Anyone who has tried to steer around a hulking semi truck knows how dangerous and difficult such experiences can be. Given the sheer girth and size of such vehicles, it’s no wonder that semi truck accidents are so devastating and cause so much damage.
One of the first and frequent questions semi truck accident victims have is how much their semi truck accident case is worth. When one takes into consideration the magnitude of the damage caused in a semi truck accident, it’s easy to see why semi truck accident settlements are typically higher than car accident settlements.
One reason why this is true is due to how complicated semi truck accident claims can be. Since 99% of semi trucks on the road are commercial vehicles such accident claims often involve complex liability issues. This guide will help you understand how semi truck accident settlements are put together and what you should expect from your own semi truck accident case.
What is the Average Semi Truck Accident Settlement?
Multiple factors are taken into account in order to determine the exact amount to be paid out in a semi truck accident settlement. Semi truck accidents are often intricate and tangled legal matters that require the expertise of professional attorneys to sort out. Below are just a few of the factors involved in tabulating a semi truck accident settlement:
Truck Accident Medical Bills
Unfortunately, it’s more likely for semi truck accident victims to suffer major injuries than minor ones. Commercial truck accident victims frequently amass medical bills in the range of six or possibly seven figures. Many victims might even require care for the remainder of their lives due to the severity of their injuries. Medical bills are one of the most important factors contributing to the final total of a semi truck accident settlement.
Vehicle Property Damage
Following physical injuries, the next most important factor used in tabulating a semi truck accident settlement is the damage done to a victim’s vehicle. There’s no denying that semi trucks are monstrous vehicles. When they collide with regular cars like sedans or even SUVs, they can do tremendous damage. More likely than not any consumer vehicle hit by a semi truck will probably be totaled and need to be completely replaced. Victims will receive the Kelley blue book value for their destroyed vehicle instead of the price of a brand new model.
Wages Lost After Semi Truck Accident
Since truck accidents are known to cause victims serious injuries, it is common for them to miss a considerable amount of time from their jobs. Some victims’ injuries may even be so severe they are unable to return to work at all. The amount of lost wages included in a semi truck accident settlement largely depends on how much time a victim spent away from work and the type of job in which they are employed. A victim’s potential earning capacity in the future is also taken into account when tabulating such a factor.
General Damages and Pain and Suffering
This is easily the most subjective factor in determining the final total of a semi truck accident settlement. Pain and suffering could provide compensation for long-term psychological effects caused by the semi truck accident, such as PTSD or a persistent aversion to driving or of riding in an automobile.
General damages can also be used to provide compensation for a semi truck accident victim who was the primary caregiver in their family by taking into account that the accident had a deleterious effect on the lives of the victim’s family as well.
Loss of Consortium is another factor that can be covered by general damages. Oftentimes, semi truck accidents can be so severe that they can negatively impact the personal relationships of victims. Such claims of damages are filed by the victim’s spouse or family members and will be included in the overall settlement or in a lawsuit, if one needs to be filed.
How Much For a Semi Truck Accident? – Truck Accident Settlement Average
While no two semi truck accidents are ever the same, one shouldn’t expect two truck accident settlements to be identical either. As shown above, there are so many varying factors involved in calculating a semi truck accident settlement that affixing an accurate estimate can be difficult, if not impossible.
However, due to the excessive damage caused by semi truck accidents and the numerous parties that can be found liable, such as the driver, the trucking company, and the truck insurance provider, it’s fairly common to see settlements or verdicts in the upper 6-figure range or even topping 1 million dollars.
One way to formulate a settlement range for a semi truck accident is to look at the minimum insurance required 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 these liability limits may seem to be more than enough to cover the damages caused by a truck accident, but this is far from the truth. For starters, a semi truck accident can produce severe injuries to its victims which can far exceed such limits. On top of this, many commercial companies deploy high-priced legal teams to fight such accident claims, so victims must often litigate their truck accident claims by going all the way to court.
Semi Truck Accident Lawyer – Billings, Bozeman, Missoula
If you have been injured in a semi truck accident and are wondering what sort of compensation is in your future, you should contact the Montana Advocates today for a free evaluation of your case. When you hire a semi truck accident lawyer with the Montana Advocates, you are getting a true professional who is diligent, thorough, and, most of all, dedicated to helping you obtain just compensation for your injuries and losses. Our law firm knows best how to navigate the complex legal maze of semi truck accident claims. Your injury lawyer will negotiate with insurance adjusters, compile your medical records for you, and even help you rent a car if yours was damaged or totaled.
When you hire the Montana Advocates to represent your truck accident claim, your recovery will always be our first priority. So don’t wait to contact our office today. You can call us 24/7 at (406) 272-6986 or chat online right now with a live personal injury attorney from our homepage. Don’t wait to get started on your truck accident claim. Our professional staff is here to help you get back on the road to recovery. You deserve an Advocate!
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