Should I sue?

A cement mixing truck had a tire blowout on the highway, and crashed into the highway divider, sending debris everywhere, damaging my vehicle, specifically shattering the far back window and denting the vehicle. My son was in the back seat when the glass shattered on him, and he is traumatized from the accident. He also suffers from anxiety and I fear this is only going to add to his anxiety. I also fear driving on the highway now and may have post traumatic stress. A witness at the scene said the truck had the wrong tires but I cant verify that unless/until an investigation is completed. Should we sue the cement mixing company and would the juice be worth the squeeze? I am beyond thankful no one was seriously injured, but I just want some advice on how to proceed as I have never been in an accident.

Asked on December 19, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the cement mixing company, it may be possible to settle the case with its insurance carrier.
Your property damage claim (cost of repairs to your vehicle) is separate from the personal injury claims of you and your son.
The property damage claim is usually settled early in the case. Contact the cement mixing company's insurance carrier regarding your property damage claim.  Notify that insurance carrier in writing of you and your son's personal injury claims.
You and your son can receive treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist for your fear of driving on the highway and your son's trauma regarding the accident.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the cement mixing company's insurance carrier should include those items.
When your son completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain his medical bills and medical reports.  Those items should be filed with the cement mixing company's insurance carrier for his personal injury claim.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If both cases are settled with the cement mixing company's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the cement mixing company's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the cement mixing company.
You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son if he is a minor.
If the cases are NOT settled, the lawsuit for negligence against the cement mixing company must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you and your son will lose your rights in the matter forever.
If the case is settled with you or your son , but not both, only the party with whom the case has not settled is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the cement mixing company.


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