Being in any auto accident is a scary experience, but when a semi-truck is involved in the collision, the situation automatically becomes more intense. Due to the sheer size of semi-trucks, serious injuries and property damage are more likely to occur in a commercial truck accident case than in a car accident case only involving personal vehicles. If you are injured in a truck accident, you have the right to seek compensation for the damage done to you and your vehicle. 

Truck accidents can leave you with significant expenses, and victims may wonder what their options are following a crash. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to pursue a personal injury claim for your injuries, you may wonder how much money you can expect to receive from a truck accident settlement. 

Compensation for Truck Accidents 

While it would be convenient if there were a set number you could expect to collect based on the type of injury you received, the truth is that each truck accident has unique factors, which means every truck settlement value is different. The best way to get an idea of the average truck accident settlement with damage comparable to yours is to talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer. A truck accident attorney will be able to offer insight into the amount of compensation you may receive because they have seen the outcome of numerous truck wreck cases.

Factors Impacting the Average Truck Accident Settlement

Truck accident settlements are affected by several factors. Semi-truck accidents may result in personal injury claims or even a wrongful death lawsuit; there’s no set standard for a semi-truck accident settlement. 

Extent and Type of Injuries

A truck collision could leave a victim with a serious injury, or they may walk away with just a few bruises, their car having taken the brunt of the accident. The severity of your injuries will directly impact how much money you can expect to receive from your truck wreck settlement.

For example, life-altering injuries such as spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis or neck injuries that hurt the victim’s ability to work will receive more significant compensation than minor physical damage from which the victim will recover fully. Therefore, a fair settlement for a victim with a severe injury that limits their ability to work in the future will include compensation for current and future lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Alternatively, victims with less severe injuries may only be compensated for lost wages during recovery and their medical bills.

Don’t be Discouraged 

If you were in a commercial truck collision that left you with injuries, you deserve to be reimbursed for your medical expenses. Even if the property damage and injuries you sustained were minor, you should not be left responsible for paying medical bills and repair costs from a truck accident you did not cause. 

If you were injured in the collision, your semi-truck accident case is valid, even if your injuries are not career-ending or life-changing. Even if the insurance companies involved in the case try to tell you that you don’t need to seek legal representation because your medical costs and property damages are low, you should still schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim. 

Let an Accident Attorney Help

Working with an accident attorney ensures you don’t accept a below-average settlement for your damage. In addition, your attorney will be able to offer insight regarding the outcome of similar trucking collision claims, allowing you to make sure you are treated fairly by the other driver’s insurance company. 

While an average semi-truck accident doesn’t exist because there are too many possible variables, there will be cases that are similar to yours. A seasoned lawyer will be familiar with the outcomes of these truck accident claims and use that information to help them determine a fair settlement value for your trucking accident case. 

Who the At-Fault Party Is

Sometimes it’s clear that there is only one responsible party in a trucking accident. However, multiple parties contribute to the collision in the average semi-truck accident. 

Since states set their own laws pertaining to contributory negligence and liability regarding collecting compensation following a car accident, where your truck accident occurred can impact your ability to seek reimbursement for the expenses the accident caused. Depending on the laws in the state where the accident happened, to what extent each party caused the collision can affect the victim’s compensation.

Pure Comparative Negligence

Missouri is one of twelve states in the U.S. that follow the law of pure comparative negligence. Pure comparative negligence allows victims to pursue compensation even if they hold fault in a semi-truck accident. However, the amount the victim is awarded will be deducted according to the percentage of fault they hold in causing the crash. 

Let a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Your Innocence

Since how successful your personal injury case is may depend on proving your responsibility for the crash, you’ll want to work with an attorney who has experience handling truck collision claims. Skilled truck accident attorneys will investigate the accident and collect evidence to prove that the truck driver holds more responsibility for the tractor-trailer collision than you do. 

The more responsibility you can prove the truck driver holds, the greater the compensation you may be able to receive from the truck driver’s insurance company. In most truck accident cases, trucking companies will have their driver represented by a lawyer who will be trying to prove you are responsible for the crash, so you want to have someone to represent your best interests legally.

Whether You Received Medical Attention Immediately 

The actions you take following a tractor-trailer collision will affect how much pushback you get from the insurance and trucking company when filing your claim. For example, if you claim to have suffered a severe injury during the crash but you didn’t seek medical care, you will have a more challenging time maximizing compensation for your injuries. The same principle applies if you seek care but don’t do it immediately after the crash.

Insurance adjusters will be hesitant to offer a settlement that covers your medical costs if the first time you seek care is days after the crash. Instead, they will likely claim that your choice not to seek immediate treatment means your injuries weren’t severe. In addition, they may claim that you weren’t injured in the collision at all and are trying to have medical bills from another event covered.

The Statements You Made Following the Accident

Many drivers don’t realize that what they say following a collision could damage their chances of securing a reasonable settlement. Even something as innocent as apologizing to the other driver could be seen as admitting fault. 

You’ll also want to be judicious in dealing with the other driver’s insurance provider. They may try to get you to take accountability for the crash or admit that your injuries aren’t severe. To be sure you don’t hurt your chance of receiving compensation, contact a lawyer before discussing details of the situation with the insurance adjuster.

Proceed with Caution

Just like you want to be cautious with what you say following a collision, you’ll also want to be diligent about what you sign. Signing a written statement about the accident or giving a recorded testimony should only be done under the guidance of your lawyer. The statements you make could be used against you later, and if you willingly provided them, recanting them will be nearly impossible.

The Type of Damages You Claim

Three types of damages are frequently claimed in civil lawsuits involving truck accidents: compensatory, nominal, and punitive damages. Which of these damages a victim receives will depend on the exact circumstances of their collision. 

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages consist of non-economic and economic losses. Non-economic damages are losses that are difficult to put an exact cost on, such as pain and suffering. Economic damages are expenses that can be quantified, such as medical bills or vehicle repairs.

Nominal Damages

Nominal damages are typically small amounts that the judge orders the at-fault party to pay when the court determines that their actions were wrong, but the injury or damage wasn’t significant enough for a sizeable amount of money to be awarded. Nominal damages are often as low as a few dollars. They may be granted if a plaintiff (victim) cannot prove the actual value of the damage they suffered from the responsible party’s behavior. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are designed to deter the defendant (responsible party) from completing the action again. Unlike economic or pain and suffering damages, punitive damages are not intended to help the victim but to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are granted when the defendant does something that is grossly reckless, negligent, or harmful.

The Insurance Company Handling Your Personal Injury Claim

Some insurance companies are more agreeable than others and may be willing to offer a fair truck accident settlement without much fuss. Unfortunately, others will make you and your attorney work for every dollar you receive toward your losses. While all insurance companies have the ultimate goal of paying as little compensation as possible, some insurance providers will go to unscrupulous lengths to avoid paying fair compensation to injured victims.

Create a Paper Trail

Documenting your vehicle damage and medical treatment expenses diligently following the accident will help you get a better semi-truck accident settlement, since the insurer will not be able to claim you are falsifying the severity of the damage. You’ll also want to ensure you prove your lost wages and any other losses you claim as part of your truck accident case. 

The Truck Driver’s Insurance Policy Limits

Liability insurance policies always have limits, and in semi-truck accidents where the damage done to the injured party is severe, the amount covered by the policy may be less than the victim’s physical, property, and pain and suffering damages. In these situations, the victim may have to pursue a personal injury claim directly against the driver personally or the trucking company if they behaved negligently in hiring the driver that hit you. Finally, if other vehicles were involved in the collision, you may also be able to seek compensation from other drivers.

Whether You Work With a Truck Accident Lawyer 

Trucking companies and insurance companies know that a victim working with an attorney is a victim committed to righting the wrong committed against them. The insurance company will also likely know if a law firm has attorneys ready to take commercial truck accident cases to court to get fair compensation for their client. 

When faced with truck accident lawyers with a track record of success in the courtroom, insurance companies may be inclined to offer a better settlement from the beginning to avoid the claim escalating. The expenses and hassle associated with going to court can be enough to motivate the insurance company to offer a better semi-truck accident settlement.

Ready to Fight For Your Rights

At Holman Schiavone, LLC, our team is proud to fight for clients’ rights inside and outside the courtroom. Our team’s extensive courtroom experience will benefit your case, and you’ll feel confident knowing your lawyer is dedicated to securing the best possible legal outcome for your scenario. 

When you are in a collision with a commercial truck, you need a law firm with a track record of successful jury verdicts to defend your interests. Your pain and suffering should not go uncompensated, and the at-fault truck driver, and potentially the trucking company, should be held responsible.

Maximize Your Truck Accident Settlement

If you were injured in a collision with a truck driver or someone close to you suffered a wrongful death due to a tractor-trailer crash, seek legal representation. Truck accident settlements handled by lawyers are more successful than the average settlement received by a victim without legal guidance. 

Contact a law firm that offers a free consultation to discuss the details of your case. Pursuing compensation for your medical bills and lost wages with an attorney handling your truck accident claim will give you the best chance of receiving an above-average settlement. 

Hire a Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents can cause devastating damage, and truck drivers who behave recklessly should face the consequences of their actions. Whether seeking economic or punitive damages, working with a personal injury attorney allows you to pursue compensation for what the collision has cost you. 

When tractor-trailers collide with commuter vehicles, victims can be left holding the bill for expensive repairs and medical care. Ensure you get the settlement you deserve; contact Holman Schiavone, LLC, at 816-399-5149 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.