Table of Contents
Typically, 18-wheeler accidents result in larger settlements than motor vehicle accidents. It is common for settlements to range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of damages. Some cases could result in a payout of millions of dollars due to the severity of the victim’s injuries and damages.
An $8.5 million settlement was reached in a fatal 18-wheeler vs. car accident in 2020. A Nacogdoches family secured this settlement just days before the trial. The collision occurred when a passenger vehicle pulled in front of the truck, resulting in minor injuries to the car’s driver and the tragic death of the truck driver.
Understanding 18-wheeler accident settlements is essential for victims seeking compensation. Your circumstances will influence the final settlement amount, but consulting qualified truck accident lawyers can clarify your case’s potential value. Call Arash Law at (888) 488-1391 for a free case evaluation.
How Lawyers Assess Your Truck Accident Settlement Value
When it comes to 18-wheeler accidents, understanding the potential settlement value is crucial. Here are some of the elements your truck accident lawyers consider when calculating a potential settlement value:
- Severity of Injuries – The extent of injuries sustained in an 18-wheeler accident significantly determines compensation. From minor injuries to life-altering trauma, severity matters.
- Medical Expenses – Medical bills can skyrocket after a truck accident. These expenses are a crucial consideration in settlement negotiations.
- Impact on Daily Life – If your life has been substantially altered due to the accident, it can impact your settlement. This includes disruptions to your daily routine and quality of life.
- Pain and Suffering – The emotional toll of an accident is often considered in settlements. Pain, suffering, and emotional distress are factors to discuss with your legal team.
- Property Damage – Settlements are based on the severity of the damage to your vehicle. Documenting the extent of motor vehicle damage is essential.
- Negligence of the Truck Driver – If the truck driver was negligent, reckless, or violated traffic laws, they may be held more responsible. This can influence the settlement amount.
These factors combined can result in settlements ranging from minimal compensation to substantial amounts, potentially reaching $100 Million in cases involving severe injuries and clear driver negligence. Each case is unique, and outcomes may vary.
While every case is distinct, you can estimate your potential settlement value by discussing your situation with experienced truck accident attorneys. They can provide insights based on similar topics and their expertise.
Determining The Damages You Can Recover After an 18-Wheeler Accident
To calculate the damages you are entitled to, your injury lawyer must compile various pieces of evidence documenting your losses’ financial costs or value. The following evidence can be presented to the insurance company:
- Medical costs
- Bills for counseling sessions
- Pay stubs
- Payment invoices
- Project costs or hourly rates for freelance employment
- Signed contracts specifying the payment to be sent for the services done
- Timesheets and work schedules
- Vehicle damage and replacement quotes
- Diminished value estimates
- Bank statements
- Photos of your severe injuries
On the other hand, non-economic damages resulting from an accident depend on how it affects your life. The monetary value of non-economic damages is often difficult to calculate because they are considerably more complicated to measure.
These losses are given a monetary value based on several variables. When calculating your non-economic damages, your lawyer will consider the following:
- Your age
- Health condition before the truck accident
- Disabilities you’ve sustained
- How the injuries affect your daily life
- The duration of the injuries
- The severity of the injuries
- The degree to which you can recover
- Life expectancy
- Expertise from professionals in the fields of economics, medicine, and life care planning
The non-economic losses you sustain are more difficult to observe than your financial losses. As a result, they might substantially influence your compensation as they illustrate the greater impact of the truck accident on your life. Your truck accident lawyer calculates your losses and ensures you receive the maximum settlement.
How Is Fault Determined After An 18-Wheeler Accident?
California is a “pure comparative negligence” state when it comes to determining fault and awarding damages in personal injury cases.
In a pure comparative negligence system, a plaintiff’s recovery decreases with their level of fault. Suppose the defendant is deemed 70% at fault and the plaintiff 30% at fault for an accident resulting in $100,000 in damages; the defendant would only be responsible for $70,000. Hence, the victim will receive $70,000.
Even if the plaintiff is found to be more at fault than the defendant(s), they can still recover some damages. For instance, if the plaintiff is 90% at fault and the damages are $100,000, the plaintiff would still receive $10,000.
The closer the driver is to 100%, the more responsible he is for the accident, which results in more liability. If that is the case, the settlement will be higher.
Identifying Liability in 18-Wheeler Accidents for Successful Settlements
A favorable settlement in a truck accident case also hinges on establishing liability. Various factors can contribute to this determination. In some instances, driver errors alone can pinpoint the responsible party. Truck drivers may be held responsible for engaging in reckless and negligent behaviors, including:
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving poses a huge risk, particularly when operating large vehicles such as 18-wheelers. The consequences of distracted driving can be catastrophic, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
- Speeding – Excessive speed can cause vehicle loss of control, extensive property damage, and harm to other road users. A truck driver exceeding the speed limit heightens the likelihood of rollover accidents, especially when carrying heavy cargo.
- Drunk Driving – Operating a truck under the influence of alcohol has dire consequences. It impairs reaction times and decision-making abilities, substantially increasing the risk of accidents and jeopardizing the driver’s employment.
- Drowsy Driving – Fatigue significantly impairs a driver’s reaction time and judgment, making them more accident-prone. Overtired truck drivers are at an elevated risk of causing accidents.
- Aggressive Driving – Aggressive behaviors like speeding and tailgating can create hazardous situations, leading to serious collisions and fatalities.
Taking a broader perspective on your case, you might discover that trucking companies are prone to making profound errors that result in accidents. Convincing insurance companies of the responsible party’s negligence can be achieved by presenting compelling evidence.
Can I Sue The Trucking Company for My Injuries?
The responsibility for your accident may also extend to the truck driver’s employer. If the employer fails to adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, they could be liable for your injuries.
These are some of the guidelines that must be followed strictly:
- Operators of 18-wheelers must comply with hours-of-service regulations.
- Drivers of cargo-filled vehicles can drive for 11 hours after ten hours off.
- Over-fatigued drivers are more likely to cause accidents.
Commercial vehicle carriers are responsible for ensuring drivers adhere to these rules. The company could be liable if the employer knew about or promoted such a breach.
It is also possible that multiple parties are liable for your injuries – for example, the driver, people who loaded the truck, the truck manufacturer, and others. Our lawyers will examine your case and determine who is responsible. We can then help you file claims against each of them.
What is A Good Settlement Offer for My Truck Accident?
You will receive payment for your past, present, and future expenses in a fair settlement offer. You will be able to determine whether the settlement offer is reasonable with the help of your lawyer. Moreover, they can help you determine all of the factors that should be considered in the settlement, such as severity of injuries, lost income, permanent disability, wrongful death, and more.
We at Arash Law, headed by the esteemed Arash Khorsandi, Esq., know how a truck accident can change your life. You deserve justice, and we’re dedicated to getting it for you. Contact our lawyers at (888) 488-1391 to find out how to get your settlement.
Do 18-Wheeler Accidents Go to Trial Often?
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, it’s natural to consider the potential trajectory of your case. While many personal injury cases are settled through negotiations between the involved parties, there are situations where a satisfactory resolution isn’t reached.
You may end up in front of a judge if your 18-wheeler accident case hasn’t been settled out of court. Therefore, you will need an experienced truck accident lawyer to assist you. Their experience will be invaluable in challenging the opposing side, presenting evidence, and protecting your rights throughout the trial.
How Long Does It Take To Resolve a Compensation Claim?
Solving 18-wheeler accident cases can take a few months to several years. There is, however, a great deal of variation in the duration of a settlement or trial, depending on the severity of the injury. A victim’s recovery can shorten the time. But with 18-wheelers involved, this is rarely the case.
Accidents involving trucks can lead to serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. It is also difficult to determine the victim’s medical expenses because it may be unclear what their medical needs are in the aftermath of the accident.
Filing a lawsuit is advisable until the victim’s treatment plan is resolved. There is a 2-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in California that must be considered.
Have You Been Injured In An 18-Wheeler Accident? Call Experienced 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident in California, you should consult an experienced truck accident lawyer. Arash Law, under the management of Arash Khorsandi, Esq., has recovered more than $500 million for California clients, ensuring you receive the compensation you are entitled to. We’re considered one of California’s most respected and renowned personal injury law firms.
Most lawyers don’t understand how a truck accident differs from a car accident, but our lawyers have decades of experience handling these cases. They know what it takes to obtain a settlement for a truck accident. You need a lawyer who knows how to fight back, and that’s what you get with us by your side.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (888) 488-1391 for a free consultation. We know how difficult it can be for you and your family to cope with the aftermath of an accident.