Tracking accidents can be a total nightmare when figuring out who to sue. These cases often involve large amounts of compensation.
“Compensation in accidents involving semis is usually fairly high,” said Robert W. Lee, an Austin truck accident personal injury lawyer with Lee, Gober & Reyna. “This is mostly related to the fact that the injuries involved in these horrendous crashes are generally long-term or permanent in nature. In other words, they are often life-altering conditions that may mean the victim’s life is never the same again.”
Due to the nature of the injuries that may be inflicted in a truck wreck, trucking companies tend to pay out higher levels of insurance to operate, simply because the settlements are usually larger than a typical car wreck situation. In addition, federal and state laws mandate big rigs be covered.
“This means if you are involved in a wreck, you will come into contact with an insurance adjuster. Here’s a word of advice for you when dealing with an insurance adjuster: unless you are 100 percent certain their first offer is accurate and fair and you have discussed it with an Austin personal injury lawyer, do not accept that first offer,” Lee said.
The way things tend to work with insurance adjusters is that they make an opening offer that is substantially lower than what the injuries sustained in an accident are actually worth. “They make their first offer fast to throw you off and while you are still in ‘recovering mode’ and don’t know for sure what your future prognosis is. They also aim low because they are a business and want to save money on their bottom line,” Lee said.
For those that choose to accept an insurance companies settlement offer, be aware that doing that releases them for any and all liability for all future medical costs and possibly more. It means that if the case does go to trial, there’s a good chance the victim will be barred from recovering what they are owed. “And that applies to any accident related medical problem that was discovered after the settlement was cashed,” Lee said.
“In all cases where there are significant injuries, don’t handle the case on your own. It’s too important to risk a high cash settlement by trying to be an attorney and deal with this complex area of the law. That is what I am here for: to get medical reports and documents to substantiate future medical expenses, to round up witness statements, to figure out your lost wages and find people who can tell the court what your condition was before the accident,” Lee said.