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Semi Truck Accident Settlement

Semi Truck Accident Settlement

The period after a semi-truck accident is often one of the most trying and exhausting times in the lives of those affected. Along with injuries, pain, and emotional trauma, most victims are weighing how they will pay for their expenses and evaluating how their accident may impact their health and their lives in the long term.

For many, this means deciding whether or not to pursue legal action against semi-truck drivers, commercial carriers, and other parties involved in the accident. Doing so, however, requires that you understand your rights and options, and the likely outcome of a case like yours. Here’s what you need to know about semi-truck accident settlements.

Damages in Semi-Truck Accident Settlements in Austin, TX

Because of the large size of commercial vehicles, semi-truck accidents are often quite severe, with serious damages. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds (or more, in some cases) and may be hauling bulky or unwieldy loads. By comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs somewhere between 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, which means that when one is involved in an accident with a semi-truck, the passenger vehicle driver almost always sustains the brunt of the damage.

If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, you may have a case for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses. Victims in semi-truck accident settlements often experience severe injuries, ranging from broken limbs and fractures to permanent brain damage or paralysis. Caring for these injuries can be quite expensive, and past — and any anticipated future — medical costs are typically included as damages in semi-truck accident claims.

In addition to medical bills, you may have to pay for the following as well:

  1. Professional caregiver services
  2. Medical equipment costs
  3. Other household services
  • Lost income. There may be impacts to your salary or wages as well. If you have to miss work because you are injured, the wages you would have earned are typically included as part of your settlement. Your semi truck accident lawyer may also estimate future lost earnings — or loss of earning capacity if you are permanently unable to perform your job duties due to an injury.
  • Non-economic losses. Not all damages in a semi-truck accident settlement can be directly tied to a financial value. Injured victims and those who have lost a loved one to an accident often experience emotional and physical hardship as well. For instance, you might claim compensation for:
  1. Pain and suffering
  2. Emotional trauma
  3. Loss of companionship
  4. Loss of enjoyment of life
  5. Other non-economic losses
  • Other expenses. There are many ways that a serious semi-truck accident can impact your life, so there may be expenses associated with your accident as well, including:
  1. Property damage
  2. Mental health treatment
  3. Out-of-pocket expenses

What Factors Can Affect Your Semi-Truck Accident Settlement in Austin, TX?

Unfortunately, semi-truck accident settlements can be quite complicated. Most serious accidents require the legal prowess of an experienced lawyer to prove damages and argue for necessary compensation, but that expertise is particularly important in a semi-truck accident case.

Because semi-truck drivers typically operate as independent contractors, they often carry their own insurance policy, separate from their carrier’s. Determining who is liable for damages among these different entities can be quite complicated.

Commercial carriers and drivers are also required to abide by state and/or federal regulations, which can play a role in your case. For instance, 18-wheeler truck drivers are legally required to take breaks at regular intervals. When drivers don’t follow these rules — or when employers train or encourage them not to — it may impact your settlement.

The commercial driving industry is also known for problems with alcohol and drug abuse, dangerous driving, and other negligence that may play a part in your case. Additionally, the severity of your injuries, the cost to treat them, and their impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones will also affect any potential settlement.

How Long Do Semi-Truck Accident Settlements Take in Texas?

As with all cases, the answer to this question varies depending on the specific details of your unique case. A variety of factors can affect how long it takes to achieve a settlement in a semi-truck accident case, including:

  • The number of people injured in the case. Case complexity can certainly be a factor in how long it may take to settle a case. As with other types of cases, tractor-trailer truck accident cases can potentially involve many injured parties, which makes the case more complex. Cases involving more than one person will take much longer than an accident only involving one person.
  • The process of proving liability. Semi-truck drivers and the companies they work for are often backed by powerful insurance companies that often try to place at least a portion of liability on the victim. In these cases it’s extremely important to have an experienced attorney conduct a thorough investigation to prove liability, and this process can take time.
  • The severity of injury. Severe injuries often take much longer to diagnose and treat than minor injuries. In addition, more serious injuries have more impact on your overall livelihood and long-term health. To ensure that you and your family are taken care of in the event of severe injuries, your lawyer will likely have to take time to thoughtfully calculate all of your damages and losses.
  • The compliance of other parties. In semi-truck accident cases, there are a variety of parties and insurance companies involved. Often, the time it takes to settle a case greatly depends on how responsive those parties and companies are. If one or more parties are uncooperative, the length of your case can be extended.
  • The litigation process and jury trial. Personal injury cases such as semi truck accident cases rarely go to trial. However, there is often a negotiation process that your lawyer and the at-fault party’s legal team will go through. Ideally, this yields a sufficient settlement; however, if a settlement can’t be reached there will be a trial by jury, which often can take a significant amount of time.
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Why Hire a Lawyer to Help with Your Semi Truck Accident Settlement?

As mentioned above, commercial vehicle accident cases can be extremely complicated, with large corporations involved that will be willing to put up a fight to avoid a large settlement. Commercial carriers often have large legal teams working for them to reduce payments in cases like these, so it is less likely that you will be able to obtain the financial recovery the law allows without a legal advocate.

Simply estimating the extent of your damages and their financial value may be difficult as well. It may be hard for you to calculate the cost of future medical expenses or the financial compensation you are entitled to for the loss of a loved one. A semi-truck accident lawyer can help you evaluate these damages and understand what your financial recovery should be.

Lastly, if you have been seriously injured or harmed as the result of a semi-truck accident, you need time to recover, both mentally and physically. Hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on your health, by taking the demanding work of negotiating with insurance providers and other parties off your plate.

How Our Austin Truck Accident Lawyers at FVF Law Can Help

If you are considering hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer to help with your case, it’s important to choose the right one. Not all legal teams have the experience or resources to handle semi-truck accident settlements effectively.

At FVF Law, we take our clients’ concerns to heart. We know that clients are coming to us after a very traumatic experience, and we do our best to make the process as swift and easy as possible. More specifically, here’s what we strive to bring to each case.

  • An education-first approach. Our first priority is to help you get the legal resources and advice you need to handle your case. We offer a free case evaluation to any accident victim who contacts us, and we never pressure clients into engaging our services.
  • Compassionate counsel. Our clients aren’t just case numbers to us. We strive to treat accident victims and families with the sensitivity and care they deserve.
  • Exceptional reputation. We maintain stellar reviews on Yelp, Google, and AVVO, and we have a long history of satisfied clients and outstanding case outcomes.
  • Free case consultation. As part of our commitment to accident victims, we offer a free consultation with our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers to help victims like you decide how best to proceed with their case.

Although the period following an accident can be a frustrating and exhausting time, there are people who can help. Our team at FVF Law is happy to offer our expert legal advice and can even help you obtain medical care, find ways to pay for hospital bills, and offer other crucial guidance as you recover from this traumatic event. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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