FREE CONSULTATION

​​How Much Are Commercial Truck Accident Settlements Worth?

Truck accident settlement amounts, tractor trailer, semi-truck accidents

Truck accident settlements are as different as the accidents themselves, with compensation amounts ranging from a few thousand dollars to potentially millions. The specifics of each case, including the extent of injuries and the accident details, play an essential role in determining the settlement value. In truck accident cases, two parties in the same accident can receive different settlements. Hence, each case needs proper individual evaluation.

If you’ve sustained injuries in a truck crash, you should let a truck accident attorney pursue a settlement for you. Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, is an award-winning New York auto accident law firm. Our team can simplify the legal process for you and secure maximum compensation on your behalf. For a free, no-risk consultation, reach out online or call us at 917-540-8728.

What is the Average Truck Accident Settlement Amount?

The average settlement amount of truck accidents is typically between $40,000 and $500,000. However, some settlements can be as low as $10,000 or as high as several million dollars, depending on the severity of the accident and the damages incurred.

Factors that Influence the Truck Accident Settlements

Various factors can influence your truck accident settlement, such as the severity of your injuries, insurance coverage, liability, and state laws. Other factors affecting your settlement value include property damage and emotional distress. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors below to understand how they can affect your compensation.

1. The Severity and Type of Your Injuries

One of the most significant factors affecting your settlement amount is the severity and type of injuries sustained in the truck accident. Injuries like multiple fractures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or back injury will typically result in higher settlement amounts. On the other hand, minor injuries, such as cuts and bruises, may result in lower settlement amounts.

2. Duration of Your Hospital Stay

The length of your hospital stay can also be crucial in determining your settlement amount. For instance, an extended hospital stay could mean a severe injury, leading to long-term physical or emotional consequences. 

In this case, your settlement amount may also take into account the pain and suffering you have endured, as well as any future medical expenses you may incur. It’s essential to consider all of these factors when seeking compensation for your truck accident injury.

3. Liability and Negligence 

Determining the liability and proving negligence is a complicated step in truck accident claims. If the trucking company is insured, the insurance companies may invest in solid defense teams to reduce or avoid paying large settlements. 

Things can get more complicated when the truck driver doesn’t have insurance and is at fault for the accident. In such cases, the company or driver may be entirely responsible for paying you the settlement amount. 

Moreover, when truck drivers are independent contractors, they may have to shoulder the financial burden for any accidents themselves. Their personal insurance might not be enough to cover the accident-related expenses.

In some cases, the truck accident may involve a vehicle defect, and it might be necessary to pursue legal action against the truck manufacturer. This situation adds another layer of complexity to resolving truck accident cases.

Therefore, having a knowledgeable and experienced truck accident attorney by your side is essential to determine liability and ensure you receive the rightful compensation you deserve.

4. Insurance Policies of the Trucking Companies

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates basic insurance requirements for trucking companies and truck drivers. These requirements vary based on the truck’s characteristics and the nature of the goods transported.

FMCSA requires trucking companies to have the following minimum insurance requirements:

For Non-Hazardous Property Transport

  • Trucks with a gross vehicle weight under 10,001 pounds require a minimum liability coverage of $300,000.
  • Trucks exceeding a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds need at least $750,000 in liability insurance.

Specialized Freight Requirements

  • Commercial tankers transporting oil weighing over 10,001 pounds are subject to a minimum liability insurance of $1,000,000.
  • In the case of trucks carrying hazardous substances with a gross motor vehicle weight of over 10,001 pounds, the insurance requirement is a minimum of $5,000,000.

5. Laws of the State Where You Live 

The NYC law determines liability by comparative negligence. This means that the court assigns fault to each party based on their percentage of responsibility for the accident. 

For instance, if you are 10% responsible for the accident, you may be able to recover 90% damages from the truck driver or their insurance company. Similarly, if you bear 30% responsibility for the accident, your settlement decreases by that same percentage. You may receive a higher settlement if the truck driver is 100% liable for the collision.

Moreover, the state laws where the truck accident occurred play a vital role in determining settlement amounts. Different states follow different fault laws, which can significantly impact the compensation you might receive.

States with ‘pure’ fault laws, such as New York, differ, allowing you to seek damages even if you were primarily at fault for the accident. Conversely, states following modified comparative fault laws permit you to claim damages only if your responsibility is less than 50%, with the specific threshold (49% or 50%) varying by state.

Furthermore, in ‘no fault’ states, neither party can file a lawsuit for damages, irrespective of who was at fault. Here, drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover their injuries and losses. However, if your damages exceed the PIP benefits, you may opt for additional insurance from the at-fault party i.e. trucking company or driver. 

How Is the Settlement Amount Calculated for Truck Accident Claims?

You can calculate your truck accident settlement amount by either the multiplier or per diem method. Let’s look at how we can use these two methods. 

Multiplier Method: You can calculate the settlement by multiplying the total financial damages (such as medical expenses, lost income, and property damage) by a number/multiplier between 1.5 and 5. The number/multiplier from 1-1.5 depends on the severity of the injuries and other factors. For example, if the total economic damages are $100,000, and the multiplier is 3, the settlement amount would be $300,000.

Per Diem Method: It involves calculating a daily rate for your pain and suffering and multiplying it by the number of days they suffered. For example, if the daily rate is $500 and you suffered for 100 days, the settlement amount would be $50,000.

However, these methods are not applied in all cases, as each settlement amount depends on the specifics of the case. A Uptown Injury Law PLLC, our team can help you calculate your accurate settlement amount. Get a free case review today!

Types of Compensation You Can Recover in Trucking Accidents?

Photo frontal collision between a car and a large truck on a road, car accident/truck accident

If you face injuries in a truck crash, you can claim compensation for multiple damages. These include medical costs, wrongful death, pain and suffering, lost current and future salaries, and more. 

Here are all the damages explained in detail:

Medical Expenses

You may be able to recover your medical costs. These expenses include surgeries, procedures, rehabilitation, medication, and more. Remember, your medical bills must be directly linked to injuries sustained in the accident. They must not be from any pre-existing conditions or unrelated medical issues.

By providing clear and comprehensive evidence of your injuries and related medical expenses, you can increase your chances of receiving rightful compensation.

Wrongful Death Damages

If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you can receive wrongful death damages by filing a claim. This legal recourse can provide you with compensation for:

  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of financial support
  • Other related losses

Although pursuing a wrongful death claim can be a challenging and emotional process, it can offer some financial support during a difficult time and hold the at-fault parties accountable for their recklessness.

Pain and Suffering

This type of compensation covers the emotional and psychological impact of the accident. Factors considered include mental anguish, limitations on physical activities, disfigurement, and loss of companionship or a loved one.

Lost Current & Future Wages

If the accident forced you to miss work, you can claim compensation for lost income. This includes not just the immediate aftermath but also any work missed due to ongoing medical treatments or appointments.

You can also claim compensation for future lost wages if the accident results in long-term impairment or disability. This considers any permanent changes in your ability to work, including a decreased capacity to perform your job.

Damage to Quality of Life

This type of compensation covers the intangible losses that result from the accident. It includes damages such as the loss of enjoyment of life, the hindrance in daily activities, and the general impact the accident has had on your quality of life.

Property and Vehicle Damage

You may be able to recover the cost of repairs or actual cash value if your vehicle or other property was damaged or destroyed in the accident. This compensation can help you get back on your feet and cover your property’s repair or replacement costs.

If you have car insurance, it may provide coverage for property damage caused by the truck driver. However, the specific terms and limitations of your policy can vary, so it is essential to review your policy and understand what is covered.

Punitive Damages

In the worst cases, where the truck driver or trucking company acted recklessly or with intentional disregard for your safety, you can pursue punitive damages. These damages are a penalty for the responsible party and discourage similar behavior from others in the future. While not consistently awarded, punitive damages can significantly increase your overall compensation.

Overall, each of these compensation types considers the specific impacts of a truck accident on your life. Understanding them is crucial in ensuring you receive adequate and fair compensation for your losses and suffering.

How Long Does It Take To Resolve Your Truck Accident Case?

The legal journey of resolving a truck accident case unfolds over several months, often ranging from 6 to 16 months. Each case is unique, and several factors contribute to this variability. The time-consuming legal process often involves complex commercial litigation, multiple parties, and specific legal complications that can extend the process.

Initially, the process begins with filing the claim, followed by the insurance company’s response, usually presenting an initial settlement offer. This offer often requires careful consideration and negotiation, especially since it may not fully cover all damages. Factors like liability assessment, the severity of injuries, and the review of medical documentation influence the negotiation phase. 

But, despite the potential for extended discussions, most cases settle during this phase. Your legal processing times depend solely on the expertise of your truck accident lawyer. Their ability to tackle tricky negotiations in less time and ensure a fair settlement will expedite the claims process.

Talk to New York Truck Accident Attorneys at Uptown Injury Law Today

If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a truck in New York, you should talk to an experienced truck accident attorney to assess your settlement value. Our team provides a FREE case evaluation and helps you understand your eligibility to file a claim and the potential worth of your damages. 

Uptown Injury Law Firm PLLC is a top-rated personal injury law firm helping truck accident victims in The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester, and Long Island. With 15 years of legal experience and a track record of securing over $100 million in personal injury settlements, our team is committed to providing exceptional legal representation.

If you’d like to speak to a truck accident lawyer at Uptown Injury Law PLLC, call us toll-free at 917-540-8728 or contact us online.

FAQs

What Is the Average Settlement for Your Semi-truck Accident Case?

Your average semi-truck accident settlement may vary from $50,000 to $500,000. It is influenced by factors such as the severity of your injuries and the specifics of the accident. Settlements in most truck accident cases can be substantial, mainly when there are severe injuries or wrongful death lawsuits.

When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Semi-truck Accident?

You should approach an experienced personal injury lawyer right after facing a semi-truck accident. This is essential if you’ve sustained severe injuries. A lawyer can handle your trucking accident case and ensure all responsible parties are held responsible.

What Are the Common Causes of Semi-truck Accidents?

Common causes of semi-truck accidents include fatigued truck drivers, distracted driving, and drunk driving involving large commercial vehicles. Another factor that can contribute to these crashes is the overloading of cargo. The overloaded cargo may shift or spill during transport, and the truck may lose control.

What Should You Do After a Truck Collision With a Large Commercial Vehicle?

After a collision with a large commercial vehicle, ensure your safety and that of any other drivers injured. After reaching a safe place, call emergency services and file a police report. It’s also essential to document the scene if possible. In addition, make sure to seek medical attention immediately for any neck injuries or other potentially life-altering experiences.

Can You Make a Personal Injury Claim if a Fatigued Truck Driver Caused a Truck Crash?

Yes, you or your lawyer can make a personal injury claim if a fatigued truck driver causes a truck crash. For a successful insurance settlement, proving negligence, such as driver fatigue, is vital in trucking accident cases.

What Compensation Can You Expect in a Commercial Truck Collision Case?

You can recover compensation for medical costs, lost current and future income, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages as an injured victim in a commercial truck collision. The minimum truck settlement varies, but commercial vehicle manufacturers and trucking industry companies often have substantial insurance policies.

What Compensation Is Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over a Fatal Trucking Accident?

Your family can seek financial compensation, including medical expenses incurred before death, funeral costs, loss of income, and emotional distress in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you must file a lawsuit within your state’s filing deadline. 
In New York, the deadline is two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Our experienced truck accident lawyers at Uptown Injury Law PLLC can guide you through this challenging process, considering state liability laws and the specifics of the trucking accident case.

GET FREE CASE EVALUATION

Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

This content is trustworthy because it has been thoroughly researched, fact-checked and reviewed by experts in the field. The information provided is accurate and reliable, and sources have been cited to ensure transparency and credibility. The authors or publishers of this content have a reputation for producing high-quality, unbiased material. Additionally, any potential conflicts of interest or biases have been disclosed. Overall, readers can trust that the information presented in this content is trustworthy and credible.