Accidents involving commercial vehicles can cause irreparable damage to victims’ physical health, emotional wellbeing, and financial standing. Although the road to recovery can be long, commercial truck accident settlements can help victims and their families recover after a semi-truck accident. While no amount of financial compensation can make up for all of the losses victims can experience, it can be a huge step in helping victims move forward.
That said, pursuing a settlement in a commercial vehicle accident can be a complicated process. Trucking companies are often supported by vast financial resources and corporate insurers who are very experienced in commercial vehicle accident investigation. Going up against these kinds of attorneys can be daunting, which is why many victims secure their own legal counsel for help navigating the settlement process.
With over thirty years of combined experience, the attorneys at Johnson Garcia Law are here to support 18-wheeler crash victims and help them feel more confident as they pursue settlements.
Damaging Effects of Commercial Truck Accidents
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, it’s important for victims to understand what’s at stake when it comes to semi-truck accidents. Generally, commercial vehicle accident settlements are much larger than settlements for average car accidents. This is because commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers and other large trucks weigh significantly more than standard vehicles, and the damages these vehicles can cause is much worse.
The more severe the damages are, the higher a settlement can potentially be. In particularly catastrophic cases, such as those involving disability or wrongful death, compensation amounts can be significant. Regardless of the amount you believe your case is worth, to optimize your settlement, consider partnering with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial truck accident settlements are complicated — not only because of the high amount of damages typically associated with them but the fact that proving liability is a key aspect of a successful settlement. This can be extremely difficult to accomplish.
In pursuing a semi-truck settlement, victims often need to determine the cause of the accident and prove who is liable for the damages. Liability can be particularly complicated in commercial vehicle cases, because the at-fault party can be the trucker, the trucking company, or the commercial maintenance provider, depending on the cause of the accident. Common causes of commercial vehicle accidents include
- Driver error, including negligent or unlawful driving
- Impaired driving, including fatigue or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor company policies, including lack of driver training, improper maintenance schedules, or improperly balanced cargo
- Manufacturer error, meaning that the truck’s components were not up to specifications or poorly engineered
Determining the cause of the accident is only one piece of the equation, though. The damages involved must be quantified and assessed.
Factors That Affect Commercial Truck Accident Settlements
In addition to proving liability, assessing damages is a key aspect of pursuing a semi-truck accident settlement. Various factors go into determining a victim’s settlement amount, including
- Liability – Settlements will likely be higher for cases that involve negligence and multiple parties. For victims who are partially at fault for their accidents, settlements will likely be lower.
- Injuries – When determining a settlement amount, the extent of a victim’s injuries is taken into account. Injury-related damages typically include medical bills, lost wages, temporary or full disability, loss of life, and pain and suffering. The more serious and life-altering the injury, the higher the settlement will likely be. Less severe injuries can include whiplash, broken bones, lacerations, and bruising. More severe injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries such as full or partial paralysis, loss of limb, or even death.
- Property Damage – Vehicle damages and other property damage will be assessed when determining settlement amounts.
- Punitive Damages – In cases with blatant, willful, or extreme negligence, punitive damages may be added to punish the defendant and set an example for others.
The damages listed above are all considered when determining a settlement amount. As part of this determination, a commercial vehicle accident investigation will take place. The trucking company or their insurer will likely have their own investigative team, so it’s important for victims to have someone on their side as well.
Victims should compile as much evidence as possible to support their claim, including photos, videos, medical records, witness testimony, and expert opinions from doctors or therapists. Many victims find that having an attorney on their side streamlines the settlement process.
Average Commercial Truck Accident Settlement
It’s understandable that victims will want to know what to expect when pursuing their semi-truck accident settlement. However, it’s difficult to assess an “average” commercial truck accident settlement because every accident is unique, and all of the factors listed above must be taken into consideration. To achieve the best possible outcome, consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Johnson Garcia Law Can Help
Experiencing a commercial truck accident can be life-altering. The effects of semi-truck crashes are long-lasting and the costs associated with them can be astronomical. Victims deserve to receive adequate compensation to help them navigate the difficult recovery process. At Johnson Garcia Law, we are dedicated to helping victims recover their damages and complete the settlement process with confidence.
We have over 30 years of combined experience, giving us a keen understanding of the commercial truck accident settlement process, and we’re well-equipped to handle even the most complicated cases. We are so committed to our client’s success that we won’t take payment unless you win. Contact us today or give us a call at 832-400-6130 to schedule a completely free consultation.