How Much Will You Get Paid If an 18-Wheeler Hits You?

Due to the size and weight of 18-wheelers, getting into an accident with one generally causes major damage. 18-wheeler accidents can cause extensive property damage, catastrophic injuries and even death. The average 18-wheeler accident settlement tends to be greater than the average passenger vehicle accident. However, there is not an exact value. Each case is unique and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Below, our Houston 18 wheeler truck accident lawyer outlines factors that can affect your settlement.

Factors that Affect an 18-Wheeler Accident Settlement

Many factors can affect how much you can get paid if an 18-wheeler hits you. These factors may include:

Damages Sustained in the Accident

Similar to any other personal injury case, the amount of compensation you can recover after an 18-wheeler accident depends on the damages you sustained in the accident. There are two main types of damages in a personal injury case: economic damages and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are easier to calculate because they are directly related to your out-of-pocket expenses. These damages may include the amount of money for:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Property damage, including vehicle damage and personal property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Future earning potential

Noneconomic damages are more difficult to determine. This is because they are based on intangible expenses like pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Wrongful Death

If your loved one died in the truck accident, then you may have a viable wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is separate from a personal injury claim. Common damages in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Medical costs
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of earnings and future earning potential

Truck Accident Liability

Generally, more than one party is involved in an 18-wheeler accident. You may assume that the truck driver is at-fault for the accident. However, more than one person or entity is usually responsible for the truck and driver. Other parties that may share fault include:

  • Trucking company
  • Truck maintenance company
  • Shipping or loading company
  • Truck manufacturer

It is important to note that Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This is also known as the proportionate responsibility statute. This means that the court can find you partly responsible for the accident. The court can assign you a percentage of fault and your recovery will be reduced by this percentage. If the court finds you more than 51 percent at-fault, then you cannot recover damages.

The other parties’ insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize their liability. Part of this strategy may be trying to put blame on you. This is one reason why it is so important to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. An 18 wheeler truck accident lawyer will do a thorough investigation of the crash. This investigation can determine how the accident happened and who was responsible.

Insurance Policies

Depending on who shares fault in the accident, there may be more than one insurance policy. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has minimum commercial liability insurance requirements for drivers and carriers. These requirements differ depending on many factors, including:

  • Weight of the vehicle
  • Type of freight

If the semi truck is intrastate, meaning it only operates within state lines, then the insurance requirements differ. Again, these requirements depend on what is being transported.

It is not uncommon for companies to pay for the minimum amount of coverage. Unfortunately, victims can suffer hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars worth of damages. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you determine the total amount of compensation available by examining every insurance policy.

Contact a Houston Truck Accident Attorney About Your Accident

After a truck accident, you want an attorney on your side to protect your legal rights and best interests. A piece of advice we give to our clients is do not trust that the insurance companies will take care of you. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They want to minimize payouts.

Compensation cannot fix the damages you sustain in an 18 wheeler accident. But, it can help take some of the stress away, so you can focus on recovery. Call Houston truck accident attorney Daniel D. Horowitz, III today. During a free consultation, we can help you determine next steps and legal options. Call (832) 734-9967 or contact us online.

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