Undoubtedly, the aftermath of a truck accident is more catastrophic and overwhelming than an accident between two standard passenger vehicles because of the stark weight and size difference. The last issue you wouldn’t want to worry about following a truck accident is calculating the amount you deserve as compensation for your losses while undergoing treatment at the hospital or home.
Handling another issue is almost impossible when dealing with property repair, medical treatment, and unaffordable hospital bills after sustaining injuries in a truck accident. Hence, it is vital to have an experienced truck accident attorney in your corner for legal advice and representation to fight for a fair compensation award for your losses and damages arising from the accident.
Although a personal injury attorney cannot tell the exact settlement amount you may receive, he/she can help you gather necessary pieces of evidence to convince the at-fault party you deserve fair compensation. The amount of money you could receive as compensation for your losses following a truck accident will depend on various factors that you will learn as you continue reading this article.
Factors Influencing Settlement Amounts Following a Truck Accident Incident
The losses and damages you might incur following an accident are life-changing and expensive. However, under personal injury laws, you have a legal right to seek adequate compensation for your losses. Generally, under this statute, you could achieve your deserved compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party or through a settlement negotiation.
Since filing a lawsuit is time-consuming and expensive, resolution of most truck accident cases happens outside the court through an informal procedure known as settlement. Unlike a lawsuit, when resolving a truck accident case through settlement, your truck accident attorney and the at-fault party will meet to negotiate a favorable and fair compensation for your losses resulting from the accident.
During the negotiation, your truck accident attorney will present the necessary evidence to convince the at-fault party you deserve adequate and fair compensation for your losses and damages. Since each truck accident case is unique, the amount you could receive as compensation for your losses in a settlement negotiation will depend on various factors explained below:
Your Immediate Actions Following the Truck Accident
The actions you will take immediately after a truck accident will significantly impact your case settlement negotiation outcome. To protect your interests and increase your chances of achieving adequate compensation for your losses after suffering life-altering injuries in a truck accident, you should take the following crucial and helpful steps:
- Remain calm and speak less if you have to talk with other parties
- Don’t apologize for the accident because the at-fault party might accuse you of admitting the accident liability
- Don’t give any written or oral statements to the other party or parties involved in the truck accident incident
- If you have a smartphone or camera, you should take pictures and video recordings of the accident scene, including:
- The current weather
- Road condition
- Your injuries
- The trucking company logo and name
- Street signs
- Position of the involved vehicles on the road/highway
- Consider speaking to one or two eyewitnesses and ask for their statements and phone numbers if possible because you may need them to help you prove liability in this accident incident
- Call a truck accident attorney for legal guidance on what to do to protect your interests henceforth
Your quantity and quality of evidence after incurring losses and suffering injuries in a truck accident will determine how much you will receive as compensation from the at-fault party. If you are lucky to be conscious after involvement in a truck accident, you should take your time to preserve relevant evidence that may strengthen your compensation claim.
Whether or Not You Did Seek Prompt Medical Care
Seeking immediate and prompt medical care can also affect the outcome of a settlement negotiation after suffering injuries in a truck accident. Therefore, following a truck accident, it is wise to seek a thorough medical evaluation as soon as possible, whether you feel fine or not.
Visiting a doctor after involvement in a truck accident is a brilliant idea even if you don’t have physical injuries because you might have unseen and deadly internal injuries requiring immediate attention. Insurance companies will use any strategy to minimize the chances of recovering your deserved compensation for the losses resulting from the truck accident.
That means, if you didn’t seek a prompt medical evaluation after the event of the accident, the at-fault party insurer could claim that your injuries are unrelated to the truck accident incident. When you consult a medical expert after involvement in a truck accident, remember to discuss with him/her all your symptoms and keep your medical journal to prove your damages after treatment.
The Extent of Your Injuries and Medical Expenses
Generally, following a truck accident, the occupants of the small passenger vehicle are more likely to suffer severe and catastrophic injuries because of the stark weight disparity between the two vehicles. The injuries you would sustain in the event of a truck accident or crash will depend on the following factors:
- Your vehicle type and its safety features
- The weight of the truck
- The speed of both vehicles
- The area or location of the accident incident
- The truck’s freight
Depending on the above factors, you might sustain any of the following types of injuries in the event of a truck accident:
- Brain injury
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Head trauma
- Smoke inhalation
- Spinal cord injury
- Back and neck injury
- Internal injuries
The severity of your injuries following a truck accident will determine your medical costs and how much you are likely to receive as compensation from the at-fault or liable party. For instance, the settlement amount you would receive for a spinal cord injury or brain injury will be higher than that for a minor whiplash or scarring in a truck accident.
Whether or Not You Might Need Future Damages
When determining your settlement amount after the event of a truck accident, you must also consider the possibility of future damages. In a truck accident, there is a possibility of future damages because some injuries like a loss of limb or traumatic brain injury may require life-long medical attention to live a comfortable life like others.
Suppose you lose your hand or any other limb in a truck accident. In that case, your injury attorney should be ready to negotiate for a fair settlement amount that would cover any possible future expense you may incur to modify the affected limb to make your life manageable. For instance, when you lose your leg in a truck collision, you may need a prosthetic leg or a wheelchair to make your life manageable.
Whether or Not You Were Partially Liable for the Accident
According to comparative negligence law, even if you were partially liable in the truck accident, you can still recover damages for all your losses resulting from the accident. However, the amount of compensation you will receive for your losses will reduce depending on your degree of negligence or level of fault in the accident incident.
Compensation claims in a truck accident or any other type of motorist accident are typically about identifying who was negligent in the event of the accident. To that end, if your degree of negligence was 10%, the ultimate amount of compensation you will receive for your losses will reduce by 10%.
Laws surrounding truck accident cases are complex and puzzling to a layperson. Having an attorney represent your interest in this type of case is the best way to ensure maximum compensation for your damages.
Your truck accident attorney will defend your interests throughout the negotiation process to achieve a reasonable and fair settlement amount for your losses resulting from the truck accident.
Whether or not a Truck Driver’s Mistake or Another Problem Led to the Accident
Undoubtedly, most truck accidents on the road are due to the truck driver’s negligence. Under the law, every motorist on the road must exercise a reasonable duty of care to prevent possible foreseeable accidents. If any of the following unlawful acts were the cause of the truck accident, you might reach a fair settlement amount without a hassle to keep the case out of court:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
Even if the truck driver were undoubtedly liable for the accident, the insurance company would look for any excuse or reason to justify giving you less money in your settlement, for example:
- Other parties are liable for the accident
- You were partially at fault
To recover maximum compensation for your losses during the settlement negotiation in the aftermath of a truck accident, you must have adequate evidence to prove the truck driver was liable for the accident. Under the law, several other parties could also be responsible for your injuries and losses resulting from the truck collision, such as:
- The truck manufacturer or its parts manufacturer
- State or government
- The company that was responsible for loading the cargo
- The trucking company
Although all the above entities could also be liable for your injuries and losses resulting from the truck accident, a reliable injury attorney will focus on proving the driver was liable to achieve maximum compensation.
Due to the severity of the possible injuries you might suffer in a truck accident, you may need time off work to recuperate and heal. Because of this, you may lose several bonuses and wages before you return to work to perform your duties and obligations, which can happen weeks or months later.
When determining the appropriate amount you need as settlement for your losses arising from the truck accident, the attorney will also consider all your lost wages before sending the demand letter. In the demand letter, he/she can attach documents to prove the salary amount you could receive that period if you were able to work as usual.
Lost Earning Capacity
Often victims of truck accidents suffer physical disabilities that limit their ability to work and employment opportunities. If you lose a limb in a truck accident, finding reliable employment might be challenging.
An experienced truck accident attorney knows this and will aggressively negotiate with the at-fault party insurer to ensure adequate compensation for your inability to work due to the permanent disability resulting from the accident.
Pain and Suffering
The aftermath of a truck accident may also come with pain and suffering, which is also compensable. When determining the extent of your pain and suffering, the truck accident attorney will consider your overall injuries and other related impacts of those injuries in your life and those around you.
Apart from the financial losses you had to incur, your defense attorney will also consider the physical distress you will have to deal with due to the injuries resulting from the truck accident. Since determining your extent of pain and suffering and what you deserve as compensation is a complex process, this is the issue that insurance providers fight the most.
Although every truck accident victim reacts differently to their injuries, an experienced truck accident attorney will know what counts as pain and suffering in your specific case. An experienced attorney will know how to calculate how much you deserve as damages for your ongoing pain and suffering in the aftermath of a truck accident.
If you have to rely on painkillers to sleep, your attorney can use this during the settlement negotiation to prove that you are experiencing substantial pain and suffering. Depending on the available evidence to prove pain and suffering, you might recover damages for the following:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of your ability to enjoy life
- Physical limitations
- Physical pain
Typically, when a truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle will suffer more significant damage because of the weight and size difference. If your car is repairable, the insurance adjuster will inspect it keenly to estimate the cost of its repairs. Hence, it is advisable to take your car to an independent repair shop or garage for an alternate quote.
In most cases, if the total cost of your vehicle repairs is more than its fair market value, the insurance company will total the vehicle instead of repairing it. As with other factors discussed above, the amount you will receive as compensation for vehicle damage will vary because all truck collision incidents are different in many ways.
Generally, the amount you might recover in a settlement for a truck accident will depend on the unique circumstances surrounding your case and whether you can identify the at-fault party or not. Determining liability in the truck accident incident that led to your injuries is a legal issue you need to discuss with a skilled truck accident attorney.
Apart from determining liability in your case, your truck accident attorney will also calculate the amount you should anticipate in any insurance settlement for your injuries and other losses resulting from the truck accident. If you cannot reach a fair and reasonable settlement deal because the insurance adjuster is acting in “bad faith,” your attorney will help you take legal action against the insurance company for maximum compensation.
What Will Happen if it is Impossible to Resolve a Truck Accident Case Through Settlement?
All hope is not lost if your truck accident attorney and the insurance adjuster cannot agree on a fair settlement deal during the negotiation. When that happens, your attorney will help you take legal action against them to achieve maximum compensation for your injuries and losses resulting from the truck accident.
Like other personal injury cases, when you file a legal claim against the at-fault party, you must convince the judge that the defendant was negligent in the event of the accident. Here are elements of negligence that your truck accident must prove beyond a reasonable doubt for an award of compensatory damages in this lawsuit:
- Dury of care – Duty of care obligation would exist in your case if the truck driver had reason to operate his/her vehicle in a safe manner to avoid the accident
- Duty of care breach – The truck driver didn’t observe his/her legal duty of care to prevent this foreseeable accident
- Causation – The truck driver’s negligence or failure to observe his/her duty of care led to your injuries
- Damages – The injuries resulting from the truck accident led to some damages and losses
If your attorney can prove the above elements of negligence, you may win non-economic and economic damages for all your losses and injuries resulting from the truck accident.
Find a Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
As you can see above, the factors that determine the settlement in a truck accident are many. Because of this, you may want to talk to an experienced attorney before you engage in settlement talks with the insurance company. We invite you to call Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm at 619-754-7667 wherever you are in California for legal representation during these challenging and confusing moments after a truck accident.
Our attorneys will be eager and happy to help you hold the at-fault party liable for your injuries resulting from the truck accident for the maximum compensation you deserve to make your life manageable and comfortable.