DC Truck Accident Lawyer
If you've been involved in a truck accident in Washington DC, you probably have plenty of questions. How will you cope with a lack of transportation? Will your injuries prevent you from working now, and perhaps in the future depending on whether they're permanent? How will you afford the extensive medical bills that you may have already incurred, and will continue to incur as you rehabilitate your injuries? Will you be able to continue to provide for your family, financially and otherwise? Will your life ever be the same? And most importantly, who can help?
The answer to this final question is a reputable DC truck accident lawyer with a solid track record of pursuing the best interests of you, the plaintiff. An experienced Washington DC truck accident attorney will investigate every aspect of your accident in order to build a strong case, maximizing your chance of experiencing a favorable outcome in court and receiving the monetary settlement you deserve - one that can properly compensate you for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and more.
- Average Settlement Amounts in Washington DC Truck Accident Claims
- Important Factors for Juries in DC Truck Accident Cases
- Important Factors for Insurance Companies in DC Truck Accident Claims
Average Settlement Amounts in Washington DC Truck Accident Claims
When plaintiffs initially present their cases to truck accident attorneys, their first question is almost always the same: "How much is my claim worth?" Unfortunately, it's very difficult for even the most experienced DC truck accident lawyers to predict a settlement value at this early stage because so many factors are at play, including ones that are examined by the defendant's insurance company, the trial jury or both. In addition, the expected value of your settlement will continue to increase as your trial date draws nearer and you refuse initial settlement offers from the defendant's insurance company.
Regardless of the difficulty of predicting settlement values, looking at study data will allow you to create some baseline expectations. According to the District of Columbia Verdict Survey, conducted in 2002, the median settlement value for DC personal injury cases in general was roughly $14,000. For truck accidents specifically, the median value was $9,000, considerably lower. Nationwide, the average value for personal injury settlements was approximately $46,000 as of 2002.
One of the reasons why average settlements tend to be lower in the District of Columbia is that DC has a high proportion of frivolous personal injury claims that result in extremely small settlements or no settlement at all. If you have a legitimate truck accident claim in which your injuries can be proven by medical documentation and diagnostic testing, you can expect your settlement to exceed the average. This is particularly true if your injuries are permanent and/or severe, in which your settlement could theoretically surpass hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
Important Factors for Juries in DC Truck Accident Cases
All personal injury cases, certainly including truck accident lawsuits, are completely unique due to all of the factors surrounding them. If and when your lawsuit is brought before a trial jury, the jury will consider all of these factors as they're presented by your DC truck accident attorney. Some of the specific factors that a jury will account for when determining the value of your settlement include the following:
- The jury's perception of your credibility and the defendant's credibility
- The distribution of fault in the truck accident
- Whether you could have avoided the accident
- Factors that led to the accident (excessive speed, intoxication, etc.)
- The condition of your vehicle before and after the truck crash
- The severity of your physical injuries
- Whether these injuries are permanent, and whether they'll prevent you from working in your field of expertise
- The arguments that could be brought by the defendant's lawyer, and your attorney's ability to refute said arguments
- Whether there were witnesses who observed the truck accident, as well as their perceived credibility
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- The overall strength of your personal injury case
An experienced DC truck accident lawyer will present all of these factors to the jury in a way that increases their sympathy with your situation and maximizes the value of your settlement award.
Important Factors for Insurance Companies in DC Truck Accident Claims
Many personal injury cases, truck accident claims included, are settled before a trial even occurs. In instances such as these, the value of your settlement will be determined by the insurance company. This typically begins with a call from the defendant's insurance company, offering you a settlement value far below what your claim is worth. By working with a licensed DC truck accident lawyer, your claim value will steadily increase as the trial approaches, even if it never occurs.
Insurance companies use standardized software to determine settlement values. The software rarely accounts for pain and suffering, a factor that will only matter to a trial jury. Some of the factors that insurance company software will account for include the following:
- The location of both the accident and the scheduled trial
- Wages that you've lost since the accident
- Wages that you'll continue to lose as a result of your injuries
- Medical documentation proving the nature and extent of your injuries
- Any other data provided by your attorney
The insurance company will also reference the track record of the DC truck accident attorney you've hired. If he or she has a history of refusing pre-trial settlement offers and bringing the case closer to or all the way to trial, the insurance company will typically increase their settlement offer as a way of persuading you and your lawyer to settle before a trial. This is because settlement values tend to increase dramatically if and when a trial is actually reached, when a jury examines the case and attaches additional value to factors such as pain and suffering. By comparison, insurance company software programs are incapable of feeling sympathetic towards the victim, and only operate on predetermined parameters that can be proven through documentation.
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Weather and Truck Accidents
Federal Trucking Laws
Tanker Truck Accidents
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