Before pursuing legal action following a truck accident, it's important to ask yourself how much your case is worth.
A number of factors go into determining the amount of money you can obtain if you sue the party or parties responsible for your injuries.
Here are five ways to help determine how much your truck accident case is worth:
- Damages sustained. The damages you sustained play a huge role in your case's overall worth. Compensatory damages encompass two classes of recovery. The first, economic damages, covers costs like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. The second category, non-economic damages, covers other damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. In particularly egregious cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish a malicious defendant.
- Liability. To determine the worth of your case, you and your attorney will want to answer the major liability question: who was responsible for the harm? Massachusetts is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning you can't recover any damages unless the other party was more responsible for the accident than you (51% or more). If you were only partially at fault for your accident, your damages award will be reduced in proportion to the degree of your own negligence. As you can see, the degree of your own fault will impact your case's worth.
- Other potential defendants. The more named defendants in a case, the greater potential worth your case has. For example, the following forms of liability could increase the worth of your case: vicarious liability (if the accident occurred within the truck driver's scope of employment), manufacturer liability (if the accident resulted from a defect), and shipper liability (if the truck was carrying hazardous materials and the shipper failed to warn the trucking company about it).
An experienced truck accident attorney can determine how much your specific case is worth after performing a careful analysis of the case.
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