This is the next post in a series of articles discussing trucking accident cases in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post addressed the application of Illinois’ comparative fault laws in such cases. When a victim is partly responsible for an accident but the other party or parties are found to have been more than fifty percent liable, the victim may still recover a portion of their damages. The determination of the respective parties’ percentage of liability is in the hands of the jury and the decision can have a significant impact on the ultimate damage award. For this reason, comparative fault is often a highly contentious issue in truck accident cases. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the skills needed to clearly express the facts and circumstances around this issue to the jurors on your behalf. In this article, I will discuss the various reasons why truck accident cases often take a significant period of time to reach a final resolution. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
A serious accident can leave victims and their families reeling. When injuries are severe, emergency medical treatment and ongoing care for the victim is the primary concern. The financial impact can also be devastating. For obvious reasons, many people in this position are tempted to consider early settlement offers presented by the responsible party’s insurance companies to quickly alleviate the financial stress of lost wages and medical bills. It is important to understand, however, that truck accident cases often take several months or even years to reach a final and adequate resolution. This is true for a variety of reasons.
Calculating the amount of damages to which a victim may be entitled after a truck accident is often a complicated and often lengthy process. Damage awards include reimbursement for costs incurred for medical treatment related to the accident, property damages, and wages lost while the person is recovering and unable to return to work. Victims are entitled to compensation for anticipated future medical expenses and, in cases where the victim is prevented from returning to work or can only do so in a diminished capacity, future lost earnings. When injuries are severe, it may take a significant amount of time for doctors to ascertain the victim’s long-term prognosis, understand what types of ongoing or future treatments may be necessary, and whether a victim may fully recover. For instance, if a young man suffers a spinal cord injury and is paralyzed as a result, he may require life-long medical care and never be able to work again. To fairly estimate the financial damages in such an event will likely take time. Rushing into a quick settlement without the necessary information is often a mistake for the victim and their family.
Another reason truck accident litigation can be lengthy is that such cases commonly involve more than one defendant. When the accident is caused by a commercial truck driver, not only will the driver be held responsible, but his employer, and potentially other commercial parties may be identified as defendants in the case. Establishing each party’s respective liability for the incident can involve independent investigations into each defendant’s role. Furthermore, settlement negotiations and potential litigation will likely be prolonged due to the involvement of each party’s insurance company and their respective legal teams.
My office understands the importance of thoroughly investigating every trucking accident and working with medical professionals and other experts to understand the financial impact an accident may have on the victim and their family. Doing so can help ensure that you receive adequate compensation from those responsible. If you need assistance, contact my Peoria office today. Our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.