The days, weeks, and months following a semi truck accident can be scary and difficult. From recovery to dealing with auto repairs, insurance companies, and medical bills, there is a lot to take care of. You might even start to notice the bills are piling up. After all, the average cost of a commercial truck accident was estimated to be over $90,000 in 2005 (the latest year the study was done).
When this occurs, you may be interested in learning more about filing a claim to receive money to help you cover those expenses. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you understand your options and fight for your right to a fair settlement. But what all goes into your truck accident settlement, and what kind of settlement amount should you expect? Continue reading for more information.
How Much Is a Semi Truck Accident Settlement?
There is no average payout for a semi truck accident. The amount of money you may be able to get varies quite a bit. No two accidents are the same, which is why tools like a semi truck accident settlement calculator aren’t very reliable. Instead, work with a lawyer who is well-versed in developing semi truck accident settlement claims to understand what kind of settlement amount you should expect.
When considering how much a semi truck accident settlement is, the following factors may be taken into account.
- Liability: In a commercial truck collision, many parties may be liable (or at fault). While some—like the truck driver or drivers involved in the accident—may seem obvious, others carry some fault, too. It is possible that trucking companies, mechanics, freight companies, or the local government or transit authority may also hold liability, depending upon the situation and what caused the accident. Additionally, distracted driving or drunk driving may play a part in liability, too. The number of dollars you receive in a settlement can vary depending on who is responsible.
- Property Damages: In a truck collision, property damage is not uncommon. Property damage may include damages to a vehicle and assets inside of it (like a laptop or cell phone). Generally, the more property damage, the higher the settlement value may be. When speaking with a lawyer, be sure to let them know about any assets that were damaged as a result of the accident.
- Injury Severity: In general, the more severe an injury, the more money you may be able to receive in a settlement. But the actual details are much more complex. When considering how serious an injury is and how that relates to a settlement amount, the following may be taken into account: the type of injury and treatment options, recovery time, the need for physical therapy or rehabilitation, pain and suffering, medical bills, and more. Working with a dedicated lawyer can help ensure that all aspects of an injury are considered when making a claim.
- Lost Wages: After an accident, it may be necessary to take time off work. Some with severe injuries may even lose their job altogether. Lost wages can at times boost the amount of money offered in a settlement. A lawyer can assist you in getting the necessary information needed to document this in a claim.
- State Laws: Each state has its own laws in place for accidents, including semi-truck accidents. On top of being a comparative fault state (which means that you can only seek compensation up to the amount of your fault), Indiana also places caps on certain types of damages. For example, claims against city, county, or state government entities will be capped at $700,000 per person involved in the settlement. Other caps, such as those placed on wrongful death, vary. A dedicated truck accident lawyer, like those with Broadwing Legal, can assist in understanding the complexities of Indiana law.
- Insurance Policies: Like the state, insurance policies also place caps on the amount they will pay in a settlement. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has requirements around the type of coverage commercial trucks must have. However, you may also have to work with your own insurance company or drivers who are uninsured or underinsured. An experienced attorney can help you understand the entire process of working with various insurance companies, including your own.
What Is a Reasonable Settlement Offer?
After all that, you may be wondering what a reasonable or good settlement offer is. And the truth is, that number is going to vary from person to person based on the details of their accident. With that said, a reasonable settlement offer should consider the factors above and cover your past, present, and future expenses related to the accident.
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you understand your expenses, their fees, and if the settlement offer you receive is suitable. Based on that information, you can either accept or reject the settlement offer. If you decide to reject the offer, your lawyer can help you understand your options.
Broadwing Legal: Experienced Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’ve experienced an accident, you’ve likely got a lot of questions. How do you communicate with insurance companies? Who all is liable in an accident? How can you get money to help pay for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more?
At Broadwing Legal, we specialize in helping clients navigate the commercial truck accident settlement process. Our lawyers bring years of experience to the table, walking you through the entire process, including making sure you understand your settlement offer and getting your affairs in order. If you’re ready to talk to a team who cares, reach out today for a free consultation in English or Spanish.