In most cases, lawsuits after a truck accident cost almost nothing upfront for clients in Las Vegas. Typically, personal injury lawyers, including truck accident specialists, work on a contingency basis. These lawyers collect payment from their clients’ settlements or jury verdicts. Payment tends to be about a third of the settlement or verdict amount. If no settlement or damages are awarded, then the lawyers do not charge sudden, surprise expenses.
How Much Will a Truck Accident Lawsuit Cost?
The cost of an accident lawsuit depends on the value of the settlement award. Most truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. A few personal injury lawyers do charge hourly rates or upfront fees instead of working on a contingency basis, however.
When an attorney charges an hourly rate, the fees could be hundreds of dollars per hour multiplied by hundreds or thousands of billable hours. Even in contingency cases, some lawyers do charge upfront for certain unavoidable expenses. This includes getting medical records and police reports, as well as fees for expert witnesses, investigators, court filings, and court reporters. If lawyers do not charge for all of these expenses in advance, then these expenses are usually taken out of the final settlement or awarded amount.
If a settlement does not occur, you may be responsible for paying these expenses, but no additional costs. It should not be a last-minute surprise if you’re expected to pay these types of fees if the case is not successful.
Any Nevada trucking accident law firm should disclose all fee and expense information to you in the initial consultation. Clients should feel comfortable discussing exact fee structures with lawyers and read their contracts carefully before signing.
When anticipating the costs of a truck accident lawsuit, clients should keep in mind:
- Most personal injury settlements give the lawyers 33.3% to 40% of the amount they win their clients.
- If your settlement amount is $100,000, 34% of that is $34,000. The additional costs for records and fees might come out of the settlement as well.
- The percentage may be higher if your case goes all the way to trial or needs arbitration.
- Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. You get their opinion on your case at no charge to yourself.
Contingency payments give you the freedom to focus on your mental, emotional, and physical health rather than stressing about paying lawyers. Law firms absorb substantial costs when building your truck accident claim. For this reason, attorneys vet their cases carefully. The money the firms invest upfront serves as an incentive for them to do their best.
What Damages Are Available in a Nevada Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The damages in a Nevada truck accident lawsuit are aimed at reducing the burden on victims. Potential damages include compensation for disabilities, past and future medical costs, lost income and wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Truck accident injuries tend to be more severe than car accident injuries due to the vehicle sizes and speeds involved. The injuries people suffer in truck accidents can include head and brain injuries, broken bones, lacerations, broken ribs, neck and back injuries, paralysis, and death. Sometimes, a full recovery is not possible. Many victims deal with mental and emotional issues, staggering medical bills, and other consequences for the rest of their lives.
In general, a truck accident settlement consists of two types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. When considering medical costs, you may be able to include over-the-counter medications, medical devices, prescription medications, co-pays, rehab, outpatient visits, ambulance rides, and hospital bills.
Punitive damages could be available in situations of especially egregious or atrocious behavior. These damages are designed to discourage the defendants from committing similar acts in the future. Your attorney can help you determine what damages will apply to your truck accident claim.
When you’re a victim of a trucking accident, you could be out of work for weeks, months, years, or the rest of your life. Attorneys use pay stubs and tax records to show salary, wages, self-employment income, bonuses, and tips to estimate lost wages and predict lost potential income.
In fatal trucking accidents, lawyers can estimate the loss of future support on behalf of the family members. These damages could also include accrued medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost income and benefits, and loss of companionship and affection. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can be recovered by the decedent’s estate or surviving dependents.
Pain and suffering is trickier to quantify than an expense such as lost income. In many cases, lawyers multiply all the expenses by a value between 1.5 and 5 to arrive at compensation for pain and suffering.
For property damage, truck accidents tend to cause extensive destruction to cars and other vehicles. A lawsuit can get you repair or replacement compensation.
Do You Need to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
If you believe you have a case after a truck accident, you should consider legal representation. You should consult with several lawyers to get their opinions on the viability of your case, potential defendants, and the types of compensation you might receive.
People who represent themselves face an uphill challenge. In addition, unrepresented claims can yield lower settlement awards. Most areas of the law are complex, and truck accident personal injury is no exception. You are potentially dealing with multiple defendants, including insurance companies, the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, third-party truck maintenance companies, and drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash.
The defendant has a lot to lose by offering you a fair settlement award. Trucking and insurance companies have deep pockets, and will not hesitate to retain aggressive legal representation. The at-fault party will go to great lengths to dispute the validity and value of your claim. If you fight your case alone, you run the risk of falling victim to their unfair tactics and settling for less than-fair compensation.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help My Case?
A defendant will fight hard to reduce liability, blaming you or the other parties involved. The defendants can take advantage of plaintiffs who represent themselves. Suppose you had minor back pain before the truck accident. Defendants could claim that a preexisting condition, not the truck accident, is the cause of your injury. Truck accident lawyers can help you gather sufficient evidence to prove the defendant caused your accident.
Many legal principles and processes are involved in a truck accident lawsuit. For example, you may need police and medical records, accident reconstructionists, and testimony from witnesses at the scene. You also require knowledge on the type of compensation you could be eligible for and how to prove it.
Lawyers have specialized knowledge about truck accidents. For example, they know about an 18-wheeler’s black box, what it tracks, and how to get the data from it. Additionally, they know how to use this data as evidence to prove the top causes of trucking accidents. Causes of truck crashes that can be proven with black box data include trucker speeding, swerving, reckless driving, and mechanical malfunctions. Additionally, the black box data can provide insight into driving behavior that indicates drug use, driver fatigue, or illegal maneuvers.
Should I Seek Medical Attention, Even If I Don’t Feel Injured?
Even if you don’t feel hurt after a trucking accident, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries might take a while to manifest and can be lifelong and serious once they do. If an injury manifests, you can expect the medical bills to mount and continue to grow.
Delaying or bypassing medical attention puts your body at risk. Without medical attention, you risk losing essential evidence that supports your truck accident claim, giving defendants the opportunity to say that there are other causes behind your injuries.
Keeping this chain of events intact lets you build a case if you ever decide you should speak with a lawyer. Because many lawyers offer free consultations, you do not have anything to lose by speaking to one.
How Long Do You Have to Sue After a Truck Crash?
In Nevada, you generally have two years from the date of a truck accident or the date you should have reasonably discovered your injury, to sue. Tolling may apply in some truck accident cases, however, extending the amount of time victims have to file a lawsuit. This typically impacts cases involving minors and incapacitated victims.
Begin to consult lawyers as soon as possible, though. The longer you wait, the more you limit the amount of time you have to meet with various lawyers and choose one. Moreover, the lawyers have restricted time to review your documents and analyze the viability of a case.