How Are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases?

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Guide to Settlements & Payouts in Truck Accident Cases

Auto accidents, especially those involving large trucks, are a huge concern in the U.S.

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the percentage of trucking accident cases throughout the country for fatal and non-fatal semi truck accidents.

In 2020, around 415,000 semi-truck accidents were reported, with over 4,400 crashes resulting in fatalities and over 101,000 resulting in injuries.

Just a year later in 2021, the number of large trucks involved in fatal car accidents went up to 5,700, and semi truck accidents that resulted in injuries went up by 12%, with numbers reaching 117,300.

How are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases; Truck Accident Lawsuit Settlements; Truck Accident Settlement; Truck Accident Payout; Truck Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one was involved in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and loss through a personal injury claim.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a truck accident settlement instantly.

Our law firm is staffed with experienced truck accident lawyers that can help you fight for rightful compensation.

We have decades of experience helping people harmed in truck accidents at no fault of their own seek financial compensation for their damages and injuries.

Reach out to our truck accident law firm for more information and find out how our experienced attorneys can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Injured victims deserve to be compensated for the full extent of their damages.

Truck accidents are known to cause significant property damage, severe injuries, death, and a multitude of other devastating effects.

Victims may be able to claim a number of damages, including the following: 

  • Medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Therapy costs
  • Lost wages and earning ability
  • Lost quality of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Emotional damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death
  • Other compensatory and punitive damages

With TorHoerman Law, you DO NOT have to pay anything up front to hire our truck accident lawyers.

We work on a contingency fee basis.

This means that the fees for legal representation would be deducted from a settlement in the event of a successful truck accident lawsuit.

If your case is unsuccessful, you owe nothing.

Certain laws and regulations may impact the ability of a person to file a truck accident lawsuit.

Every truck accident case is different, so it is best to contact a truck accident attorney to understand the filing deadlines specific to your situation.

Things to consider when filing a truck accident claim include:

  • Statute of Limitations:  Each jurisdiction sets its own timeframe for filing such a lawsuit.
  • Legal Advice:  Prompt legal consultation ensures you meet all necessary deadlines and protects your rights.

Contact our truck accident attorneys for a free consultation.

We can give you uniquely tailored advice for your truck accident case and outline the process for filing suit.

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Truck Accident Settlements vs Court Trial

Filing a lawsuit and taking the trucking company or truck driver to court is one way to claim compensation.

The other option is to forgo formal court proceedings and instead reach a legal settlement with the other party.

In both cases, the legal guidance and knowledge of an experienced truck accident attorney is invaluable.

How are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases

Understanding how an average truck accident settlement is determined can help victims receive the fair compensation and justice they seek.

In general, both trucking accident victims and truck drivers or trucking companies prefer to resolve everything through a settlement.

Taking any case to court, including one involving truck accidents, is not only more time-consuming but also often more expensive for both parties.

How Is a Truck Accident Settlement Determined?

An average truck accident settlement is often determined through alternative dispute resolution methods.

This includes negotiation, arbitration, and mediation.

Among these three, arbitration is the only binding process, usually replacing that of a civil trial.

In some cases, the involved parties may actively work towards a settlement through alternative dispute resolution alongside legal proceedings.

While negotiations and mediation on their own are non-binding, the agreed-upon terms become legally binding once a formal settlement agreement is signed by both parties involved.

As for the value of the settlement amount, this is generally decided based on liability or who is found at fault and the degree of fault assigned.

In many cases, fault lies with the semi-truck driver, trucking companies, parts manufacturers, and other parties responsible for the semi-truck accident.

How are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases

The following factors are also taken into careful consideration when calculating the settlement for a truck accident lawsuit:

  • Value of the Vehicle:  The current value of the plaintiff’s damaged or totaled car.
  • Medical Bills or Expenses:  Both the current and anticipated future medical bills related to the injuries sustained, from hospitalization and medication to rehabilitation and continued care.
  • Pain and Suffering:  The cost for the physical and emotional distress victims experienced as a result of the accident.
  • Loss of Quality of Life:  If the victim’s ability to engage in activities or enjoy life has been severely affected, it will also be duly compensated.
  • Loss of Income:  This applies to both current losses and expected or future losses, in cases of permanent or semi-permanent disability.
  • Comparative Negligence:  In some cases, the victim’s own negligence may reduce the settlement amount they stand to receive.
  • Insurance Company Coverage:  The limits of the policies held by the liable parties can influence the settlement amount. This is why it is also important to contact your insurance company following an auto accident.

Determining Liability in Truck Accident Cases

How are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases

Much like other auto accident and personal injury claim cases, liability is a key factor in deciding the settlement amount.

If the party at fault is not immediately obvious, an investigation will need to be done.

A thorough investigation includes collecting evidence and witness statements, analyzing accident reports, and consulting with experts.

It is essential to establish a clear link between the responsible parties and the injuries the victims sustained.

In such cases, having experienced truck accident attorneys are a huge help to your case.

Your lawyer can assist in investigating the matter to help determine who is at fault.

Depending on the cause of the semi truck accidents, any of the following parties may be found liable:

  • Truck Driver:  Negligence is a common reason behind a number of driver-caused semi truck accident cases. This includes fatigue or distracted driving.
  • Trucking Company:  Failure to maintain the semi truck or tractor trailer properly, as well as overlooking safety regulations, or putting pressure on the driver to meet strict quotas and encouraging violating road laws fall on the trucking company.
  • Truck Owner:  In some cases, the tractor trailer may be personally owned by just one person, rather than trucking companies, or simply leased to trucking companies.
  • Truck Manufacturer:  A semi truck accident case where mechanical failures or defects in the truck play a role in the accident or directly cause it is the responsibility of the vehicle or truck manufacturer.
  • Plaintiff or Injured Party:  In some cases, the victim or injured party may be found partially or fully at fault. This usually happens if they were distracted, sleeping, or driving under the influence.

Damages Truck Accident Victims May Claim

Trucking accident victims may be entitled to various damages, which can fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are any damages that are quantifiable or easy to calculate.

This is the compensation received due to the monetary losses suffered by the accident victims.

These may also be provided to the insurance companies involved to help in calculating insurance claims.

How are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases

The following are some of the most common compensation you may collect as economic damages:

  • Medical bills:  This covers the cost of hospitalization, doctor bills, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation, therapeutic care, and long-term care.
  • Transportation:  Compensation may also cover the cost of traveling to certain destinations, such as when going to doctor or rehab appointments.
  • Property damage:  Compensation to pay for the repair or replacement of the victim’s vehicle and any other damaged property.
  • Lost wages:  Financial compensation for the income lost due to the inability to work, whether due to serious injury or poor mental health, during the recovery period is awarded.
  • Lost future wages:  If severe injuries permanently affect the plaintiff’s earning capacity, compensation for future income may be awarded.
  • Funeral expenses:  In cases of fatal truck accidents, the family may seek compensation to cover funeral and burial costs.
  • Legal fees:  The average settlement usually includes the cost of hiring a truck accident attorney. Many a personal injury lawyer or truck accident lawyer accept work on contingency fee arrangements.

Meanwhile, non-economic damages are compensation for non-quantifiable losses.

In certain states, this is also referred to as pain and suffering.

The following are also categorized as non-economic damages:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Mental suffering, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Emotional damages
  • Lost quality of life

Experienced truck accident attorneys can help determine the appropriate compensation amount.

How Much Can Truck Accident Settlements Reach?

A truck accident settlement can reach tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars depending on the facts of the case and the extent of damages suffered by plaintiffs.

Many notable truck accident settlements or case verdicts involve a wrongful death lawsuit or extremely serious injuries, and many significant truck accident settlements also involve multiple injured parties.

Below are significant truck accident settlement amounts:

  • Omaha-based trucking company Werner Enterprises reached a truck accident settlement of $150 million for an accident that killed two children.
  • A trucking accident that caused quadriplegia or total limb paralysis resulted in a $16 million settlement.
  • A truck collision that resulted in the traumatic brain injury of an innocent driver in Pennsylvania resulted in a $26 million settlement.

How are Settlements Determined in Truck Accident Cases

Less severe truck accident injuries such as fractures or head trauma can reach an average settlement of up to $400,000 to $500,000.

Meanwhile, more minor truck accident injuries, like whiplash or shoulder dislocations, can still have up to $150,000 to $300,000 settlements.

However, take note that some states place a cap on how much compensation plaintiffs can get from a semi truck accident case.

Capped amounts may vary not only for various states but also in the category being limited, such as pain and suffering compensation.

Consulting an experienced trucking accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer can help shed further light on potential settlement amounts and compensation for your truck accident case.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney for Help With Your Truck Accident Claim

Reaching a truck accident settlement is generally preferable over a long, drawn-out litigation or court trial.

However, the legal process for trucking accidents can be very complicated.

In most cases, your own or the insurance company of the liable party actively works to reduce the value of car accident claims — thus resulting in the insurance companies paying lower compensation.

As such, it is always recommended to consult a truck accident attorney for assistance before starting any settlement talks.

An experienced truck accident lawyer can help victims such as yourself secure the compensation you are rightfully owed.

If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident case, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek financial compensation.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a semi-truck accident claims lawsuit instantly.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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