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It sounds like you have two claims here. One is for the damage to the vehicle, and one is for the personal injuries.

The damages to the truck are pretty straight forward. What would repairs cost? What was the vehicle worth pre-crash? You will get the smaller of the two figures. (More or less.) If your car is totaled, you should also be reimbursed for the unexpired registration on the car and for any sales taxes or other mandatory acquisition costs to buy a comparable (i.e. used) replacement vehicle.

The personal injuries are another matter. You may not know the full extent of the injuries for weeks to months after the crash. What you thought was muscle soreness can really be more extensive tissue damage. Sometimes the other party's insurance will seem to be in a hurry to settle because of this. Part of your settlement will be to release the other party and their insurance from any further injury claims that may not be apparent now. So don't let them rush the settlement if you and your doctors are not fully certain of the extent of the injuries. They should pay for both the direct costs for treating the injuries and for some pain and suffering. If your daughter is working, they might also need to pay for lost wages if she can't work for some period of time. These figures are much harder to nail down, and will ultimately be the result of some negotiation. This area is where the attorneys come in.

Finally - and I almost hesitate to mention it - odds are that the rig that hit her has a dash camera which recorded the event. People can drive very poorly around large trucks, and recordings can help shift some or all of the blame for accidents from the big rigs to the other drivers involved. And since a couple of accidents can cost a driver his or her job, drivers also like to have them. Your daughter needs to be very careful to tell the truth about the accident. Any obvious lies will reflect poorly as the settlement negotiations play out, and might even cast some doubt as to who is liable for the accident. I would be sure to inquire about the existence of any recordings and watch the recording if it does exist (or have your attorney watch it if it would bother you to watch). If there is any question about her potential liability, I would absolutely get an attorney involved.

--Peter
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