What Is the Average Settlement for a 18 Wheeler Accident?
Accidents involving 18-wheelers are almost always serious due to the size and weight of the vehicle.
10:40 23 September 2020
These trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and with that much force involved it would be highly unlikely that you could escape a crash involving one without ending up with bills for the hospital, emergency transportation, and missed work.
Once your health and safety are taken care of, one of the first things that is on most people’s minds after an accident like this is usually how you’re going to cover the expenses. In most cases, you’ll need to file a lawsuit if you want to be compensated. But how much can you expect to get in your settlement?
The truth is, there is no “average” settlement because the circumstances of each 18-wheeler accident are unique. How much you could get will depend on several different factors. One of these is the amount of insurance coverage that is available. The more insurance the truck driver or company carries, the larger your settlement is likely to be.
Another factor that will come into play is how badly you are injured and the amount of pain and suffering you endured. Your state’s laws will also be a factor. The same type of case can play out differently depending on if you’re in a no-fault state or an at-fault state.
The Main Causes of Truck Accidents
The amount of your settlement and who is liable may also depend on the cause of your truck accident. The most common reasons 18-wheeler accidents happen are:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Driver error
- Unsafe driving
- Mechanical issues
- Lack of skills and training
- Incorrectly loaded cargo
Some of these accidents are the fault of the driver, some are the fault of the trucking company, while others are the fault of the cargo loading company. A mechanic or parts manufacturer may also be to blame. Many accidents will be the fault of a combination of these.
Determining liability in an 18-wheeler accident can be a complex process. To prove fault, you must present evidence that satisfies the burden of proof in court. This involves proving that either the driver or the trucking company was at fault in the accident. In some states, you’ll need to prove the percentage of fault of every party involved in the crash.
What kind of evidence will you need to prove fault? Some of the types of evidence you may be able to provide are:
- The driver’s log books
- The truck’s black box
- Pictures and videos from the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Employee records
Evidence that the trucking company acted negligently by setting unrealistic schedules for drivers or hiring drivers who didn’t have the qualifications or experience to perform their duties properly may also be used to prove fault.
How Long an 18-Wheeler Lawsuit Takes to Settle
It’s likely that the trucking company or other liable party will want to negotiate after an accident. A court battle is expensive, so many defendants choose to settle out of court to avoid not only the cost of a trial, but also to avoid damage to their reputation. The stronger your evidence is, the more likely you are to receive a settlement.
Although you are likely to avoid court in these cases, the bad news is it may take years for your settlement to be completed. This is due to the length of the investigation and the fact that your truck accident attorney won’t want to go forward with a lawsuit until you are completely finished with treatment for your injuries. Your lawyer can give you more information about covering your bills while you wait.