This is the next post in a series of articles discussing common issues that may arise in Laredo, Texas trucking accident cases. My previous article provided an overview of the topics to be discussed throughout this series. It also stressed the importance of hiring an attorney with experience representing clients in serious personal injury cases. Truck accident cases can be complicated from a legal and factual perspective. These complexities can, at times, impact the timing and progression of a case during the legal process. In this post, I will explain why matters involving commercial entities and serious injuries can be lengthy. If you or a loved one has been in an accident, contact my office as soon as possible to speak with a lawyer.
Truck accident victims are often surprised to learn that it may be months or even years following a crash until their case is ultimately resolved. This is true for a variety of reasons. One such reason is that truck cases often involve more than one defendant. For instance, in Texas, as with many other states, a person’s employer can be held responsible for the negligent acts of their employee. Under other legal theories, the owner of the truck may be partially responsible. This party could be different from the driver or their employer. Depending on the specific facts surrounding an accident, potential defendants could include the truck driver, their employer, the truck owner, or a leasing company. Establishing each party’s respective liability for the incident can involve complicated legal arguments and require in-depth investigations into each defendant’s role. After identifying all possible defendants, their respective insurance companies and legal teams will become engaged in settlement negotiations, further extending the process.
Another primary reason cases extend over long periods of time relates to determining a victim’s damages. Depending upon the extent of a person’s injuries, damages in truck accident cases are often significant. The individual may be entitled to recover past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, or emotional distress damages. Estimating these amounts can be challenging and time-consuming. For instance, if an individual suffers significant brain damage, it may be difficult to ascertain their long-term medical prognosis. Doing so may require multiple surgeries, physical therapy, or ongoing treatment by specialists. In catastrophic injury cases, a law firm will likely engage multiple experts to help determine the medical prognosis and estimate past and future economic damages. The process of calculating one’s potential damages, while time-consuming, is imperative to evaluate settlement offers and for the victim to be fully compensated. If a case is not settled prior to the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations expires, a lawsuit must be initiated to preserve the plaintiff’s rights. The litigation process, if necessary, can continue for several months or longer.
Insurance companies want to settle their cases quickly and are motivated to negotiate the least amount of damages as possible. Given the possible financial stress on a family after a loved one is injured, accepting a quick settlement may seem attractive. For the reasons stated in this article, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and take the time to accurately estimate damages. Failing to do so can result in a family paying for unforeseen costs out of their own pocket in the future. If you need assistance, contact my office today to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney. In addition to Laredo, I serve clients in other areas of south Texas.