If you've been in a collision with a big rig, you should consider yourself lucky to have survived. Often, accidents of this type are deadly. But while living through a truck collision is cause for celebration, the months that follow can be tough as you pursue insurance claims and lawsuits. Likely, you have a few questions about how to proceed when it comes to recovering your medical expenses and other damages. Here's a look at those questions and their answers:
Should you take the insurance company's settlement offer?
Once you have filed a claim with the truck driver's insurance company, they might come back to you with a settlement offer. However, you should never accept this offer. What if you later incur more medical expenses or miss more time at work due to your injuries? If you accept the settlement, you won't be able to come back to the insurance company and request additional compensation. So, a better strategy is to just ignore this settlement offer until you've had a chance to meet with a good truck accident attorney. They'll ensure you are offered the compensation you deserve, which may require filing a case against the insurance company or even the driver him/herself.
Should you be suing the driver or the driver's company?
It depends. Many truck drivers are actually independent contractors, which means they technically operate as their own business under a contract with the trucking company. In this case, you would have to sue the driver, not the trucking company. However, if the driver was an employee of the trucking company and the accident was caused at least in part by protocols the company had in place, then you may need to sue the trucking company instead. For example, if the trucking company required the driver to keep driving even though he or she had not had a break in 12 hours, and the driver's tiredness contributed to the accident, you may need to sue the trucking company. Again, your lawyer can help determine your best course of action here.
What expenses can you include in your claim?
A case against the driver, their insurance company, or the trucking company is considered a personal injury case. As such, you can sue for any expenses related to your injuries, including medical bills and lost wages. Your lawyer will also allocate a certain amount for pain and suffering, and if your injuries affect your future ability to work, they will include an amount for future lost wages.
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