In 2019, 118,000 semi and other large trucks were part of crashes that resulted in injuries. These vehicles also cause a higher proportion of fatal accidents than passenger vehicles.
What you can do is know your rights if you’re ever involved in an injury crash. For example, did you know that you could get a settlement to cover your injuries and damages?
The average semi truck accident settlement does vary from case to case. If you want to know more about semi truck accidents and how much you can get, keep reading.
Let’s talk about the average accident settlement and the factors that determine your case.
What Is the Average Semi Truck Accident Settlement?
It’s hard to determine the average settlement amount because every case is different. Some settlements are for thousands of dollars, and some are in the millions.
Why is there such a range? One of the biggest factors of determining the settlement amount is more than your medical bills and lost income.
Personal injury cases have damages. This is the pain and suffering that you went through after the accident. It could be PTSD, mental trauma, or future pain and suffering.
Damages awarded are based on liability, or who was at fault in the accident. Liability can go well beyond you and the driver of the semi.
For instance, if the tires blew out for no reason, the tire manufacturer could be held liable for damages. The owner of the trucking company could be held liable if they violated transportation laws or failed to maintain the truck.
If the accident was caused by a sudden weight shift in cargo, you could hold the shipper or company that loaded the cargo into the truck liable.
Since truck accident settlements get paid out by insurance companies, the company that’s liable has to have enough insurance or money to cover a large settlement.
For non-hazardous materials, trucking companies have to carry insurance policies between $300,000 and $750,000. It depends on how much the goods weigh.
Hazardous materials have policies between $1 million and $5 million. You could get a settlement for more than these amounts, but you probably won’t be able to collect the money.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Liability is the key to getting an above-average settlement. Proving liability is the most difficult task. The steps you take immediately following a truck accident can either help you prove liability or ruin your case.
The first thing to do is to check yourself and anyone else involved in the accident for injuries. Contact the police so you have a police report on file.
The police report helps your case because it details the road conditions of the accident. It also notes witness accounts of the accident as well.
It may note the cause of the accident. Some of the most common causes are bad road conditions, mechanical failure, falling asleep while driving, or driver inexperience.
You should take pictures of the scene of the accident if it’s possible. The next step is to make a visit to the doctor’s office. Even if you feel fine at the time of the accident, you could feel symptoms a few days later.
That’s because your body runs off of adrenaline, which covers up the pain. Some of the most common truck accident injuries are back injuries, head injuries, whiplash, internal bleeding or bruising, and broken bones and cuts.
Be sure to reach out to a truck accident injury lawyer shortly after the accident. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prove liability.
How to Find a Truck Accident Attorney
Should you look for a truck accident attorney or can you go with a regular personal injury attorney? You definitely want to have an attorney with experience in truck accidents.
That’s because they’re a different ball game than a standard personal injury case. In many cases, you’re going after a large company or their insurance company.
These cases are sometimes difficult to resolve and take longer to settle. That’s because there’s more money involved and no one wants to part with a lot of money. Not the responsible company, and certainly not the insurance company.
A truck accident lawyer can go head-to-head with these large entities and fight to get the settlement that you deserve. They also know about truck mechanics to determine liability, where an inexperienced attorney might miss a critical detail.
Most truck accident lawyers offer a free consultation. This is your chance to have an attorney review your case and ask questions.
You should consult with at least three different attorneys before you make a decision. You can look online and get referrals from people in your network.
When you go to your consultations, be sure to bring a copy of the police report, medical records, bills from the accident, and ongoing treatments.
Don’t forget to include documentation about time off work due to the accident and communications about property damage with your insurance company.
Are you concerned about how you’ll pay for the truck accident lawyer? It’s a valid concern, especially when they bill at a rate of $250 an hour.
The good news is that truck accident lawyers get paid on contingency. They take a percentage of your settlement, so you only pay if they win your case.
How to Handle a Semi Truck Accident
What’s the average semi truck accident settlement? There really isn’t an average amount. The amount that you get is specific to your situation and who is liable.
If you want the best chance to get a good settlement, take the right actions following the accident and get a reputable truck accident attorney.
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