Average Commercial Truck Accident Settlements
Last updated Tuesday, February 14th, 2023
The amount of compensation varies in personal injury lawsuits. Truck crash cases are no different and can have huge swings. Unfortunately, there isn’t a set standard for settlements resulting from commercial truck accidents.
However, because commercial trucks outweigh average vehicles by 35 tons, accidents involving them come with horrific injuries. Each crash can involve so many people and factors it can be hard to compare. Another huge determining factor in your case amount is your legal representation. You NEED to hire an attorney who is highly experienced in Commercial Truck Accidents because they know where to look for all of the different types of insurance available as well as the different parties who could be held liable.
There were 107,000 injury-causing truck accidents in 2020, according to the National Safety Council. Such crashes caused close to 5,000 deaths the same year. Large trucks logged over 302 billion miles during that time.
Believe Tampa is sitting pretty from the rest of the country? Consider this: Florida ranked third out of the nation for total number of fatalities based on Truck Safety Coalition Worst Fatal Truck Crash States in 2020. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2020, Florida has come in third for these fatal accidents since at least 2010.
Do you think someone’s negligence is to blame for your injuries? Florida truck accident law is our jam at Rebein Law. While our goal of getting you the largest settlement possible is simple, achieving it is anything but. Other firms may promise the moon and stars, but we are the team that delivers.
Factors that Affect Settlement Amounts
Comparing apples to apples is important. One of the reasons settlements can be hard to predict is the cases themselves. The sheer number of differences between two claims can be staggering.
Take the following example:
A big rig sideswiped Felicity’s vehicle in a rainstorm. She suffered whiplash, some broken ribs and a fractured shoulder through no fault of her own.
A family friend, Jeff, was in a tractor-trailer accident a few years ago. The truck driver was driving under the influence. Jeff had only minor physical injuries but lost his pregnant wife in the wreck.
Although truckers caused both friends’ pain, the circumstances and outcomes were very different. It’s unreasonable for Felicity to seek damages anywhere near the figure that Jeff received.
The final figure is tied to your pain. Everything about injuries sustained in the accident matters. How many injuries did you suffer? What was the extent of each of these? Were wounds superficial? Is therapy required? Was there any disfigurement or scarring? Did a loved one die?
Physical injuries aren’t the only concern. Emotional and psychological trauma impact settlements too. Although not as easily seen as bodily damage, these injuries can actually be harder to treat. Intensive therapy may be needed. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop after severe truck accidents.
Degree of Fault
Each state takes a stand on how the fault of each party plays into the outcome. Statute 768.81 explains how Florida is a pure comparative negligence law state.
This term implies that just because the trucker may be at fault doesn’t mean you might not be to blame too. If you’re found partially negligent, then you won’t be eligible for the full settlement amount. Get a figure by subtracting the percentage of your liability.
Let’s look at this example:
Dominique was in an accident with a big rig. The truck was speeding and couldn’t stop in time. Traffic cameras showed Dominque running a red light at the time of the crash.
While the truck driver was found to be 60 percent responsible, Dominique was found to be 40 percent liable for the wreck. The injury settlement was for $20,000. Pure comparative negligence law allows for fault to be deducted ($8,000), adjusting the amount to $12,000.
Negligence of other parties could also be questioned. What if the truck’s brake pads were faulty in the example above? Then the brake pad manufacturer could also be held liable.
Many moving pieces come with each commercial truck accident. Upon close inspection things can get complicated. You’ll need an attorney who can look at your case and know how to proceed to get you the best possible results.
It helps to know whose policy will cover what. Floridians live in a no-fault state. Filing a claim with your own insurance to kick-start payments is one option. Drivers of vehicles registered in Florida at the time of the accident are covered under personal injury protection insurance (PIP) for at least $10,000, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Before filing a claim, it’s best to speak with a lawyer qualified in commercial truck accident law. Depending upon your situation, you may be able to file a claim against the truck’s insurance company. This route can provide a much bigger and better outcome.
Large trucks can do serious damage. Voltaire and Stan Lee agree, “With great power comes great responsibility.” These massive vehicles can cause more than disorder. Therefore, trucking liability insurance covers more and isn’t cheap.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
Even though insurance is required by the state and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, some trucks fall through the cracks. Don’t give up if you’re hit by a trucker without any or enough insurance. Both medical expenses and property damage can be covered by uninsured motorist policies. This coverage is typical with every auto policy and usually even covers pedestrians.
Mack truck crash survivors don’t get a badge of honor. The long road to recovery begins while bills mount. The harsh reality is, these aren’t exactly fairy tale endings. When paychecks stop and medical bills multiply, life takes an ugly turn.
A huge cost that can come with commercial truck accidents is medical care. When injuries aren’t serious, your life isn’t as disrupted. Perhaps a few doctor visits can put you on the mend. While uncommon, this scenario means lower compensation.
Lengthy hospital stays may be necessary. Multiple surgeries may be needed. Reconstructive procedures may be recommended. Physical and/or emotional therapy may be in your future. While helpful, these services aren’t done at bargain prices. You’ll need to be compensated for present and future medical costs that the accident caused.
Lost wages also factor into settlement amounts. Paychecks are needed after a crash more than ever. But you may not be able to work. How long will you be out of work? Do you have a job you may not ever physically be able to do again because of your injuries?
Property damage is also taken into consideration. Was your vehicle totaled? Did you have items inside the vehicle that were destroyed? Ruined property is accounted for when calculating a settlement demand.
The Settlement Process
Commercial trucking companies have serious legal representation. Moving forward with a claim can be intimidating. There are deadlines to meet. Rules must be followed. This process can make you feel like you’ve been run over again.
Filing a Claim
Contact your insurance company. File a claim. How hard could it be? What seems like child’s play quickly turns complicated. Insurance adjusters seek ways to reduce their payout. These people can even trick you into accepting blame for a crash you didn’t cause.
Filing a claim doesn’t have to be stressful. Hiring a credible attorney can make your life so much easier. Forget worrying over statements insurance companies require. Let your legal representation handle these sticky situations. Firms like Rebein Law protect you and your wallet. It’s your lawyer’s job to ensure no money is left on the table.
Sometimes insurance companies need help to see things clearly. It’s a frequent practice to throw lowball offers out first. If you accept, great for them. If you don’t accept, they’ve lost nothing.
Your attorney steps up to provide evidence as to why you need the requested dollar amount. This approach is more casual in nature. Agreements can often be reached this way.
Mediation and Arbitration
Another informal way to iron out arguments is mediation. A trained mediator attempts to hash out a solution by bringing everyone together. Once a resolution is reached, parties can either reject or accept it. The final decision is nonbinding. Nobody is legally obligated to stick to outlined terms.
More formal than mediation, arbitration is like court. Decisions made here matter. Arbitrators are akin to judges. What they say goes. Parties must abide by the final say.
Has it become clear the insurance company won’t compensate you properly? Going to trial is the last resort. Cue the “Law and Order” sound effect. Not every attorney has actual jury trial experience. You’ll need a lawyer who knows his way around the courtroom.
Average Settlement Amounts
There’s no average amount for Florida commercial truck accident settlements. However, you can guesstimate figures based on damage done and negligence. The worse your injuries are, the higher your settlement could be because of expected medical costs.
Coming out of an 18-wheeler crash without serious pain is nothing short of miraculous. Keep in mind that flesh wounds don’t add up to much on paper. Settlements for these injuries may be anywhere from $7,000 to $500,000-plus.
What could be considered a minor injury? Basically, these are wounds that can be recovered from fairly easily such as:
- Dislocated joints
- Scrapes, gashes and cuts
- Sprains and fractures
- Torn ligaments or muscles
Did a commercial truck accident cause life-altering damage? Compensation should reflect your pain. Depending on the negligence of the liable party, a settlement for these injuries could range from $100k into the millions.
What injuries are severe or even catastrophic?
- Blunt head trauma
- Damage to neck and back
- Disfigurement and/or scarring
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb(s)
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury or head trauma
Note: Concussions, broken bones, emotional problems and psychological trauma are not always easy to categorize. Some could start out minor but become major problems over time.
When a tractor-trailer crash ends the life of a loved one, justice must be served. Make things right. If extreme negligence caused the wreck, punitive damages can be sought. Settlement amounts for wrongful deaths can exceed eight figures.
Come up for air before going after a settlement. Learn the true value of your claim. Insurance adjusters only care about their bottom line. Don’t let intimidation tactics fluster you. A knowledgeable lawyer can determine the right dollar figure.
Understanding how cases get settled keeps you in the loop. Staying informed lets you see the difference a qualified attorney makes. You’ll know what to expect and where you stand.
You can’t afford to waste this opportunity – legal representation is a must! Hire an experienced attorney to get the outcome you need. Contact Rebein Law. We’ll review your claim for free. Our team has what it takes to win- we do it all the time and we can do it for you!
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