According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large commercial trucks caused over 33,000 crashes in 2017 by rear-ending a passenger vehicle, with over one-quarter resulting in severe injuries or death. While a rear-end accident with another car might result in nothing more than a fender bender, getting rear-ended by a large and heavy commercial truck could cause a horrific accident.
As a rule, the more serious your accident and injuries, the greater your damages and a potential settlement might be. The details of a specific case and the severity of a victim’s injuries will ultimately determine how much a rear-end truck accident is worth.
Rear-End Accidents with Trucks
The FMCSA has determined that the stopping time and distance for a truck is many times greater than that of a car. For example, a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour will take up to 200 yards—as much as two football fields—to come to a stop. In inclement weather such as heavy rain, ice, or snow, its stopping distance will increase even more.
A large truck with a trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. If such a heavy and powerful vehicle hits a car without slowing down significantly beforehand, things will typically not end well for car occupants. Two-thirds of people who die in fatal truck accidents are car passengers and drivers, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
If car occupants survive a rear-end accident with a truck, they might have severe injuries and considerable property damage.
Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
Common injuries suffered in rear-end truck accidents include:
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Bruising caused by seat belts
- Head and brain injuries
- Bone fractures
Serious injuries may require costly long-term treatments. If you got severely hurt in a truck accident that was not your fault, you could consult with a truck accident lawyer to determine whether you have legal recourse.
Any settlement you receive should reflect the extent of injuries suffered and the effects those injuries have on your life. For example, if you had to miss significant time from work or cannot return to your job, your settlement should make you whole again and provide compensation for your lost wages and future loss of income.
A settlement should also account for any physical and emotional suffering endured by the victims. Compensation in a serious rear-end truck accident could quickly become a hefty sum.
If you seek to recover a settlement after an accident with a truck, you will need to prove that the accident resulted from the negligence of the truck driver, company, or third party connected to the trucking operations. You may think that proving negligence is relatively easy in a rear-end accident; however, truck accidents do not resemble car accidents.
In a truck accident, you could have several at-fault parties, not just the driver. Driver error may play a part in your accident, but the collision could also have happened for other reasons. Sometimes, an investigation finds that a defect with a truck part caused the crash (for example, faulty brakes or threadbare tires). Potential at-fault parties in a truck accident, apart from the driver, include:
- The trucking company
- The cargo-loading company
- The mechanic or company servicing the truck fleet
- The truck manufacturer
You could potentially hold one or several parties to account for your injuries and have numerous avenues for pursuing compensation.
Truck drivers and trucking companies also must abide by a set of regulations and laws that do not apply to passenger cars. A layperson might find it quite challenging to understand the legal complexities of pursuing truck accident claims. A truck accident lawyer can protect your interests and identify the liable parties to pursue for justice and compensation after your rear-end collision.
Compensation in Rear-End Truck Accidents
While it can be challenging to generalize how much a rear-end truck accident is worth, you could recover the following awards:
- Medical expenses and future medical costs
- Rehabilitation treatments
- Lost income and reduced earning potential
- A home health aide
- Modifications to your house and car
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Disability and disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
However, any compensation you could recover depends heavily on your circumstances and injuries. You could receive additional compensation in your specific case.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help Today
If a truck driver or company caused your accident, injuries, and material damage, they should pay for your damages. However, in practice, you might find recovering compensation challenging, as the at-fault party will almost certainly put up a fight.
You could find standing up to a trucking company, its insurance company, and its legal team a daunting task. However, you do not have to fight this battle on your own. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can take charge of every aspect of your truck accident claim, including gathering the necessary evidence, providing expert witnesses, negotiating with insurance adjusters, and arguing your case in court.
Contact our team today at (800) 223-5115 for a free, no-obligation case review.