If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Louisiana, it is critical that you understand how to evaluate whether a settlement offer is good before you make a decision that could impact the rest of your life.
18-Wheeler Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
Although many of us will never experience the trauma of getting into an accident with a big rig, it is unfortunately becoming increasingly common. 18-wheelers and other big trucks are a common sight on Louisiana roads. Big truck accidents are a big problem in Louisiana. According to data released by LSU’s Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation, there were 3,832 big truck accidents in Louisiana in 2022. These accidents resulted in 975 injuries and 46 fatalities.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Louisiana include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Poor maintenance
- Lack of proper training
- Defective truck parts
- Poor road and weather conditions
Most Personal Injury Claims Are Settled Out of Court
If you’ve been injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Louisiana that was caused by the negligent actions of a trucker, trucking company, or another party, state law gives you the right to seek compensation for your accident-related damages. Damages for injuries in a Louisiana truck accident can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. You can obtain this compensation by filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
In a lot of cases, the insurance company will offer a quick settlement. This first offer is most likely going to be too low to cover the total costs of your damages. You or your attorney will need to negotiate to reach a settlement amount that addresses all your damages. If negotiations fail, you can take your case to court.
However, most Louisiana truck accident claims never make it to trial. Instead, they’re settled out of court. Settling out of court often provides benefits for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
What is a Good Settlement Offer After a Truck Accident in Louisiana?
So, what is a good settlement offer after a truck accident in Louisiana? A good settlement offer takes all your damages into account — not just current accident-related losses, but projected losses as well, such as long-term medical care. There are many factors that will affect how much you can ask for, including:
- Your share of liability for the accident
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Current and anticipated medical expenses
- Past and future income losses
- Noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, anguish, etc.)
- Property damage and losses
- Attorneys’ fees
Here’s How a Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get a Good Settlement Offer
Many people choose to hire an experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney after a truck accident in Louisiana. This is a smart idea for several reasons. In order to get a good settlement, you’ll have to be able to prove that:
- You were involved in an accident with a truck in Louisiana.
- The accident happened due to the negligence of the truck driver, trucking company, parts manufacturer, etc.
- You were injured as a result of the accident; And
- Your injuries resulted in the damages you claim.
A Louisiana truck accident attorney can assist you at every step of the personal injury claim process, from investigating your accident to assigning a dollar value to your accident-related damages to negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company to get you a settlement that satisfactorily compensates you for all your damages.
Proving the Severity of Injuries
Injuries in a truck accident can range in severity from minor and moderate to catastrophic and fatal. Medical records and expert testimony are the most common ways to establish the severity of your injuries.
While establishing the severity of physical injuries is fairly straightforward, proving the severity of damages such as pain and suffering can be a challenge. Some of the evidence attorneys use to establish the severity of a client’s pain and suffering includes psychological reports and evaluations along with testimony from friends and family about how your daily life has been impacted by your injuries.
Accounting Future Medical Treatment
In addition to your current medical expenses, you also have a right to compensation for any anticipated medical treatment and care you may require as a result of your injuries. Some of the factors to consider when determining the costs of future medical treatment include the severity of your injuries along with the types and costs of procedures and treatments you may require as a result of your injuries.
Why You Shouldn’t Negotiate a Settlement on Your Own
You may be tempted to try and negotiate a settlement on your own. This can be a bad idea, especially if you are unfamiliar with the law. Your chances of getting a good settlement are greatly improved when you have an experienced personal injury attorney represent your case.
An attorney has the knowledge and resources to properly investigate your claim and use the evidence they gather to effectively argue your case. They’ll know the difference between a poor settlement offer and a good one. The insurance company is more likely to deal in good faith with an experienced attorney than an inexperienced claimant.
Get a Good Settlement for Your Claim. Speak to a New Orleans Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, contact the New Orleans truck accident lawyers at Lambert Zainey Smith & Soso today to schedule a free consultation. We’ve been defending the rights of clients injured in a wide range of Louisiana truck accidents since the 1970s. During that time, we’ve recovered over $1 billion in settlements for our clients.
You can get in touch with the law offices of Lambert Zainey through our website or call us at (800) 521-1750.