When you get into an accident with a commercial truck, the sheer size and weight of the vehicle can do extensive damage to you and your car. Because of the amount of damage an 18-wheeler can do, the settlement you’ll receive is likely to be much more than what you’d get in an accident with a passenger car.
The cost of your accident will depend on what percentage the truck driver is at fault and the severity of your injuries. Because there are so many factors that affect a commercial truck accident, there’s no typical cost for a settlement in Texas. Depending on the details of your case, your accident may cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to more than $100 million.
In 2018, a Texas jury awarded $101 million in an accident involving a truck. While the victim didn’t initially have any injuries, he later needed extensive neck surgery and was no longer able to work. The truck driver was found to be under the influence of drugs and had several violations that should have rendered him unfit to operate a truck.
In 2017, a victim in a truck accident in Texas that caused him to become a quadrapalegic was awarded $140 million. In that case, the truck driver was found to be in violation of multiple federal and state regulations, and had also been involved in multiple other accidents.
Given all the factors in those particular cases, the jury awarded some of the largest civil penalties in personal injury cases involving a truck. While your accident may not involve the level of negligence found in those incidents, you may still be able to make a case for a large claim. A commercial truck accident lawyer can review the specific factors in your case to help determine what the cost of your accident may be.
What Can Impact the Cost of a Commercial Truck Accident Settlement?
Even if there are similarities, no two truck accidents are alike. What both the driver and victim were doing at the time of the accident, the road conditions, the weather, and the records of the truck driver and trucking company all come into play when determining the cost of a commercial truck accident.
Other factors that can impact the cost include:
- The severity of your injuries. The more extensive your injuries and necessary rehabilitation, the higher the cost. If the accident resulted in a fatality, that may result in an even larger settlement.
- Medical expenses. Diagnostic tests, hospital stays, surgeries, and doctors’ visits all add up. The more medical attention you need as a result of your injuries, the more compensation you’re likely to receive. It’s also important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident to start documenting your injuries.
- How much your life was impacted. If you were able to fully recover and return to living your life as normal, you’ll probably get less than, say, if you lose the use of a limb as the result of the accident and are no longer able to work.
- How much damage was done to your property. The final cost of your commercial truck accident will also take into account the level of damage to your vehicle as well as any other property that was involved.
- The driver’s behavior. When a truck driver acts negligently or carelessly and causes an accident, the costs are likely to be higher than if the accident was caused by inclement weather. If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, was violating traffic rules, or fell asleep behind the wheel will all be taken into account. Past behavior, such as previous driving violations, will also be considered.
- If the driver was on the clock. If the accident occurred while the driver was working, then the trucking company is likely to have some liability for the accident. That means deeper pockets to go after in the case of an accident and a potentially higher settlement.
The stronger case you have, the higher the settlement for your commercial truck accident is likely to be. A commercial vehicle accident lawyer will gather all of the needed documentation, evidence, and witness statements to show the expenses involved in your specific case. They will represent your best interests when going up against insurance providers and trucking companies so that — even if it’s not in the millions of dollars — you get a settlement that fairly compensates you for your injuries.
How a Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck, it can be a life-changing experience. With so many factors to take into account, you may not even know where to start. A commercial truck accident lawyer can help you assess the extent of your damages (both current and future) to determine what the cost of your accident may be.
When you work with a commercial vehicle accident lawyer who has experience in truck accidents, you have a better chance of obtaining a higher settlement amount. That’s because an experienced attorney is familiar with the rules that specifically pertain to the trucking industry, has an understanding of what factors and costs are involved, and has the skills needed to negotiate against trucking and insurance companies who try to keep your settlement low.
At FVF, our team of commercial truck accident lawyers in Austin, TX, will work to get you the compensation you deserve, no matter the true cost of your accident. For a free, no-pressure consultation, contact us today.