Have you or a loved one been involved in a truck accident? If the truck driver was at fault for the incident, you’re legally entitled to monetary compensation. However, there’s no standard or fixed price on how much you will receive.
Every accident case is different, and the amount of compensation you’ll receive will vary depending on some factors surrounding the incident. For instance, the defendant’s degree of fault will be evaluated alongside yours and the severity of the injuries.
How to ensure you get the maximum amount you deserve
Truck accidents can be pretty ghastly and often leave severe long-term injuries due to the vehicle size. But no trucking company’s insurer would want to give you whatever you claim you deserve.
Every insurance company is a business, so they’ll try to offer you the least compensation according to what their budget can afford, not according to your pain. The best way to ensure you get what you deserve is to call a truck accident lawyer well-seasoned in helping victims. They can help you put forward your case in the most critical light, using every legal tool possible to win you the maximum compensation.
Factors affecting truck accident settlement value
As described, many factors influence the amount of settlement you’ll receive. While some people have won over $7 million for broken bones, some have gotten less than $250,000.
Although we can’t provide one average figure, let’s look at factors that determine the amount you may be due.
- Liability – Who was at fault
- The severity of your injury
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- The total cost of medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
One of the first things your truck accident lawyer will discuss with you is the issue of liability: who was at fault. The negligent or at-fault party will be responsible for damages.
In most cases, the truck driver is the at-fault party. However, you — or your truck accident lawyer — must be able to prove that the truck driver was actually negligent by driving in a way that caused the accident that led to your injury.
However, there are also cases where more than one party is at fault. For example, the truck or parts manufacturer or another driver may have also been negligent. You may also be partly at fault. All of these scenarios will affect how the case is handled. Your truck accident attorney will have to investigate in-depth to determine and prove liability.
The severity of your injury
The nature of your injury will typically influence how much your medical bills will amount. Sometimes, the injury may be permanent, thereby attracting life-long medical expenses.
Compensation for a minor injury such as a dislocation would be much less than for a brain/cognitive injury. That’s because it would cost more to treat the latter.
It’s crucial to get a doctor involved to carry out a comprehensive medical examination to determine the extent of your injuries.
The medical cost will typically include:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Prescription medicines
- Future medical costs
- Health-related transportation costs
Your truck accident settlement doesn’t only cover your bodily injuries but damage to your vehicle as well. If the damage is repairable, the truck insurance company may pay you what’s sufficient for repairs. On the other hand, if the car is totaled, the amount may be the vehicle’s fair market value. Since not all vehicles are the same or worth the same, this will also factor into the total compensation you obtain.
Your lost wages
If your injuries caused you to miss work and, therefore, unable to earn a living, the amount you would have made would factor into your compensation.
To prove lost wages, you would have to show statements of your past earnings. The total of what you’re expected to have earned while injured may be awarded to you. If the injury prevents you from ever doing that kind of work again, that would also be estimated.
Pain and suffering
Your injuries due to the truck accident may prevent you from enjoying certain things in life. It may be spousal intimacy or the ability to provide for your family. Your truck accident attorney will have to compile evidence of how the injury has impacted your life and your loved ones.
In some cases, the court may award punitive damages, which is an amount the at-fault party pays as a punishment for acting very wrongly. The court decides whether to grant you punitive damages or not; it is not in your right to pursue it.