Even a cursory glance at the staggering injury and fatality statistics makes it abundantly clear that injured people involved in a wreck need a truck accident lawyer in Topeka, KS.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that heavy-duty trucks were involved in crashes in which 2,129 people lost their lives in 2020. Large trucks were also involved in more than 100,000 wrecks that left unsuspecting motorists badly injured. And if a driver was fortunate enough not to suffer physical harm, upwards of 310,000 people incurred property damage.
Given that a fully loaded semi-truck weighs 80,000 pounds and typically travels at the maximum speed limit on Kansas highways, one would anticipate injured people would immediately call a truck accident lawyer in Topeka after a crash. Sadly, this has not always been the case, and truck accident victims are often taken advantage of by slick insurance corporations.
If you or a loved one suffered a loss due to a truck driver’s carelessness, these are reasons why working with a truck accident lawyer in Topeka is in your best interest.
Insurance Companies Attempt to Undervalue Settlements
Following a wreck, the trucking company’s insurance carrier will likely contact the injured passenger vehicle driver directly. It’s not uncommon for this phone call to come across as a fact-finding conversation. But it’s important for victims of a truck crash to keep in mind these insurance adjusters are working toward the best interest of their company.
Big insurance corporations are in the business of generating a profit. When they are forced to pay damages for their customer’s mistakes, that money comes off their bottom line. That’s why insurance companies ask whether you have legal representation. If you do not, they may try to persuade you to take a quick settlement. It’s almost guaranteed that fast cash will turn out to be pennies on the dollar.
Navigating the Kansas “No Fault” Insurance System
As many motorists know, Kansas adopted a no-fault automobile insurance system. Losses sustained in a collision are usually paid through the driver’s own policy, regardless of who was at fault. But what happens when your property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages far exceed the minimum mandated coverage?
The standard minimums include bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, $25,000 for property damage, and uninsured motorist thresholds of $25,000 per person with a maximum of $50,000 per accident.
After you’ve used your insurance coverage, a claim will need to be filed against the trucking company’s insurance carrier. These are considered “serious injuries” that warrant compensation beyond automobile insurance mandatory minimums.
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Fracture of a Weight-Bearing Bone
- Compound, Compressed, or Displaced Fracture of a Bone
- Permanent injury
- Permanent Loss of a Body Function
Given that many big rigs are only pulling loads through Kansas to other parts of the country, it could be not easy to get results. In all likelihood, a civil lawsuit will need to be filed on your behalf. Navigating the court system can be tricky, especially when trying to serve an out-of-state entity. Rather than make a costly mistake, a truck accident lawyer in Topeka has the knowledge and expertise to file the suit correctly and resolve the matter.
Calculate Future Medical Expenses Accurately
When your vehicle is struck by a massive tractor-trailer, the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury are quite high. This condition ranks among the more expensive to treat and may require lifetime care. A 2019 National Institute of Health study illustrates the excessive cost of treating brain injuries: “In-hospital costs per patient were generally high and ranged from $2,130 to $401,808.”
This exorbitant amount does not account for at-home care or the possibility of requiring lengthy rehabilitation. When an experienced truck accident attorney assesses your real damages, the cost of future health care, inflation, and wide-reaching peripheral factors go into that figure. Unless a legal professional handles the case, victims could be paying out of pocket for decades.
A Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help Get Non-Economic Damages
Insurance coverage is primarily structured to help people recover quantifiable economic losses. The out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, travel, and lost wages, among others, are easily calculated. Part of the civil action involves adding up receipts and establishing the mileage you incurred to undergo treatment and care.
But truck accident victims usually suffer quality-of-life setbacks as well. The term “pain and suffering” has become something of a catch-all phrase that refers to your qualitative losses. These are very real and do include actual physical distress.
Non-economic losses that fall under this label also include emotional distress. Few would disagree that loss of mobility reduces daily enjoyment and impacts relationships with children, grandchildren, and a spouse.
An experienced truck accident attorney understands the monetary value the courts place on these types of losses. When you enlist the support of a legal professional who resolves these types of cases every day, you can anticipate getting the full, fair compensation you deserve.
What A Truck Accident Lawyer Does Makes A Difference
It’s important for victims to understand a truck accident lawyer in Topeka does a great deal more than file paperwork. At no upfront cost to you, the law firm evaluates your claim and starts an investigation.
Information such as police reports and witness statements are compiled to support your lawsuit. A truck accident law firm usually runs a background check of the reckless driver to determine whether a history of collisions exists. It may also prove helpful to your case to check the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to determine if the driver has been suspended for substance abuse.
The shocking facts are that more than 60,000 truckers tested positive for marijuana, another 16,705 had cocaine in their system, and more than 10,000 were reportedly sidelined for methamphetamines in 2021. If the commercial driver that caused your injuries, pain, suffering, and lost wages uses drugs, a determined truck accident will request punitive damages. Holding irresponsible individuals responsible helps ensure another community member won’t suffer a similar fate.
Truck Accident Victims Gain Peace of Mind
Having a professional put together a powerful case and navigate the system allows truck accident victims to focus on their recovery. You and your loved ones receive periodic updates regarding the case. These may include initial settlement offers and legal advice about whether to resolve the matter or make a counteroffer for an equitable figure.
While you are attending rehabilitation sessions and improving your health, a truck accident lawyer is hard at work getting you the full, fair compensation you deserve.
Contact An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Topeka
If you have been injured by a large truck, bus, or commercial motor vehicle, it’s essential to promptly secure legal representation. Call the Palmer Law Group or schedule a free truck accident consultation online.