Average Payout for 18 Wheeler Accident

Depending on the severity of a person’s injury from an 18-wheeler accident, the payout ranges from $18,000 to over $1,500,000.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Average Semi Truck Accident Settlement

Severity of Accident Average Semi Truck Accident Settlement
Minor $18,000 – $80,000
Moderate $80,000 – $240,000
Severe $250,000 – $2,000,000+

Trucking accident attorney, Brad Nakase, has prosecuted and defend hundreds of semi truck accidents. The highest settlement for a semi truck accident is as follows:

  • $12,000,000 settlement for a rear end truck crash resulting in brain injury, back injuries, broken bones, lifetime disability.
  • $4,000,000 settlement for a rear end truck accident resulting in broken bones, and spinal injury.
  • $1,800,000 settlement for a rear end crash with a 19 wheeler resulting in a burn, brain injury and spine surgery.

What Is an 18-Wheeler Accident and How Does It Happen?

Every American driver is aware that the roads are dangerous, especially so when they are sharing the road with massive, 18-wheeler trucks. Most drivers will be able to recall a close call they have had with an 18-wheeler truck, and they know just how frightening the experience can be. However careful an individual is, he or she can still end up in an accident with one of these trucks. Because of the sheer weight and size of the truck, the damages and injuries are much worse.

After an individual has been involved in an 18-wheeler accident, as a victim he or she can expect the trucking company and its insurer to attempt to settle the case. These parties will want to minimize the victim’s injuries and exaggerate the individual’s role in causing the crash. However, as evidence is revealed, settlement negotiations will become tense. Most cases manage to settle out of court, but sometimes a trial is necessary.

A truck accident lawsuit is a kind of personal injury claim. These claims are formal requests for compensation which victims of a truck accident file in court. These kinds of accidents are often called the following:

  • Semi-truck accidents
  • Big rig accidents
  • 18-wheeler crashes
  • Tractor-trailer crashes
  • Commercial truck accidents

Usually, truck accidents are much worse in nature than the regular auto accident that involves passenger vehicles. Cars and passenger vehicles typically weigh 4,000 pounds on average. Big rigs, by contrast, weight some 30,000 pounds when they are not carrying cargo. When the truck is full of cargo, federal rules limit their weight to 80,000 pounds. The weight of cargo adds force to a collision, which can lead to significantly different injuries.

The individual who has suffered these injuries deserves to be compensated by the party who caused the accident. An 18-wheeler accident lawsuit is meant to do just this. A victim and their attorney can gather evidence of the crash, proving that the individual was not responsible for the accident. They can then ask for compensation for legal damages from the party at-fault. These legal damages will cover the follow expenses that the victim faces:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Future income

It is common for settlement offers to be made long before a lawsuit is filed. Soon after the crash, the trucking company’s insurance company may go to the victim and make an initial offer that appears reasonable. However, it is usually far less than what the victim needs and deserves. It is important that a victim of a big rig accident establish a relationship with an experienced truck accident attorney at a laws firm with a good reptation. This kind of attorney will be able to achieve better settlement offers.

After a lawsuit has been filed and evidence of the crash has been gathered, settlement talks tend to become more tense. In fact, most cases involving 18-wheelers are settled out of court. But if no settlement agreement is reached, then the case proceeds to trial. In court, a jury will decide the following:

  • Who was at fault for the accident
  • How much compensation the victim deserves

Usually, a truck accident lawsuit is filed by the victim and their personal injury lawyer. However, if the accident resulted in the death of a victim, then their loved ones can hire a truck accident lawyer to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased individual.

How Much Is the Typical 18-Wheeler Accident Settlement?

The American driver may be wondering what the average settlement is for an 18-wheeler truck accident involving a passenger vehicle. The reality is that there is no way to offer an average amount for truck accident settlements. This is simply because there are so many factors involved in settling these cases. The extent of damages comes down to two main variables: how much the truck drive was at fault, and how badly the victim was hurt. If an individual combines these two factors, then he or she will have a legal case that ranges from no damages being granted to up to $100 million being granted for the most severe injuries and damage. For the latter award to be granted, not only would there have to be extreme injuries, but the truck driver would have to be extraordinarily reckless and negligent. In the end, every case in unique, so the average settlement amount is not very useful to know.

How Are Damages Determined After a Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, damages may be determined by several different factors.

Physical Injury

This refers to the extent to which an individual suffered physical injuries, and how they impact the damages received. An individual’s physical injuries must be verified by a doctor, who can define the nature and severity of the injuries. In some cases, an independent medical examination is needed to figure out the extent of the injuries – this applies in the event of a disagreement.

Medical Cost

An individual’s medical expenses and bills are considered when determining the amount he or she can recover after an accident. These expenses need to be related to the trucking accident and not related to some form of previous injury or condition. The expenses must also be considered necessary.

Pain and Suffering

In some states, pain and suffering is usually limited. This amount is based on the extent of mental suffering an individual experienced as a result of the crash, including limitations of physical activities or sports, disfigurement, loss of companionship, or loss of a loved one.

Lost Income

If an individual has been unable to work as a result of their injury, then lost wages may be factored into the damages. This would include the amount of time it takes an individual to recover after the accident, in addition to any work missed in order to attend doctor’s appointments.

Future Income

If an accident caused an individual to lose future wages, as a result of a brain injury or other serious injury, then he or she may be compensated for the lost earning potential. Even if an individual plans to return to work, they may not be able to perform at the same level as before, resulting in lowered income. For this, he or she may be compensated.

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