Most regular-sized cars do not stand a chance against a semi truck, even at slower speeds. Because of the regular size and heft of these types of vehicles, truck accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries and damages. Below, we discuss 18 wheeler accident settlements below and what factors can impact your case value.
How Insurance Companies Calculate 18 Wheeler Accident Settlements
Generally, insurance companies offer settlements in order to avoid expensive trials and bad publicity. If your case will likely go to trial and the jury will probably award huge compensation, the insurance company will try to offer you a higher settlement amount to avoid this. On the flip side, if your case has a low chance of going to trial, the insurer will offer a much lower amount. In order to accurately determine settlement value, we need to examine the five following factors:
1. Was the Truck Driver at Fault?
One of the most important factors to consider when determining settlement amounts is who is actually at fault for the collision. If you can successfully prove that the truck driver was acting negligently to cause the accident, you will have a stronger case. If the question of liability is cloudy, the trucking insurer may attempt to shift some of the blame onto you.
Ideally, you will want to collect as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible. This includes obtaining an accident report from law enforcement. An experienced San Antonio semi truck accident attorney can also help you collect any additional evidence that you will need.
2. What Is the Extent of Your Injuries and Medical Expenses?
Another important factor to consider is the total cost of your medical expenses. This includes past, present, and future medical bills.
Generally, the more injured you are from the accident, the higher your total medical expenses will be. Because semi truck accidents often result in life-altering or severe injuries, medical expenses for these types of accidents are quite extensive. For instance, if you’ve suffered a life-altering injury, you will more than likely need ongoing treatment throughout the rest of your life. Those expenses, as well as expenses you’ve already paid, are examined when determining the settlement amount.
3. Have You Lost Wages and Earning Capacity?
Similarly, the more severe your injuries, the more work you’ll need to miss for recovery or treatment. This means a loss in valuable income. Furthermore, depending on you career, it may even be impossible to return to work until you are fully healed. Because of this, you deserve compensation based on the amount of income you’ve lost due to the injury.
Likewise, a debilitating injury may even result in an impaired earning capacity. If you’ve suffered a life-altering injury, that could affect your future career path or opportunities, which is an important factor that needs to be considered when determining settlement amount.
4. What Is the Extent of Property Damage?
Semi truck collisions often result in catastrophic damage to the involved passenger vehicle. Such accidents usually result in the vehicle being “totaled”. When this happens, the insurer will pay the fair market price for the vehicle instead of paying for the repair cost for the vehicle. Because of the varying costs between vehicle makes and models, how much you will be awarded here depends on the value of your own vehicle.
5. Are You Eligible for Pain and Suffering Damages?
Compensation for “non-economic damages”, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult to determine than hard economic losses. Because of that, insurance companies tend to fight this the hardest. In order to get an adequate settlement amount for pain and suffering, you will need the expertise of an experienced semi truck accident attorney.
Learn More About 18 Wheeler Accident Settlements
Since semi truck collisions with passenger vehicles often result in significant damage and painful injuries, these cases are often much more complex. If you were injured in an accident with an 18 wheeler, a San Antonio truck accident lawyer at Brylak Law can help.