If you’ve recently been involved in a truck accident in the Detroit area, you probably have a lot of questions. First, you may be wondering how long it will take you to recover from your injuries—and whether or not your life will ever be the same. You might also be worried about medical bills, damage to your property, lost wages, and other expenses that often follow a truck accident. As much as you’d like to believe that the insurance company has your best interests in mind, this is unfortunately not always the case. As a result, you may be left facing a settlement offer that’s nowhere near the amount your case is actually worse.
Your concerns are valid. The good news, however, is that working with a Detroit truck accident lawyer can ensure that your best interests are put at the forefront and that you ultimately receive the settlement that you deserve.
Factors That Can Affect Your Detroit Truck Accident Settlement
There are so many factors that can play into your final settlement offer. An experienced Detroit truck accident lawyer will be familiar with these (and other) factors and will be able to help you determine whether your offer is fair or not.
Your Injuries (And Their Severity)
Unfortunately, trucking accidents often result in serious injury due to the sheer size of the average semi-truck. With the average fully loaded semi-truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds, it’s no surprise that some of the most common injuries resulting from a truck accident include:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries (such as organ damage and/or bleeding)
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
Truck injuries will require medical treatment, and the insurance company should be on the hook for paying for these expenses. However, the severity of the injury (and the necessary treatment) will have a major impact on your settlement amount. A broken bone, for example, will typically cost less to treat than an injury that requires lifelong care and treatment (such as a traumatic brain injury).
In addition to physical injuries, many trucking accident victims are also eligible for compensation due to psychological trauma that may occur as a result of an accident. If you’re injured in a way that will require lifelong care and treatment, you may lose the ability to do some of the things in life that you were able to do before the accident. Likewise, some accident victims end up facing mental health challenges in the aftermath of an accident, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you find yourself suffering psychological trauma following a truck accident, be sure to seek further evaluation and treatment. These related expenses should also be factored into your insurance claim and subsequent settlement offer.
If you’re unable to work for any period of time following your truck accident in Detroit, you may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages. For instance, if you couldn’t work because you were hospitalized for a week after the accident, your settlement should include compensation for that week of work that you went unpaid. The same applies if you are forced to quit your job or have trouble finding work in the future due to injuries (psychological or physical) sustained in the accident.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Detroit Truck Accident Negotiations
These are just a few of the many factors that can come into play when it comes to reaching a settlement in a Detroit truck accident case. If you were recently involved in a Detroit-area trucking accident, there are some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid regarding your settlement.
Failing to Document Everything
Documentation will play a huge role in making sure that you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company. Unfortunately, if you don’t keep detailed records of everything related to your accident and your case, you might have a hard time reaching a fair settlement amount.
Make sure, then, that you are keeping detailed documentation of everything (or that you have somebody to assist you with this if you’re unable to). This should include keeping copies of any relevant police reports, medical bills, property damage repair estimates, and proof of lost wages.
Posting About the Case on Social Media
Another common mistake to avoid after a truck accident is posting about the case and/or your settlement on social media. Unfortunately, insurance companies often have representatives and investigators working to find evidence of anything that could justify them dropping your claim or offering you less than you deserve. Keeping your social media locked down and avoiding posts/comments about anything related to your accident will serve you best in the long run.
Accepting Your First Settlement Offer
Oftentimes, insurance companies will offer a lowball settlement shortly after a trucking accident in the hopes that you’ll accept and move on. As tempting as it may be to accept the first offer and get on with your life, the reality is that the amount you’ve been offered is unlikely to cover all your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident.
Instead, you’ll probably be better off rejecting the initial settlement from insurance and fighting for every penny to which you may actually be entitled.
Trying to Represent Yourself
Perhaps the worst mistake you can make following a truck accident is moving forward without help from an experienced Detroit truck accident lawyer. Insurance companies have robust legal teams of their own—so it’s vital that you have legal representation of your own as well. Otherwise, negotiating with the insurance company (and their lawyers) can be a real hassle that rarely has a positive outcome.
How a Detroit Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
An experienced Detroit truck accident lawyer will have a solid understanding of Michigan liability laws, insurance regulations, and other unique factors that can affect your claim. When you consult with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney, you can discuss the details of your case and get a true feel for what kind of settlement amount you may be entitled to—even if you’ve already received an offer from the insurance company.
Meanwhile, a truck accident lawyer will have experience negotiating with insurance companies and their legal teams on your behalf. They’ll know how to use documentation and state laws to your advantage while handling all the communication and negotiation on your behalf so you can focus on one thing: recovering from your accident.
Dealing with the aftermath of a Detroit trucking accident is hard enough. Don’t make things harder on yourself by moving forward without legal representation. Whether you were rear-ended by a truck in Saginaw or injured in a jackknife accident on I-75, Goodman Acker is here to help.