People suffering from severe injuries after a truck accident are often curious about the value of an average semi-truck accident settlement. As they attempt to recover from their injuries and regain their financial footing, many feel angry, confused, and overwhelmed by their situation. If this sounds like you, it’s important to remember that in Kentucky, victims who sustained injuries in a truck accident have the right to receive compensation from the liable party. Read on to learn more about factors that can affect an 18-wheeler accident settlement and how a personal injury attorney can help you.
Is There an Average Semi-Truck Accident Settlement?
There is no average semi-truck accident settlement. The value of a truck accident settlement will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. Similarly, there is no average semi-truck accident settlement time because how long it takes to reach a settlement will depend on the complexity of your case, how long negotiations take, and if negotiations result in an acceptable settlement offer. Negotiations for settlement should only begin after an experienced attorney has investigated and analyzed your case. While many semi-truck accident cases settle without going to trial, your attorney can prepare your case for trial if an insurance company fails to give you a fair settlement offer.
After suffering injuries in a truck accident, many people are burdened with expenses. Even with minor injuries, you still must deal with hospital bills, property damage, a recovery period, and a significant interruption to your daily life. When your injuries are putting you under financial pressure, accepting an insurance company’s first offer may be tempting. However, taking an initial offer without thoroughly investigating your case or understanding the true extent of your injuries only hurts you in the long run. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to calculate the actual value of your claim so that you can receive the financial support you need and deserve.
What Type of Compensation Is Included in an 18-Wheeler Accident Settlement?
It’s essential to understand the damages included in compensation values. Kentucky permits injured victims to obtain compensatory damages in the form of economic and noneconomic damages. Each category provides financial assistance to injured victims for different types of harm.
Economic damages compensate you for financial losses directly related to your injuries. These include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future wages, and
- Property damage.
Retain all copies of documentation to support your demand, including receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other bills.
Noneconomic damages represent the psychological and emotional losses related to your injuries. Though challenging to quantify and recover, noneconomic damages can provide injured victims with substantial compensation for their emotional injuries. These damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Permanent injury,
- Disfigurement, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
It might seem impossible to put a dollar value on the losses associated with noneconomic damages. For example, how do you value a permanent scar on your face or the inability to walk again? Your experienced personal injury attorney assists in quantifying these catastrophic losses so you can be sure you’re pursuing all of the compensation you’re eligible to receive.
In certain circumstances, a court may award punitive damages in truck accidents. Punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for the wrongful act that caused your injury. In Indiana, punitive damages are only available if the defendant acted with oppression, fraud, or malice. If your situation qualifies, your personal injury attorney may seek recovery of punitive damages in addition to your compensatory losses.
What Factors Affect a Settlement for an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Various factors can influence the settlement amount for a semi-truck accident. Upon reviewing and researching your claim, your attorney investigates how these factors may affect your potential settlement value.
Severity of Injury
Truck accidents often result in serious injuries, leading to higher medical costs associated with a victim’s treatment and recovery. Long-term injuries such as paralysis or traumatic brain injuries can increase the value of a settlement because these injuries require life-long care. A person who suffered a broken leg or arm may receive less in a settlement because these injuries tend to heal completely.
When injuries sustained in a truck accident prevent a victim from working, these financial losses are also a significant factor in determining a settlement value. How much compensation for lost wages you will be eligible to receive will depend on how much you were earning before the accident.
One significant aspect of a semi-truck accident claim is determining who is liable for your losses. At the start of the claim process, your personal injury attorney investigates your accident to establish who was at fault. Clearly establishing liability helps push parties toward more favorable settlement terms.
The amount of insurance coverage the liable party carries will greatly affect your ability to obtain compensation. Commercial truck drivers are federally required to carry insurance policies. Trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds must carry a policy that provides at least $300,000 in coverage. Trucks heavier than 10,000 pounds must have a policy that covers at least $750,000. These coverage limits may be higher depending on the type of cargo carried by the trucks. The higher the coverage limits on a truck driver’s policy, the better the chance that an injured victim can obtain a higher settlement amount.
The degree to which your injury affects your quality of life also plays a large part in settlement values. For example, a victim’s injuries may make it impossible to engage in the activities they enjoyed before the accident. They may no longer be able to run with their children or hike with their families. Though difficult to quantify, these activities hold substantial value and can influence the value of a truck accident settlement.
With over 40 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, are dedicated to helping you during the most challenging times of your life. We understand that you may be angry at being put in a situation through no fault of your own. We help turn that anger into positive action by helping you pursue justice. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.