Why Litigation is so Important
There are two important purposes to bringing a lawsuit against a defendant in a trucking accident. First of all, you will be bringing justice to the party or parties responsible for your injuries and for negatively impacting your life. This will send out a message that people will not tolerate reckless driving and will stand up for their rights. This, in turn, may help deter future accidents and spare others from the pain that you have had to go through.
The second reason is to enable you to recover financially from all the losses that you undoubtedly have suffered because of this accident. The laws clearly state that no one is automatically entitled to collect for their injuries. At the outset, justice seems tilted in favor of the defendant who caused the accident. To win, you will need to tilt the scales of justice in your favor. More information on this website @
Apart from the obvious physical and emotional losses that you certainly suffered in such a huge crash, you undoubtedly also suffered severe financial losses. We have found that accident victims usually have huge medical bills, extensive car repair costs, plus the added strain of being out of work because of hospitalization and consequently losing wages. Recovering damages for these types of losses will assist a victim in getting back on their feet again and in easing this financial stress.
Two Ways to Win Your Lawsuit
There are two principal ways in which you may win and recover your damages after an accident. Most cases end up being resolved with an agreement made between plaintiff and defendant and settled out of court, without the involvement of a judge or jury. In other cases and for various reasons, the two parties are unable to reach an agreement and the case goes to trial in front of a jury and judge. More on this website
Settlements: In a settlement, the defendant offers a certain amount of money to the plaintiff, to compensate for his or her injuries, even though there has been no legal mandate from a judge ordering the defendant to do so. In return, the plaintiff agrees not to file a lawsuit against the defendant and also agrees not to seek more restitution. Settling can be beneficial to the victim because it enables the victim to receive a settlement faster and takes out of the equation the unknown factor of having a decision made by a random jury.
It can be fairly difficult, however, to ensure that you get a fair deal in these cases since the defendant is, of course, aware that he or she has no legal obligation yet to pay you any money. This is an example of when having a trucking accident lawyer on your side can once again make a large difference.
In addition, having a reputable and knowledgeable attorney will send a very clear message to the defendant that if they do not settle out of court with you then they will end up losing even more in a courtroom. If that defendant is nervous he or she is much more likely to offer you a fair amount for your damages, and we know exactly how to do that. Since we have won so many cases against almost every major insurance company in America, we are known and at times a feared entity. These insurance companies are consequently eager to settle out of court and avoid a confrontation with our tenacious lawyers.
An 18-wheeler accident victim must always be wary of bad settlement offers. This is particularly common if you have not yet retained your own lawyer. Defendants certainly know that if you do accept their offer then you will not be able to hire an attorney to sue them for more money later on. They also realize that often an accident victim is strapped for cash, facing medical bills, car repair costs plus a potential lack of income because of hospitalization and other factors. Consequently, it is not unusual to see defendants dangling small amounts of cash in front of these victims, hoping that the victims will accept and thus allow the defendant to escape further responsibility. If someone does offer you a settlement do make sure that you review that settlement with a knowledgeable attorney before signing anything.
Trials: For many possible reasons, some cases do not settle out of court but end up in front of a judge and jury. You will likely have a more difficult job at a trial since the burden of proof is upon the victim in a truck accident case. You must successfully present evidence on each of four elements of a claim in order to win your case. These elements include Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.
In order to prove duty, you must be able to demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty to behave in a manner so as not to cause you harm. Since most of us owe each other at least the duty to act as a reasonable person would avoid harming each other, this should be fairly straightforward to prove.
You next must be able to prove that the defendant’s conduct was a violation (or breach) of this duty of care that he owed to you. Using that “reasonable person” duty of care will mean proving that the defendant did something that a reasonable person would not have done. To do this, to prove a violation of duty, the victim must bring evidence to court to show the jurors precisely what the defendant did do … or did not do in your accident. The jurors in turn will deliberate and decide whether or not the defendant breached his duty.
The third thing that you must prove is the cause. You must be able to demonstrate that the defendant’s behavior actually caused your injuries. To prove this satisfactorily to the court you will need a lot of evidence. Since so many different people help prepare a big truck for the road, theoretically any one of them could have been responsible for the truck’s accident. It is fairly common for a wily defense attorney to try to blame his client’s negligence on a third party or even you. You will need all the evidence available to refute this type of subterfuge.
Finally, you must be able to prove that you indeed did incur damages. The term “damages” is different from the term “injuries.” Injuries are the things that happened to you in your accident. Damages are the financial losses that you have suffered directly because of these injuries. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, future lost income as well as compensation from pain and suffering.
It is very important to calculate every penny of these damages and then be able to substantiate them for the court. This in itself can be highly challenging. For example, how do you go about computing lost future income if you have 30 years left in which to work? Or, how do you put a monetary value on such intangible things as emotional pain or suffering? The trucking accident attorneys at our Law Office know how to calculate all these complex types of damages. We can account for every penny that you may be due and then present this to the jury, along with corroborative evidence in a compelling manner.