This is the next post in my series on the handling of commercial vehicle accident cases in Laredo, Texas. My last article discussed why commercial accident cases may involve multiple defendants. Victims must understand that employers are considered responsible for the negligence of their employees and contractors. Also, if the employer fails to adequately screen or supervise a worker, then the company may face causes of action which go beyond the negligence of the worker. In this article I will discuss the process of settling cases against such defendants. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer. My office also serves other areas in south Texas.
The first step in any personal injury case is for the victim’s lawyer to send a letter to the insurance companies of the defendant(s) informing them of the representation. This allows the insurers to deal with the lawyer directly. Since commercial vehicle cases can involve numerous defendants, this means that counsel will deal directly with multiple insurers. Once a victim’s long-term prognosis is reasonably known, then counsel can send a “demand for payment” to the insurers. Counsel will then go back and forth in negotiations and, if a settlement cannot be reached, then a lawsuit will be filed on the victim’s behalf. The statute of limitations on most injury matters is two years – meaning that if a case is not filed within that time then the victim will lose their ability to seek compensation.
An important takeaway from the foregoing discussion is that the victim’s long-term prognosis must be reasonably known before a demand for settlement can be made. If a victim were to accept a settlement that is less than what they need to cover their long-term care and losses then they will not be able to seek more money later. Consider the following example: Victor Victim is hit by a delivery truck and suffers a serious back injury. The doctor informs Victor that it will be some time before he will be sure a) how many surgeries Victor will need and b) the extent to which Victor will fully recover. Assuming that he will make a full recovery, Victor accepts a “fast” settlement. Unfortunately, it turns out that Victor only ever regains seventy-five percent of his mobility and he will require more surgeries than originally anticipated. Victor is also unable to return to his former job due to his reduced mobility. Given that he accepted a reduced settlement, Victor is now without compensation for the unexpected care and financial losses. He must bear these losses out of pocket.
The foregoing example is meant to stress the point that it is important to fully treat your injuries before seeking compensation in a commercial vehicle accident case. I am an experienced Laredo injury lawyer and will give honest advice as to whether not accepting an immediate settlement has the potential for hurting your long-term interests. I am experienced in handling accident cases which involve commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. We take pride in providing quality service and we look forward to speaking with you.