Semi-truck accidents can be devastating, especially if you were traveling in a passenger car. This type of accident can result in catastrophic injuries since the trucks are so much larger than the average passenger vehicle. Keep reading if you need more information to understand what your settlement amount may be after your claim is resolved.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are approximately 500,000 trucking accidents in the United States annually, leading to around 5,000 deaths per year. Truck accidents happen very often, but here are the most common causes.
- Distracted driving
- Driver error
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to secure loads properly
- Lack of maintenance
- Lack of training
- Partially filled liquid loads
- Rear-end collisions
- Wide turns
The liable party in a truck accident won’t always be clear immediately after the crash. In some cases the driver may be at fault, while in others conditions caused by the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer, or a loading company may be to blame.
Compensation in a Truck Accident
Before you know how much a settlement may be in a truck accident, it is important to understand what compensation you are entitled to receive. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. Loss of consortium, emotional trauma, and damage to your quality of life.
You can also receive payment for your property damage, including your vehicle or any personal property. Punitive damages may also be awarded if the truck driver’s actions were particularly negligent or careless.
Determining Settlement Factors
There are many factors that go into determining the amount of your settlement. These include liability laws, the severity of your injuries, and the limits of insurance policies. If someone died in the accident, that will impact the settlement as will an intoxicated driver.
If your state has a contributory or comparative negligence statute, your settlement could be either reduced by the percentage you were responsible, or you may not be eligible for compensation at all. No matter how much the settlement is awarded, you will have difficulty collecting more than the limits on the insurance policy. You may be awarded $5 million, but if the insurance limits are only $500,000, it will be difficult to get the remaining $4.5 million.
Because there are so many variables in semi-truck accidents, it is difficult to actually say what a settlement may be. The settlement could be in the thousands or in the millions. There have been cases where someone with a traumatic brain injury received a $4.3 million settlement. Someone with a spinal injury was awarded $2.7 million.
Actor Tracy Morgan, who was severely injured in a crash involving a semi-truck where one of his tour members died, received a settlement that was reported to be $90 million. The children of the man who died in the same accident received a settlement of $10 million. However, these settlements are unusual, and they involve extenuating circumstances. There are just too many variables with each accident to definitively say how much your settlement will be.
Semi-truck accidents are especially devastating, causing catastrophic injuries not only to the truck driver but also to the people in passenger cars who are involved in the accident. If you have been injured in an accident involving a large truck, or if a loved one has died of injuries they sustained in the crash, contact a personal injury attorney if you haven’t already done so.
The only way to get an accurate estimation of your damages is to have a consult with an attorney who can review the facts of your case.