As most seasoned motorists know, trying to maneuver around a giant semi-truck can be a stressful and complicated experience. Semi-trucks are so enormous and dangerous that even a slow-moving accident with one can cause tremendous damage to a vehicle and potentially leave victims with life-long injuries.
Indeed, a common question victims of semi-truck accidents have pertains to how much their semi-truck accident settlement might be worth. Taking into considering the destruction and damage caused by a crash with a semi truck, it’s no wonder semi truck accident settlements are exponentially higher than those of car accidents.
How Much is My Semi-Truck Accident Worth?
One reason why semi-truck accident settlements are so much higher than those of car accidents is because of how complex they can be. Since the majority of semi-trucks driving on the road are owned by commercial companies, most any accident claim involving them will produce excessively complicated issues when it comes to liability.
Thankfully, this guide will help explain the various factors frequently used to tabulate exactly how much should be paid out in any one semi-truck accident settlement. Personal injury claims involving semi-truck accident injuries and losses often become elaborate, even convoluted matters requiring the knowledge and experience of a professional personal injury attorney to properly sort out. The following factors are just a few that are used to calculate an eventual semi-truck accident settlement:
1. Semi-Truck Accident Medical Bills
Easily the most important factor in building a semi-truck accident settlement is the medical bills a victim compiles after they were injured. The total amount of medical bills after a semi-truck accident are typically in the range of 6 or even 7 figures, depending on how severe a victim’s injuries are. Some unlucky victims may even require long-term or permanent care and rehabilitation. A comprehensive cache of medical bills relating to the semi truck accident is one of the best ways to establish the actual damage caused by a truck accident.
2. Property Damage
After physical injuries, virtually every semi-truck accident settlement takes into account the damage caused to a victim’s vehicle. Semi-trucks are towering hulks compared to more common consumer vehicles like sedans and SUVs, so it’s no surprise that they can cause enormous damage. Most any vehicle that gets hit by a semi-truck will likely be destroyed and left irreparable. The standard practice when compiling a semi-truck accident settlement is to use the Kelley blue book value of the damaged vehicle to compensate the victim for the property damage they suffered.
3. Lost Wages Following a Semi-Truck Accident
Victims of truck accidents are far more likely to need extended periods of time to recover from their injuries, so it is common that they’ll be unable to work during their recovery. Some victims, however, suffer injuries so serious they may be unable to return to their jobs at all. Luckily, such losses are compensated for in most semi-truck accident settlements. This amount depends, however, on the amount of time a victim needs to recuperate and the kind of job they have. If a semi-truck accident victim is unable to continue working in their previous job due to their injuries, their potential earning capacity is taken into consideration and added to any eventual settlement.
4. Pain and Suffering, and General Damages
By far, general damages is the most subjective of factors used in assessing the injuries and losses caused by a semi-truck accident. Pain and suffering covers compensation for any negative psychological effects that could affect victims, such as aversions to driving and automobiles, in general, as well as PTSD.
Victims who are the primary caregivers for their family can also receive compensation under the general damages portion of a semi-truck accident settlement. Semi-truck accidents don’t just solely harm the victims, but their families and friends, also.
One such example is a loss of consortium claim. A bad enough semi-truck accident can put unforeseen strain on marriages and personal relationships of victims. Loss of consortium claims are typically filed by a semi-truck accident victim’s spouse and will be added to the final settlement or in the verdict of a lawsuit.
What is the Average Settlement for a Semi-Truck Accident?
Let’s face it. No two semi-truck accidents can ever be the same, so it’s difficult to put an exact number on any one truck accident settlement. The total settlement amount largely depends on the extent of injuries suffered and the losses inflicted upon the victims of the semi truck accident.
Many semi-truck accident claims do tend to settle for upwards of 6-figures, and some even top the million dollar mark. The reason why is due to how much damage semi-trucks cause when they are involved in an accident. It’s also common for a number of parties to be found liable for such accidents since most semi trucks are owned and operated by commercial businesses.
One way to calculate a possible settlement range after a semi-truck accident is to examine the minimum insurance requirements put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
- 10,000 pounds or below carrying non-hazardous cargo: $300,000
- 10,000 pounds or greater carrying non-hazardous cargo: $750,000
- Private tankers carrying oil: $1,000,000
- Private carriers transporting hazardous cargo: $5,000,000
While such liability limits may appear to be enough to cover the damages caused by a truck accident, victims may find the eventual payouts to be far too low. To start with, a semi-truck accident can cause serious injuries to victims that far exceed these limits. Add to this the fact that many commercial companies hire high-priced legal teams to defend themselves against such accident claims, leaving victims with no choice but to litigate their truck accident claims by filing a lawsuit and going to court.
Seattle Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
The most effective way to assess the actual value of your potential truck accident settlement is to call a semi-truck accident lawyer with the Advocates. Our experienced injury attorneys can help you evaluate the details and facts of your case during a free consultation. And when you hire an Advocate to lead your legal team, you can rest easy knowing your recovery is our first priority. We will do whatever it takes to help you get back on your feet again. And if the insurance companies won’t play fairly, we’ll take your truck accident case all the way to court. So contact our office today. You can either call us at (206) 452-4200 or chat online right now with a live personal injury attorney from our homepage. We’ll help you get back on the road to recovery. You deserve an Advocate!
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