In comparison to accidents that involve passenger vehicles, claim settlements from accidents that involve big-rig trucks are usually much higher. Due to the variety of factors involved, there is usually not a quick, average settlement amount for such cases.
The factors of an accident significantly affect a truck accident settlement value. If you seek advice from a lawyer, like a trucking accident lawyer New York NY relies on, they may be able to provide you an estimate after evaluating your case. The estimate is usually based on your unique case and the details it comprises. Below are some common accident factors that are usually considered:
- Insurance coverage restrictions and maximums
- Number of victims involved and how many parties will share the settlement
- Comparative negligence laws and how they apply to the circumstances
- Who shares the liability and/or damage responsibility if multiple parties are involved
Settlements for Compensatory Damages
If a trucker or their commercial vehicle that proves to be faulty cause an accident, victims may be eligible to seek and recoup compensatory damages. In this case, the truck accident attorney that is representing the victim will usually attempt to settle with the truck driver’s company’s insurance company. If a settlement agreement is not reached, the case may advance to court.
Common damages in these cases can include some or all of the following:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages due to the accident and injury
- Personal property replacement or repair
- Non-economic damages due to pain and suffering (these are often allowed based on how severe the injury is, and the associated difficulties and prognosis of the injury)
Injuries that cause permanent disability may be much more valuable than temporary injuries.
Punitive damages apply in situations where the settlements are for high-value accidents due to gross negligence on behalf of the truck driver, or another associated party. When a party is proved guilty of having malicious intent and/or behavior that is outrageous that also harmed the victim.
Comparative negligence laws can apply if the victim is proved to be responsible for the accident in some way. In a case such as this, the settlement amount will decrease by a certain percentage, whatever they are found liable for. For example, if a judge decides that the victim was 40% responsible for the accident, then they are eligible to recover only 60% of the awarded damages.
In a lot of cases, it may not be advisable to go through a truck accident case without having an attorney advocating for you. A seasoned truck accident attorney will have your best interest in mind and can take your case to court, if necessary, after negotiations on your behalf. It is highly recommended to contact an attorney as soon as possible as they can be the deciding factor in determining if you receive a settlement.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Laurence C. Tarowsky for their insight into semi truck accidents.