An accident with a commercial truck likely left you dealing with expenses such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. As you consider holding the at-fault driver or company to account, you will want to know how much you should settle for after a truck accident.
A truck accident lawyer can help you determine an adequate settlement amount to seek. They will take the circumstances of your accident into account and analyze your case. They can then assess your damages and calculate a possible amount that compensates you fully for your injuries and other damages.
Truck accident cases are all unique, and there is no “average settlement” or set amount that you should settle for after a truck accident. While a truck accident lawyer can provide an estimate based on the severity and permanence of any injuries, don’t forget that the defendant will have to come to the party and agree to a settlement. The other side may propose an out-of-court settlement, or you may have to fight your claim in court.
Even in court, however, you are not guaranteed a specific settlement amount. Generally speaking, if you can prove the defendant’s responsibility for your accident and injuries, they should make you whole again and pay for your damages. Any settlement should cover your expenses and other damages. It should also account for any future losses and expenses arising from an accident, such as medical bills and reduced earning capacity.
Compensation in Truck Accidents
When it comes to tractor-trailer or semi-truck accidents, car occupants rarely stand a chance to walk away without injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), commercial trucks caused over 4,000 deaths on U.S. roads in 2018, with passenger vehicle occupants making up two-thirds of the fatalities.
Those who survive horrific truck accidents often must deal with devastating injuries, such as head and brain injuries, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and severe internal injuries. Some accident victims lose limbs and end up permanently disabled. If you have suffered grave and life-changing injuries, your settlement amount should reflect this fact. A settlement could include various types of compensation, including:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses.
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity.
- Medical devices and accessories.
- Hiring in-home help.
- Adjusting your car or home to your physical requirements.
- Repairing or replacing your vehicle.
In some instances, you could also claim non-economic damages. Unlike economic damages such as medical expenses, non-economic damages could be hard to quantify because they do not have tangible bills. However, after a serious accident, you could recover considerable noneconomic damages that include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of a limb or a sense
- Loss of consortium
A truck accident lawyer has experience calculating the value of non-economic damages using one of several formulas. Knowing the full extent of your damages is crucial in determining how much you should settle for after a truck accident. An attorney can also estimate any future damages that you’ll likely incur due to your injuries.
Not all truck accident cases end up in a court of law. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) determined that most civil trials conclude with an out-of-court settlement. Settling a dispute out-of-court could prove a good and relatively fast solution, especially if you have a truck accident lawyer who can help you with negotiations and ensure that the other side does not take advantage of you.
It is essential to note that the defendant’s insurance company might approach you after an accident and offer you a settlement that, at first glance, looks tempting. However, you might want to resist the temptation and consult with a truck accident lawyer before agreeing to anything.
The trouble with such quick offers is that they typically suit the other side and not you. Without adequate legal representation and knowing the full extent of your damages, you may agree to a settlement that could leave you out-of-pocket eventually. If you accept an out-of-court settlement, you typically sign away your right to future legal recourse and a potential lawsuit. Therefore, any out-of-court settlement must cover your losses and damages comprehensively.
A personal injury lawyer can negotiate with any insurance adjusters to ensure that the amount you settle for after a truck accident adequately meets your current and future needs. If negotiations cannot secure an acceptable out-of-court settlement, an attorney can then take your case to court.
Let Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Help You
Truck accident settlements can vary considerably from one case to another. However, having a truck accident lawyer by your side, fighting for your rights and fair compensation, can protect you now and into the future.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your truck accident claim.