When involved in an 18-wheeler accident and wanting to get an injury claim, one of the most common questions that appear is how much compensation is owed. The truth is that whenever there was negligence from the truck manufacturer, trucking company, or the truck driver involved, there is a very good possibility the compensation offered will be high. Obviously, this does depend on how severe the accident was but with such large trucks, damages are rarely minimal.
When discussing cases with 18-wheeler accident lawyers, most clients first think about averages. They want to know the average settlement for such accidents. The problem is that nobody can offer you such an average. This is because every single situation is different.
The main factor that determines how much you receive is how serious injuries were. When damages and injuries are particularly severe, the settlement is much higher. When a person died, settlements can actually reach millions of dollars.
Calculating Accident Settlements
Both personal injury attorneys and insurance companies use formulas to calculate a fair settlement. This can be quite complicated to use for the average person though. What you should remember is that these things are considered to calculate all settlement amounts:
- Medical expenses – This applies even when using your own insurance policies.
- Property damages – Which usually includes all the damages the vehicle had.
- Future lost income – When ongoing treatment is needed and you end up losing income because of missing work or not being able to work.
- Lost earnings – Calculated based on how much work you miss because of the accident.
- Estimated future expenses – Usually referring to future medical treatments required because of the injuries suffered.
- General damages – This includes pain and suffering, together with other things that are much more difficult to put a price on.
Truck Driver Negligence
In many cases, the fault is of the truck driver since they are negligent. Negligence can appear because of numerous reasons. There are also laws that are regulating how truck drivers work. As an example, regulations are in place for how many hours a truck driver can stay behind the wheel. When the driver does not respect these hours, it is a clear negligence that cannot be contested since they are recorded in the logbook.
When the rules set by the Department of Transportation are broken, like how many hours the truck driver can drive, federal criminal prosecution is possible. This also applies to the companies that pressure their drivers into breaking DOT rules.
Suing A Trucking Company
When the company pressures the driver to break the rules, you can sue it. You can also do this in several other situations since company negligence can appear in several scenarios. Usually, the common problem identified is that the trucking company did something to save some money. Whenever the company cut corners and sacrifices safety to do this, a lawsuit is possible.
The last thing to highlight is that the trucking company is sometimes liable for the actions of the employees. Also, it is possible to file a lawsuit if the trucking firm hired a driver that had a bad safety record or was convicted of DUIs.