What is the Average Truck Accident Settlement?

What Will the Cost of a Truck Accident Lawsuit Be?

There are few things more terrifying than being T-boned by a large car at a red light or having a weary truck driver unexpectedly lose control of their wheel during a storm.

Yes, all vehicle accidents are upsetting, but truck accidents are especially so owing to their inherent size—especially if major or even catastrophic damage was done to your vehicle or if you or your passengers were injured.1You may be wondering what to do after a truck collision at this stage. While grief, stress, fear, uncertainty, and even wrath are frequent reactions after a truck accident, there is some good news: You may be able to get compensation for your losses.

However, in order to establish and defend a strong case, you may need to employ a truck accident lawyer. This raises the question of how much a truck accident lawsuit will cost me. Continue reading to learn about the truck accident process, truck accident liability, and truck accident costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?

Most lawyers who handle vehicular accidents—typically, auto accident and personal injury attorneys—work on a contingency basis.

In other words, instead of charging a retainer and an hourly charge for their skills and legal assistance, they get compensated if they win the case, and you are compensated for your losses.

In this situation, your lawyer may receive between 20 and 40% of the vehicle accident payout you obtain, with most agreements falling somewhere between 20% and 40%. If you are granted $100,000 in damages, your lawyer is entitled to $30,000.

However, this does not guarantee that you will walk away with $70,000 in your pocket. In addition to paying your lawyer a predetermined percentage of your semi-truck accident settlement, your lawyer will place the funds in a trust and use a portion of them to pay off debts owed to entities such as

  • Medical facilities and offices
  • Liens
  • Experts who may have been called as witnesses in the case, such as physicians and economists

Fortunately, this may work in your favor: Any lawyer worth their salt will have the knowledge and abilities to potentially negotiate down these debts, which can be exorbitant in terms of medical expenses.

However, it’s crucial to note that not all lawyers handle truck accident cases on a contingency basis. This highlights the significance of conducting research on truck accident lawyers before making a selection.

What is the Average Truck Accident Settlement?

With all of this established, the inevitable next question is, how much do truck accident victims typically receive?

The typical truck accident compensation varies greatly depending on the source and the circumstances of the truck accident, with reports ranging from $0 to $101 million.3(You read that correctly.) To put it another way, each accident is as unique as the drivers and passengers involved.

The average compensation for a truck accident is determined by a number of factors. Let’s go over how settlements are calculated and the factors that are taken into account when determining a figure.

How is Truck Accident Compensation Determined?

What happens if a truck driver is involved in an accident, and how is compensation determined? Compensation for a truck accident, as well as other types of vehicle accidents, is intended to compensate for the costs involved with the incident. Among these are (but are not limited to):

  • Medical expenses – Medical charges should cover the full extent of the injuries sustained in the accident. In other words, if you sustained a fractured wrist that necessitated surgery, your compensation would include emergency treatment, follow-up appointments, surgery, and follow-up care, such as physical or occupational therapy.
  • Lost earnings – Whether or not you sustained permanent injuries as a result of the truck accident, you most likely took some time off from work to call your insurance company, make a police report, and schedule repairs for your vehicle (assuming it was salvageable), to mention a few. In other situations, a truck accident may render a person unable to return to work for an extended period of time—or, in the worst-case scenario, unable to return to work at all. A settlement is meant to make up for lost earning potential.
  • Property damage – Property damage refers to any damage done to your vehicle, whether it’s as trivial as a damaged bumper or as severe as requiring a fully new vehicle.
  • Emotional distress/pain and suffering – Automobile accidents aren’t just fraught with panic during and after the collision. According to research, survivors may be vulnerable to a number of long-term psychological consequences, including Anxiety – Depression 5PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)6 – Suicidal thoughts

All of these effects can have a negative impact on every major aspect of your life, including your profession, relationships, income, physical health, and ability to drive or even ride in another vehicle.

If it is determined that you have suffered emotionally as a result of the truck accident, your personal injury lawyer will seek to determine how much you should be awarded for your pain and suffering—which may be exacerbated if you have also suffered from an accident-related disfigurement, such as scars.

What Influences the Amount of a Truck Accident Settlement?

When it comes to insurance, settlements, and lawsuits, a collision involving a commercial truck, such as a semi or tractor-trailer, plays out differently from your “typical” accident.

Why?

Trucking businesses and their insurance companies are renowned for investing heavily in legal representation in order to avoid paying out a settlement—or a car accident compensation that falls short of what one is entitled to and deserves.

Commercial drivers are obliged to have $750,000 in liability insurance, but some truck accidents are catastrophic and necessitate more. To further complicate an insurance settlement or litigation in a truck accident:

  • The truck driver could be an independent contractor who is individually liable for your losses.
  • There could have been a flaw in the truck, in which case the manufacturer could be held liable.

These are only two examples of potential issues, emphasizing the significance of having a sympathetic, educated, and trustworthy truck accident attorney on your side.

Now, let’s get back to the main point. The following elements are critical in determining the amount of a settlement:

The At-Fault Driver—and the State in Which You Live

It goes without saying that not every semi-truck crash is the fault of the truck driver. If you are partially at blame and live in a state that follows comparative negligence (or contributory negligence) law, the damages awarded will be reduced by the amount to which you are judged liable for the semi-truck accident.

Other states are as follows:

  • “Pure” fault law, in which the truck accident victim can still seek compensation even if they were mostly to blame for the accident.
  • Modified comparative fault law, in which the truck accident victim can seek compensation if they were liable for 49% or 50% of the collision, depending on the state.
  • No-fault law, which provides that regardless of who is at blame, neither party can sue the other for damages—in these states, drivers are obliged to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

Needless to say, where you live may influence the amount of compensation you receive if you and your lawyer triumph, which will answer the question, “How much will a truck accident case cost me?” However, determining who is at fault might be difficult, especially if no witnesses were present.

The Amount of Injuries

The severity of your injuries as a result of a truck crash is a huge determining factor in how much of a settlement you will receive.

According to Forbes, the average compensation for car accident victims is $29,700. Truck accidents, on the other hand, are of a different magnitude. As previously stated, truck accident judgments might result in a victim receiving millions of dollars. However, this is frequently at the expense of their health, well-being, job, or other catastrophic loss.

The mention of “millions” here isn’t meant to get your expectations up; as previously stated, each accident is unique, and negotiating your compensation with a trucking company and their insurance provider, or the driver themselves, would be best handled with the assistance of a skilled and sympathetic lawyer.

When Should I Seek Legal Representation Following a Truck Accident?

The sooner you start, the better. Indeed, it is commonly recommended that you contact a lawyer as soon as you are able. It’s also a good idea to avoid revealing any definitive information to your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.

Even so, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses months, if not years, after a truck accident if, for example, the injuries you sustained were more severe than you and your medical team initially thought, or PTSD has emerged, reducing your earning capacity (not to mention the impact on your personal life). This is determined by the statute of limitations in your state.