What Is the Average Settlement for a Semi-Truck Accident?
When fully loaded, the typical tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, compared to only 4,329 pounds for the average passenger vehicle. The sheer size and weight difference between big trucks and passenger vehicles means that in an accident, the most extensive property damage and most severe injuries are going to occur among occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Getting your life back on track following a truck crash is not easy. It takes time, medical care, rest, and access to sufficient financial resources. But if you’re hurt and out of work, your bank account may be dwindling even as medical bills and daily expenses continue to pile up. The good news is that you can generally recover compensation for these types of losses in a truck accident claim.
So what is the average settlement for a semi-truck accident? First, we need to understand what goes into calculating the worth of a truck injury claim.
What Types of Compensation Am I Entitled to After a Truck Crash?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you are entitled to compensation that is sufficient for you to be “made whole” again. This means that the compensation you receive must fully and fairly address your financial losses, injuries, pain and suffering, and all the other ways in which your life has been affected.
In a typical case, these damages can be broken down into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Your economic damages refer to the direct and indirect financial losses you’ve suffered because of the accident. These may include:
- Lost wages if you can’t work
- Reduced earning potential if you can no longer work in the same capacity
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Transportation costs to medical appointments
- Vehicle repair bills
- Property damage if valuable items were damaged in the wreck
It is important to carefully document all of your financial losses. If you receive a bill from the doctor, keep a copy in a safe place until you can show it to your attorney.
A truck accident can impact your life in ways that don’t come with a price tag. You still deserve to be compensated for the harm and losses you’ve suffered, even if they didn’t cause a direct or indirect financial loss.
Non-economic damages can encompass:
- Physical pain, suffering, and discomfort
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Decreased quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment in life
Proving your non-economic damages is much more challenging than proving economic damages. If the trucking company’s insurer is resistant to fairly compensating you for your non-monetary losses, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. This simple step sends a clear and concise signal to the at-fault party—you know what you’re worth, and you aren’t willing to settle for anything less.
Truck accident claims can either be settled outside of court through negotiations or taken to court, where a judge or jury will hear the case. Although settling outside of court typically takes less time than filing a lawsuit, there are times when doing so is necessary because the insurer refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement.
Should a case go to court, there is the potential for punitive damages to be awarded. These are not compensatory damages, which means that punitive damages aren’t meant to compensate you for any losses you’ve suffered. Instead, they are a form of financial punishment leveraged against the at-fault party for engaging in particularly egregious, malicious, or grossly negligent behavior.
How Much Is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident Claim?
No two truck accidents are exactly alike, which means that no two truck accident settlements will be exactly alike. The exact amount of compensation to which you are entitled after a semi-truck crash is highly contingent upon:
- The extent and severity of your injuries,
- Whether you can work after your crash,
- The amount of medical care you receive,
- And other factors that impact your physical health, mental well-being, and financial stability.
However, we know that it can be helpful for victims to have an understanding of what others in similar positions have been able to recover.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average cost of all big truck crashes is $91,000. This amount includes all types of truck accidents, including single-vehicle wrecks, accidents that don’t cause injuries, injury-causing accidents, and fatal wrecks. This means that while $91,000 is the representative average, it is not necessarily a reflection of what an accident may actually cost an individual victim. For example, FMCSA also cites the cost of a single fatal truck accident as $3.6 million.
The real cost of your accident could be much higher than the average. However, don’t expect the at-fault party in your accident to willingly agree to a settlement that fully respects all of your losses and everything you’ve been through.
Trucking companies and their insurers are notorious for trying to shift blame, limit liability, and reduce settlements whenever possible. For this reason, knowing how much your claim is worth is key to securing maximum compensation in your case. When you know what you’re entitled to and have the backing of an attorney who cares, the insurance company will know that they can’t get away with tricking you into lowball offers.
Speak With a Super Team of Lawyers at No Cost
You need help, and you need it now. At Trucking Injury Law Group, we are prepared to guide you through this difficult period of life. Our Super Team of lawyers has pooled our nationwide resources to represent clients on a more personal and local level in Idaho, Washington, Nevada, and Oregon.
We’re prepared to answer all the questions you have. Whether you’re wondering what the average settlement for a semi-truck accident is or what your legal rights are if the trucking company is denying liability, we’re here for you.
And your first meeting is always free. We provide no-cost, no-obligation case evaluations with a real attorney. This confidential meeting is often the first step to partnering with our law office, although there is never any obligation to hire or work with one of our Seattle truck accident lawyers.