There is no standard average settlement amount for claims involving semi trucks. However, claims involving trucks are usually higher than accident claims involving just passenger vehicles. There are different factors to determine the amount of a settlement.
Factors of an Accident that Affect Settlement
- Are multiple parties involved that share liability for the damages?
- Are there multiple victims who may share an award?
- What restrictions and maximums exist in the insurance coverage?
- Comparative Negligence Laws
These factors can determine a settlement amount. Consulting an attorney in truck accidents can help you estimate what you could be compensated by reviewing every detail of your case.
Truck accidents caused by a malfunctioning commercial truck or by the trucker themselves usually result in compensatory damages awarded to the victim. Usually, your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement the insurance providers of the trucking company. However, if the claim is denied or the settlement proposed is unfair, you may take your case to court.
Typical damages awarded:
- Lost wages of the victim related to the accident.
- Replacement of personal property (i.e. car repair or money for replacement of the car).
- Medical bills and costs related to treatment.
- Emotional or psychological damages are evaluated based on the severity and longevity of the injuries.
Permanent disability resulting from these injuries could lead to a larger settlement than temporary or less severe injuries.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are considered when a party is found guilty of outrageous and deliberate behavior towards the victim. These types of situations are the high-cost settlements and usually apply to the liable party’s gross negligence. If a truck driver intentionally tried to cause harm to a victim, for example trying to run them off the road in an attempt to hurt or kill them, then they may be subject to pay punitive damages. Trucking companies may be held responsible if a truck driver was forced to work through legally required breaks while knowing that it would affect the truck driver’s ability to operate the truck safely.
What if the Victim is Also Responsible?
If a truck accident victim is found responsible in any way, there might be comparative negligence ordinances that apply. If they do apply, the victim’s settlement will be deducted by the percentage of liability they have for the accident. For example, if a judge deems a victim 25% liable, they are only able to collect 75% of the settlement.
It is almost always beneficial to handle any case with an attorney. An attorney specializing in truck accidents will expertly negotiate for your settlement and represent you in court should you have to take your case in. Contact an attorney now to ensure the award of a fair settlement.