Accidents with semi trucks can cause serious damage — both to your vehicle and to you. Just how much damage, including the long-term impacts of the accident, aren’t always known immediately, but they are vital when determining what type of settlement you can receive.
There’s no simple equation used when calculating your settlement in a semi-truck case. The amount of damages you may be able to receive depends on the specifics of your accident, and a semi-truck accident lawyer may have to do a lot of investigating and negotiating to determine your settlement amount. Because of this, it can take a lot longer to reach a suitable settlement than you might expect.
Factors to Consider When Calculating a Settlement in a Semi-Truck Case
Damages in a semi-truck accident are broken up into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills, car repair bills, and other out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic damages include intangible damages such as pain and suffering. Here are a few of the factors an 18-wheeler accident lawyer considers when calculating your settlement:
- Medical expenses. Your lawyer will review your medical bills and statements to calculate how much you spent on medical expenses as a result of the accident. Because you can experience severe injuries in an accident with a semi truck, you may need extensive medical attention. Be sure to keep copies of anything related to doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests and imaging, rehabilitation, and hospital stays so your attorney can get the most accurate accounting of your out-of-pocket costs.
- Future medical expenses. If you’ll need ongoing medical treatment or surgeries as a result of the accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses. This amount is often based on expert testimony from your doctor or other medical professionals, who can estimate the cost of your future medical expenses.
- Property damage. Your vehicle is also likely to have experienced extensive damage in an accident with an 18-wheeler. When calculating damages, your attorney will look at how much it costs to repair or replace your vehicle or any other property that was damaged in the accident. It’s important to keep copies of any estimates or repairs, as these costs can factor into your overall settlement amount.
- Lost earnings. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may have to take some time off from work to recover or to attend medical appointments. If your injuries are severe, you may have to stop working altogether. As part of your settlement, you may be able to recover some of the income you lost from missed work. You may even be able to recover future lost income if you’re unable to return to work because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. Because pain and suffering is a non-economic damage, it can be more difficult to calculate. When considering how much you may be able to recover for pain and suffering, your lawyer will look at the severity of your injuries and any hardships you face as a result. The more severe your injuries are and the more they negatively impact your life, the more you’re likely to receive. For example, if you simply broke your arm in an accident with an 18-wheeler and were back at work in a few weeks with no long-term effects, you’re less likely to recover this type of damages than if your arm needed to be amputated as the result of the accident and you could no longer work in your chosen profession.
- Fault. Determining who is at fault for the accident is also taken into consideration when calculating your settlement in Texas. If your actions didn’t contribute to the accident at all, then you are likely to receive the amount of damages calculated by your lawyer. But if it’s found that your actions contributed to the accident, your settlement amount may be decreased accordingly. For example, if it’s determined that you were 30 percent at fault for the collision, then you would only receive 70 percent of the estimated settlement.
How Long Will It Take to Receive a Settlement in a Semi-Truck Case?
While it may seem like gathering the information needed for your accident is relatively straightforward, reaching a fair settlement can be a long and drawn-out process. Lawyers, insurance companies, and trucking companies may spend a lot of time investigating the accident, gathering needed bills and statements, and negotiating a settlement, which often means the first number you hear will not be the final amount paid out.
It can take months or even years for a final settlement to be reached in a semi-truck case. Intentional delays by insurance providers, injury healing time, and negotiations between parties can all postpone the final settlement.
Working with semi-truck accident lawyers near you can help to speed up the process and ensure that your settlement doesn’t get purposely delayed by insurance or trucking companies. A semi-truck accident lawyer can also make sure that you don’t accept a settlement that is less than what you deserve, and they will fight to get you the most compensation possible.
How FVF Can Help
It can be tempting to accept a settlement offer from an intimidating trucking company when you are ready to move on from your accident. But rushing a settlement can mean accepting an offer that is much lower than what you’re entitled to.
At FVF, our semi-truck accident lawyers in Austin, TX, can give you a good idea of what type of compensation you could receive in your case. Once we know how much you’re entitled to, we tirelessly advocate to get you the full amount so that you aren’t financially devastated by your accident.
To find out more about how we calculate settlements, contact us today to schedule a free, remote consultation with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Austin.