Unfortunately, truck accidents are not uncommon in the State of Florida. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reported that in 2017 alone, there were nearly 32,000 accidents involving a truck on the roads of Florida – of which 27 people were killed, and 1,053 received injuries. It is advisable to learn as much as you can about the process surrounding making a claim after being involved in a trucking accident. A vital part of this is knowing the specific details of truck accident settlements. Each semi-truck accident case is unique, and a truck accident attorney from The Law Place will be able to help you fully understand the facts and build up a strong claim for you or your loved one.
If you or a loved one have recently been a victim of a semi-truck accident, contact The Law Place today! With a team possessing over 75 years of combined experience and many of our lawyers being AVVO 10.0 rated, you can be confident your personal injury claim will be in the best hands. Our law firm can provide a dedicated attorney-client relationship and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the best possible settlement to suit your damages.
Contact our office now at (941) 444-4444 to organize a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Place. Phone lines are open 24/7 for your convenience.
What Do I Do Following a Semi-Truck Accident?
A truck accident can be a traumatic and potentially life-altering experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. This is completely understandable, but it is important to try and maintain a steady head as you go through the process of a truck accident settlement. A personal injury lawyer will be able to give you a helping hand and take some of the worries off your shoulders.
The Law Place suggests the following:
- Health and Safety – It is important to remain as calm as possible and to prioritize your health and safety as best as you can.
- Check for Any Injuries – It is vital that, if you are conscious, you check yourself over for any possible injuries you sustained in the collision. If you are not injured, then it would be helpful to make yourself available to give reasonable assistance to other drivers injured in the collision. However, do not move anybody who appears to have severe injuries, such as head, spine, or neck injuries.
- Contact the Police – As per Florida Statute 316.062, you are legally required to make the police aware of the existence and location of a crash. A report should be filed within 10 days following a vehicle collision.
- Contact the Emergency Services and Seek Medical Attention – After an accident, if you are conscious and it has not already been done, call an ambulance as soon as possible if any injuries have been sustained. As per Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical attention within two weeks of being involved in a crash for it to be considered in your claim. Even if you think you are uninjured, it is still best to receive attention to ensure you are ok.
- Collect Evidence and Witness Details – If you are able to, it is best to collect pictures of the collision, injuries, any damage to your vehicle, condition of the road, and any other important details of evidence to aid in your claim later on. It is also important to collect the contact information of the truck driver, including names, phone numbers, and vehicle registration numbers. Witnesses can also be useful in your trucking accident case, so it’s best to get their details too.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – You are required to contact your insurance company within 24 hours of the collision to make them aware of your motor vehicle accident. However, it is important you don’t tell your insurance company any details about the crash. Otherwise, they may use this information against you to reduce your settlement value.
- Seek Legal Representation – In order to file a successful claim, it is best to seek legal representation from a reputable law firm, such as The Law Place.
Determining the Amount of a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement
Truck accidents can leave behind an immense amount of emotional and physical damage, and the truck accident settlements that follow will depend on what damages your case involves. Some examples of possible damages that could be awarded in your case include:
- Medical Bills – Truck accidents are very dangerous and, unfortunately, will often lead to necessary time in the emergency room. For any medical bills that you receive because of your collision, you may be able to claim back these costs, as long as you have proof of these medical expenses.
- Pain and Suffering – The average semi-truck accident will, unfortunately, cause some physical and/or mental suffering and, in extreme cases, loss of enjoyment in life (e.g., not being able to take part in an activity you once could before the collision). This type of damage is hard to prove and then quantify into a value, so it is best to have a skilled attorney on hand to help if you believe you are owed this.
- Lost Wages – For any lost wages you encountered due to your collision (e.g., taking time off to recover from an injury), you will be able to claim back these earnings. If you are sadly unable to return to work, you may be able to also claim for lost earning potential.
- Property Damages – It is unavoidable that your vehicle may sustain some damage following a collision with a tractor-trailer. For any property damage, you will be able to claim for any possible costs, such as any repair or replacement expenses.
- Wrongful Death – If you have sadly lost a family member in a commercial truck collision and it was not their fault, then Florida Statute 768.21 permits you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The settlement amount for such a lawsuit commonly covers any funeral expenses as well as the loss of consortium.
- Punitive Damages – This form of damages is rare, but it is helpful to be aware of it. There are multiple regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies have to abide by. If these rules are seriously violated, then courts could award the victim punitive damages to punish the at-fault party. These can be substantial.
If you believe you could be owed these damages, contact The Law Place today to organize a meeting with one of our attorneys.
Minimum Truck Settlement: Understanding the Basics
When discussing settlements in truck accident cases, it’s important to understand the concept of a minimum truck settlement. This refers to the lowest amount of compensation one can expect from a truck accident claim. The minimum settlement is not a fixed amount but rather depends on various factors, including the severity of the injuries, the extent of property damage, and the specific circumstances of the accident.
In truck accident cases, the damages can be substantial due to the size and weight of trucks, leading to more severe injuries and greater property damage. The minimum settlement typically covers basic expenses such as medical bills, repair costs for any damaged property, and compensation for lost wages if the injuries prevent the victim from working. Additionally, it may include compensation for pain and suffering, though this can vary widely based on the individual case.
It’s crucial to note that each truck accident case is unique, and the minimum settlement reflects the specific details of each incident. Insurance companies often start with a lower offer, which is why having a skilled attorney can be crucial in negotiating a fair settlement that adequately covers all incurred and potential future expenses.
What is the Average Settlement for a 18-Wheeler Accident?
Determining the average settlement for a 18-wheeler accident can be complex, as these settlements can vary significantly based on the specifics of each case. However, settlements in 18-wheeler accidents tend to be higher on average than those involving regular passenger vehicles, due to the greater potential for severe damage and injury.
Several key factors influence the settlement amount in 18-wheeler accidents. These include the severity of injuries sustained, the degree of negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company, the impact of the injuries on the victim’s life, and the total amount of property damage. For instance, victims who sustain long-term or permanent injuries may receive higher settlements to cover ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and loss of future earnings.
In addition to compensatory damages, some settlements may also include punitive damages, especially if the truck driver or trucking company was found to be grossly negligent or in violation of safety regulations. These punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party and deter future negligence.
While specific figures can vary widely, settlements in 18-wheeler accidents often range from the tens of thousands to millions of dollars. The large size and weight of these vehicles, combined with the potential for serious violations of trucking regulations, contribute to these higher amounts.
To get an accurate estimate of a potential settlement in an 18-wheeler accident case, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling such claims. They can provide a more personalized assessment based on the details of the case.
How Much Is a Typical Pain and Suffering Settlement?
How much will be awarded for pain and suffering depends on a variety of factors, so it is hard to provide an average settlement figure. Pain and suffering are not considered economic damages, so there is no universal standard of measurement. To determine your settlement amount, the courts will consider your:
- General health.
- The severity of your injuries.
- Any long-term consequences of your injury.
- The direct and indirect economic cost of your injury.
A common method of calculating this type of settlement is the ‘multiplier method.’ This is where the economic damages are multiplied by a number between 1-5, depending on the severity of injuries. For example, if an accident victim sustains a life-altering spinal cord injury and has $10,000 in medical expenses, then an attorney will argue $50,000 would be a fair settlement.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Offer From a Car Accident?
In the case that all parties involved agree to the settlement value, then the insurance companies involved will have 20 days to pay this value, as per Florida Statute 627.4265. If your claim is a personal injury protection (PIP) claim, the insurance companies will have 30 days to pay the claim from the time it is submitted to them, as per Florida Statute 627.736.
Who Is Liable for My Commercial Truck Accident Case?
Truck accidents can be caused by a range of things, as who is found liable for a collision will vary case by case. Some examples of who could be found liable following truck accidents include, but are not limited to:
- The Truck Driver – In a lot of trucking cases, the fault could be with the truck drivers. If you believe driver error caused the accident, then they could be found liable. Driver error includes distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, and other violations. Every driver owes a duty of care to others on the road. This means they legally must behave as a reasonable person would to ensure the safety of other people. If they breach this (e.g., using their phone while driving), then they could be found liable for your case.
- Trucking Company – A trucking company can be held liable for a collision either directly through their own fault (e.g., knowingly hiring an unqualified driver) or via vicarious liability. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that trucking companies can be held liable for any motor vehicle accident involving one of their trucks or drivers, regardless of ownership status or employment.
- Vehicle Parts Manufacturer – If a manufacturer has assembled and distributed defective parts that have then caused a malfunction that contributed to a truck accident, they could be held liable for the negligent distribution of products.
- Government Entity – A government entity within the State of Florida could be found liable in a case if the accident was caused by something under government jurisdiction. For example, bad road design, poorly maintained roads, or missing road signs that are considered necessary for the safety of drivers.
- Maintenance Team – In the case that the mechanics tasked with maintaining the truck make any crucial errors when maintaining, inspecting, or repairing the vehicle, and this fault then leads to a collision on the roads, this can mean the maintenance team could be found liable.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident? FAQ
What is the average truck accident settlement in the United States?
The average truck accident settlement can vary significantly, but generally, these settlements tend to be higher than those for accidents involving only passenger vehicles. This is due to the larger size and weight of trucks, which often result in more severe injuries and damage. Settlements can range from tens of thousands to several million dollars, depending on the specifics of the case.
What factors influence the amount of a truck accident settlement?
Several factors influence the amount of a truck accident settlement, including the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, the duration of medical treatment, lost wages, and the impact on the victim’s quality of life. Additionally, the level of negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company plays a significant role.
Do punitive damages affect the average truck accident settlement?
Punitive damages can significantly affect the average truck accident settlement, especially in cases where the truck driver or company’s actions were particularly reckless or negligent. While not awarded in every case, punitive damages are intended to punish wrongful conduct and can substantially increase the total settlement amount.
Can the presence of multiple liable parties affect the settlement amount in a truck accident?
Yes, the presence of multiple liable parties can affect the settlement amount in a truck accident. When several parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, or even vehicle manufacturers, are found liable, it can increase the potential sources of compensation, potentially leading to a higher settlement amount.
Contact The Truck Accident Attorneys at The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck collision, then contact The Law Place today! Here at our law firm, our attorneys possess 75 years of combined experience, and many are AVVO 10.0 rated, so you can be confident that your case will be well handled and handled with the utmost dedication. Our team recognizes motor vehicle accidents can be extremely damaging, both mentally and physically, so we will fight tirelessly to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
A consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys will allow you the opportunity to receive vital information regarding the legalities surrounding your case and an idea of what our team can do for you. Contact us using our toll-free number, (941) 444-4444, to organize a free consultation with an attorney at our firm. Phone lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, for your convenience.