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There is Much to Consider When Determining the Value of a Truck Accident Case
It is not easy to describe in detail the process of how we determine the value of an 18-wheeler case. There are so many moving parts and so many considerations contingent upon other considerations that we would have to write a rather lengthy book to fully document everything that goes into the process of determining a value amount. What we can do easily, however, is explain a little about how damages work and define the parameters that shape the value of a case in a practical sense.
A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is ultimately a claim for damages. Damages are court awarded compensation for injury or loss. For personal injury and wrongful death claims, there are two broad categories of damages that are often sued for: Exemplary and Compensatory.
Exemplary Damages: Exemplary damages are punitive in nature. They are a punishment meant to deter the defendant and other similar persons from acting in the future in the same manner that has caused the damages to the plaintiff.
Compensatory Damages: Every personal injury and wrongful death claim is at, its most basic, a claim for compensatory damages. That is, due to the negligence of the defendant, the plaintiff has suffered economic or non economic damages and is asking the court to compel the defendant to compensate them for these losses.
Economic damages for personal injuries include losses in the form of medical bills, lost income, etc. Wrongful death economic damages consist, among others, of loss of reasonable contributions of pecuniary value.
Non economic damages for personal injury claims are for emotional injuries or losses such as, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, and disfigurement. Wherein non economic wrongful death claims include include damages such as loss of companionship and society and mental anguish.
Three Considerations that Put a Ceiling on the Value of a Truck Accident Claim.
In order to determine the full potential value of a claim, the damages have to be quantified. Some are easy to quantify, such as the sum total of all medical bills. Some damages are difficult to quantify, like placing a dollar amount on pain and suffering. Nevertheless, our Austin 18-wheeler accident attorneys are highly skilled and highly experienced at quantifying such damages. We can evaluate a claim and determine a ‘fair market value’ for the damages you’ve incurred.
The next practical ceiling to the value of a claim is based on the assets of the defendant and the value of all applicable insurance policies. This does not mean that if the defendant has a large insurance policy your case will be worth more. Your case is worth what your case is worth. The insurance and assets of the defendant reflect their ability to pay the value of your case. For example, if you have a two million dollar claim against a defendant that is uninsured, has few assets, and only brings in thirty-thousand dollars a year in salary, your claim will be practically limited to well below two million dollars.
Another limiting factor on the value of your claim is what juries are prone to award, which is entirely based on the venue (location) where the case is heard. We recently litigated a fatal truck-accident case that happened in Louisiana. Both the trucking company and the plaintiff (our client) were based out of Dallas. The defendant wanted the case to be tried in a Louisiana court since they have traditionally awarded much lower compensation than Texas juries. We were able to ultimately have the claim decided in Dallas court and as a consequence were able to get a much larger result for our client.
There is one other litigating factor that is arguably the most important, and that is choosing the right law firm to represent you. We’ve won hundreds of truck accident claims and have over twenty years experience representing the victims of 18-wheeler operator negligence. For more information, call 1-855-257-1111.