This is the next post in a series of articles discussing common issues that arise in trucking accident cases in Laredo, Texas. My previous post discussed various reasons that cause the legal process to take a considerable amount of time following a serious injury accident involving commercial trucks. Factors such as the presence of multiple defendants, difficulties in diagnosing the victim’s long-term medical prognosis, and protracted litigation can result in a multi-year process. It is important to understand the reasons a case may continue for so long, particularly when evaluating settlement offers. In some cases, the lengthy process is necessary to achieve the maximum recovery of damages. An experienced attorney will be willing and able to see your case through to conclusion and advise you about your legal options. In this post, I will discuss why it is important to retain a law firm with sufficient resources to handle your legal representation. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak with an attorney.
Many personal injury law firms are willing to undertake serious injury representations on a contingency fee basis. This means that the firm will incur the costs of representing their clients in advance and will not be reimbursed unless and until the victim receives a settlement or damage award after a trial. As we have previously discussed in this series, trucking accident cases in which the victim has suffered serious injuries are commonly very expensive and complex. Some can take years to resolve. Law firms may incur fees in excess of $1 million during the course truck accident case. It is necessary, therefore, for any law firm handling complicated catastrophic injury matters to have the financial resources to absorb these costs on their clients’ behalf. Firms that are unable to do so may not be in a position to provide the services necessary to protect their clients’ legal rights.
Consider the following example. An individual suffers permanent brain damage when a semi-truck strikes his vehicle on the highway. As the primary breadwinner for his family, the loss of his income is significant and his inability to work in the future is anticipated to cause serious financial hardship. His medical treatment quickly becomes extremely expensive and his physicians expect him to have significant long-term care needs. His family retains a law firm to handle his case on a contingency basis. After an extensive investigation, counsel identifies several potential defendants. Multiple experts, such as accident reconstructionists, industry safety experts, and others are required to issue opinions to establish their liability. Furthermore, it may take several physicians and experts a period of months or years to fully ascertain his long-term medical prognosis. The fees for these professionals reach into six figures as the complexity of a case increases. Nine months into negotiations with the defendants’ insurance companies, they make a settlement offer to the victim and his family. Because the expert reports are incomplete, it is difficult to evaluate whether the family is entitled to additional compensation. A firm without resources to continue may be tempted to recommend accepting the settlement simply to end the case and recoup its expenses. On the other hand, counsel with the financial wherewithal to continue would not face this dilemma and could provide unbiased advice about the settlement.
My firm is selective about the representation we undertake so that we can dedicate both financial resources and personnel to handle such matters for our clients. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak to a Laredo personal injury attorney. In addition to Laredo, I serve clients in other areas of south Texas.