have the opportunity to argue that the plaintiff was negligent and responsible for the accident and their own injuries.
If the defendant is able to persuade the court that the plaintiff is responsible for their own injuries, then the plaintiff may be barred from collecting any damages. With the stakes so significant under these rules, it’s critical that you work with an experienced truck accident lawyer who understands the way that these arguments are formulated and how to defend against them.
For most plaintiffs in a truck accident claim, it makes sense to first attempt to negotiate a settlement and consider accepting one if a fair amount can be agreed upon.
While this could mean that you would receive a little less money than if your court case went perfectly, it is an option with a couple of advantages. It also avoids the most significant downsides of taking a claim to court.
If a claim goes to court, you will get your funds much later than under a settlement agreement. It’s not unheard of for court cases to potentially last for years, and even the quickest of trials is likely going to last several months.
For those who need the funds quickly, this isn’t an appealing option. However, with a settlement, you can usually expect to receive the funds within 30 days of the agreement being reached. The only limiting factor, in terms of timing, is whether you’re able to reach an acceptable agreement quickly.
Taking a claim to court also introduces an element of risk. The court may not agree with your argument, no matter how compelling or convincing it is. The risk of taking a claim to court is even greater in Virginia, where the possibility of being found partially at fault under contributory negligence rules could take away your ability to collect damages altogether.
Settling the claim, though, guarantees that you will receive the funds that you agree to. For those looking to avoid the inherent risks of litigation, a settlement may be the better option.
To collect damages from someone, it must be shown that they are truly the party at fault for the accident. This means showing that they committed some kind of error or another act of negligence and, without their action, the accident and your injuries wouldn’t have occurred.
This is done by showing the three components of negligence:
A truck accident lawyer can take on a number of vital duties when representing you and seeking compensation for the injuries that you’ve suffered. The process typically begins with investigating the circumstances around your accident.
This is especially important in cases that involve a truck, as there are so many potential points of liability. We must identify the liable parties and gather evidence that could be used to prove their liability.
Additionally, we can search for evidence that could be helpful in proving that you were not liable. Such evidence may be needed in case the defendant attempts to argue that you are partially liable under contributory negligence rules. This could be crucial to preserving your right to collect damages.
We can also represent you during settlement negotiations. A settlement could be the better option for both parties, but it needs to have a fair value. A lawyer’s involvement can often lead to the lawyers on the other side taking the situation more seriously.
Insurance representatives should realize that unfair tactics, like unreasonable lowball offers, are going to be a waste of everyone’s time, and the presence of a lawyer implies a very real possibility of the case going to court. For those looking to avoid that hassle and expense, this can encourage more fruitful negotiations.
There are, though, some situations where we simply cannot find a settlement that works for both sides. If this happens, then we can be ready to take the path of litigation instead. We’ve argued many cases before the court and understand what it takes to put a strong argument forward on your behalf. We are willing to take whatever route is necessary to pursue the compensation that you deserve.
Being in a truck accident is a terrifying experience. Even once you’ve assessed your injuries, there are still some fears regarding how the bills will be paid.
In cases of more serious injuries, which are going to prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity as before, there are often fears of how you will be able to make money and support yourself and your family. All those costs, though, are the responsibility of whoever caused the accident.
It’s important that the victims of a truck accident get the support and help that they deserve. Usually, this will be paid by an insurance company, and an Alexandria truck accident lawyer can be critical to getting the compensation that you’re owed.
At Whitlock Law, LLC, the focus of our efforts has been getting victims of motor vehicle accidents the compensation that they need. Whether by settlement or litigation, we may be able to help you. Contact us today.
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