If an eighteen - wheeler crashed into my client's truck ( totaling it ) and caused him injuries ( persistent pain due to bulging / herniated disc ) and the driver failed to submit to the post accident drug / alcohol screening required by the DOT : 1 . ) Would that be grounds to award exemplary damages ? 2 . ) Without taking into account possible punitive , what is your ballpark estimate on pain and suffering damages that I can expect / should go for based on a bulged disc and persistent pain that has continued for almost a year after the accident ? The MRI on his back shows no other conditions other than bulged / herniated disc . Thanks !
What are the past medical expenses? What future treatment is being recommended at what cost? Was there lost income? Who is the injured person and how has the injury affected his/her quality of life to this point and how will it affect it in the future? You should gather all of this information and, as suggested, consider associating with or referring to an experienced Texas PI attorney.
You refer to your "client." Are you a lawyer? If so, you should team up with an experienced lawyer who knows the answer to these questions. It is OK to collaborate with an experienced lawyer and you will learn what you need to for next time.
If you are not a lawyer your "client" needs to get a lawyer, and you need to consult a lawyer to see if you are practicing law without a license, which is a criminal offense.
No attorney can (or should) evaluate your case prematurely. The value of a case is usually determined after all the facts are uncovered and established by an experienced personal injury lawyer. If any lawyer does try to estimate the value of your case during an initial consultation, then they are probably just trying to win your representation rather than give you an honest case evaluation. I notice that your are in the Midland area. Even though I am in the Dallas area, I would consider taking a case like yours if it was mutually beneficial for everyone involved. Give me a call for a free consultation and let me answer any questions you may have. Call anytime days, nights and weekends.
Crashes of this type are complex and require a lot of investigation as well as specialized knowledge of the vehicles and regulations. The strength of liability will also have a large effect on the damages. Unfortunately, if an experienced attorney doesn't get involved right away, much of the evidence will be lost or destroyed by the trucking company or its insurance company. From your questions, it appears that this evidence hasn't been secured. If that is true, then an opportunity to strengthen the case, and the damages recovery, may have been lost. The damages evaluation will also depend in large part on the person who is injured. Is he a nice, caring articulate person whom the jury will like? Or, is he someone who does not make a good appearance and cannot articulate his injuries very well. Perhaps he has a background that the jury will not like. Does he have any history of back disorders that pre-existed the crash. Is he able to work as well as he did before and if not why not? These are just a few of the many questions that an experienced truck crash lawyer will be working on. We do these cases all over the southwest. For example, here is a case we are handling currently: http://www.abc24.com/mostpopular/story/TDOT-HEL...
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It sounds as if you are an attorney based on the information you have provided. If so, consult with an attorney who is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. 18 wheeler accidents can be very good cases to pursue. However, you need to make sure and send a spoliation letter to the trucking company immediately. This letter will put it on notice of your client's potential claims as well as require it to preserve all evidence relating to the wreck, including log books, GPS inforamation, cell phone data, internet usage data, pre trip inspection reports of the vehicle and other valuable information. Please get your client to an attorney who handles these type cases. We handle them throughout Texas and would be happy to consult with you. Good luck. www.dzwlaw.com www.urhurt.com
There are many many factors to consider. You are dealing with a professional driver, possible equipment failures of the 18 wheeler, none compliance with DOT regs, which may trigger strict liability. I highly recommend you contact/associate an attorney with experience in 18 wheeler accidents, as failure to properly handle/investigate could get you in some trouble if your an attorney.
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