Potential clients who contact a Las Vegas truck accident attorney already come with a compensation amount in mind. Most of them did an online search and found out about other settlements that truck accident victims or their families obtained. Thus, they believe that they are entitled to receive the same amount – or close to it. In reality, each truck accident claim value is determined on a case by case basis.
And, of course, there are instances when your own percentage of fault in the case plays a role in reducing the total compensatory amount you are eligible to collect. However, one thing is clear: if you want to obtain the maximum compensation amount you deserve, you should hire an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney at the Christian Morris Trial Attorneys law firm.
A Truck Accident Claim Is an Extremely Complex Legal Matter in Nevada
The first thing you must remember is that very large compensation amounts in a truck accident claim are obtained from the trucking company and their insurer, not from the driver. A truck driver has the same insurance obligations as any other driver in Nevada:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident
- $20,000 for property damage.
Adding up these numbers does not get you anywhere near the six figures settlements that you read about on our website or elsewhere. This is because the lawyer negotiated those settlements with the insurance company representing the trucking company.
And this means that the legal battle is on a wholly different level. We are talking about the biggest insurance companies in the US who have an army of adjusters and lawyers working for them. An individual without specialized legal representation stands no chance in front of the fight the insurer will put up against their truck accident claim.
How Is the Value of a Truck Accident Claim Evaluated?
A truck accident attorney in Nevada will explain to you that there are several important aspects that determine the settlement amount they can win for a client. These are:
1. Whether the Trucking Company Is Vicariously Responsible for the Accident
A trucking company is not liable by default if a driver behind the wheel of one of their trucks hit you. Here are some of the situations when the respondeat superior principle (the employer is liable for their employee’s actions and negligence) is not applicable:
- The truck driver is not an employee, but an independent contractor
- The truck driver was off-duty
- The truck driver used the vehicle for their personal purposes
- The truck driver made deliberate, negligent choices behind the wheel (DUI, reckless or aggressive driving).
An experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney may prove that the truck driver was actually an employee. Or, they can show that the driver had a history of traffic violations, which the trucking company should have been aware of when they hired the driver. However, this is never 100% certain.
2. The Victim’s Own Proportion of Fault
Traffic accidents rarely occur due to the 100% fault of one driver. In most of the cases, the accident victim also had a slight fault in creating the circumstances for the accident. One of the most common instances of this kind is the failure to wear a safety belt.
Once this is found out, an insurance adjuster will argue that you are responsible for your severe injuries, because you failed to the safety belt – flouting Nevada law. While this may be true, it does not mean that you are not eligible to file a truck accident claim and recover a part of your damages.
An experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney will explain to you that, according to the comparative negligence principle applicable in Nevada, you have the right to seek compensation for damages if you are less than 50% at fault. However, your actual damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Thus, you will not be able to recover the entire amount included in the trucking accident claim.
3. The Value of the Medical Care Bills and Lost Wages
Any lawyer can tell you that medical costs and lost wages make up the largest proportion of the economic damages. People who win millions of dollars in a truck accident claim or lawsuit most likely suffered life changing injuries, resulting in permanent disability. They are unable to work and require assistive devices and/or round the clock nursing care.
Your truck accident attorney in Nevada will add up all the eligible economic damages, including:
- The ambulance ride cost
- Car shop estimate for repairing or replacing your car
- Receipts for refilling prescriptions
- Physical therapy costs
- Professional reconversion costs
- Other pocket expenses.
Nothing will be left out – thus, the total amount will reflect your actual economic losses.
4. Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages for pain and suffering are difficult to estimate. However, there are certain guidelines and the experience of previous cases, allowing a Las Vegas truck accident attorney to come up with a realistic amount.
It is quite obvious that a person who was left with visible disfigurement or who suffered permanent paralysis experiences a higher level of mental anguish and emotional trauma than a person who was lucky to escape from the terrible accident with whiplash and a few bruises.
Overestimating the total damages in a truck accident claim will get you nowhere. The insurance company will absolutely refuse to settle. And, once you file a personal injury lawsuit, their lawyer will do their best to present you as a money grabber. It all depends on the jury’s perception of you as a plaintiff, of course, but each member of the jury will use their common sense in considering whether your demands are fair or not
Remember that Time is Not Running in Your Favor
Finally, the value of a truck accident claim depends on how much time your lawyer has to prepare your case for court, if necessary. The statute of limitation for personal injury cases in Nevada is 2 years starting with the date of the accident.
Since a truck accident claim is extremely complex and may not end with an amicable settlement, it is important to retain legal representation as soon as possible. If negotiations fail, your Las Vegas truck accident attorney needs time to identify witnesses, collect evidence and prepare you for deposition and for taking the stand in court.
Let an Experienced Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney Win Your Claim!
At Christian Morris Trial Attorneys you will find a team of attorneys with a combined experience of 30 years. We used to work for insurance companies, so we know exactly how they are trying to avoid paying claims.
We offer each new client a free case review. And, if your case has merits, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. We always fight to obtain the maximum compensation for each truck accident claim and we do not stop until we get it. Call us now to schedule your free initial consultation: (702) 434-8282!