The average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident is difficult to predict, as victims can experience various injuries. In general, settlement amounts depend on the severity of the accident and its damages. As is common in accidents involving large vehicles, victims who suffer severe forms of injury may be eligible to receive a larger settlement amount than those who come away relatively unharmed.
Similarly, factors such as the cause of the accident, the role of the commercial vehicle carrier, and other conditions can affect a settlement amount. If you or a loved one suffered harm in an 18-wheeler accident, you have the right to go after justice. Victims who sustain injuries and other forms of loss may be entitled to monetary awards in the form of a settlement.
Common Factors Impacting Potential Settlement Amounts
When breaking down an 18-wheeler accident settlement, several components enter the picture. If you are suffering from a serious injury that requires ongoing medical care, our legal team will collect the exact details on the cost of your current and future treatments.
Similarly, other considerations will factor into a total settlement amount, such as:
- Level of vehicle damage
- Lost wages and earning ability
- The liable party’s percentage of fault
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Determining The Amount Of Damages You Can Recover In An 18-Wheeler Accident
To determine the amount of damages you are entitled to, your injury lawyer will need to gather a variety of documentation recording the financial expenses or value of your losses. For economic losses, this documentation is generally straightforward. We may retrieve evidence, such as:
- Health care bills
- Bills for counseling sessions
- Receipts for necessary goods and services related to your 18-wheeler accident
- Check stubs
- Bank statements
- Payment invoices
- Project estimates or rates for independent contract work
- Signed agreements indicating payment to be remitted for work completed
- Time sheets and work schedules
- Vehicle repair or replacement estimates
- Diminished value estimates
Retrieving this sort of documentation is critical for building an accurate picture of your semi-truck accident-related losses. If you have any recorded evidence like the documents above, you should bring them to any meeting you have with your 18-wheeler accident attorney in New Orleans.
Non-Economic Damages Are Determined Based On The Accident’s Impact On Your Life
Non-economic damages, being much more difficult to quantify, do not generally have documentation indicating their financial value. A monetary value is assigned to these losses based on several factors. To determine your non-economic damages, your attorney will consider the following types of information:
- Your age
- Health condition prior to the truck accident
- Any disability you’ve sustained
- How the injuries or emotional/psychological trauma is likely to affect your day-to-day functionality and enjoyment of life
- The duration of the injuries
- The severity of the injuries
- The degree to which you can recover
- Your life expectancy
- Expert opinions from economists, medical specialists, and life care planners
While it’s clear that your non-economic losses are less tangible than financial ones, they are no less real. In fact, these losses reflect the greater impact the truck accident will have on your life and therefore can make a big difference in the compensation you receive. You need not worry about figuring out damages–it’s your accident injury lawyer’s job to calculate these losses and ensure you are adequately compensated for them.
How Liability Plays Into An Accident Case
As with other cases involving motor vehicle collisions, establishing the liable party is crucial to financial recovery in 18-wheeler accident cases. In some scenarios, individual driver errors may place liability on a single party. Common reckless and negligent driving acts that may place liability on a driver include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drug-impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving acts
- Road rage
However, zooming out and taking a wider view of the case may reveal deeper, company-wide errors that cause accidents.
When A Trucking Company May Be Liable For 18-Wheeler Accident Damages
Sometimes, a truck driver’s employer may be liable for an accident. One example lies in the guidelines put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
As the guidelines show, drivers of 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles must abide by hours-of-service regulations. Those driving a property-carrying vehicle are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. When drivers violate these regulations, they may be liable to cover the costs of a victim’s care and other recoverable damages through a settlement.
However, commercial vehicle carriers share the responsibility of ensuring that their drivers follow these guidelines. If there is evidence that their employer knew about or encouraged such a violation, we could hold the company responsible, as well.
Laws That Can Affect Your 18-Wheeler Accident Case
Federal laws and motor vehicle carrier standards often impact settlement amounts after 18-wheeler accidents. However, some state laws also affect the course of a case, such as those related to filing deadlines.
For example, the statute of limitations under CC Art. 3492 outlines that victims have a one-year window within which to take legal action in Louisiana. If the deadline passes before you file a lawsuit, the law bars you from seeking compensation in civil court.
In the instance of wrongful death, various parties related to the deceased—such as parents, siblings, and legal guardians – maintain the right to seek justice for the death of a loved one. However, these parties also have up to one year after a death to begin a lawsuit based on CC Art. 2315.2.
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Seeking Financial Awards After An 18-Wheeler Accident
Victims who suffer at the hands of an irresponsible driver deserve answers. Our lawyers will fight to recover any forms of financial awards you may qualify for after an accident. Although settlement amounts vary, our team will use our experience to analyze the specifics of your situation and seek fair compensation.
You may be eligible for recoverable damages related to the following:
- Vehicle and property damage
- Emergency medical care
- Surgeries and examinations
- Therapy programs and rehabilitation
- Prescription medications
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of wages
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
When you try to confront legal and financial trouble at the same time, it can be hard to get back on your feet after an 18-wheeler accident. Our team wants to take care of your personal injury or wrongful death case so you can focus on what matters: your family.
What You Can Expect From Our Law Firm
When you work with our lawyers, we will typically begin by collecting evidence to strengthen your case. In this process, we may gather maintenance records, speak with the commercial vehicle carrier who owns the 18-wheeler, and examine state laws. Our lawyers will keep you updated throughout this process as we move toward the identification of a liable party.
Then, you can expect our lawyers to fight for you as we go after any settlement amounts that may be available to you. Communication with other parties involved in your case can be tough for you as a victim. When you have one of our lawyers working on your case, we will take care of all necessary correspondence so that you do not have to.
We Aim For Maximum Compensation In Every Case
We have secured millions of dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts throughout our history. More than $200 million has been recovered for victims and their families who suffered injuries through no fault of their own. Our New Orleans personal injury law firm has worked numerous commercial truck accident cases, including those involving 18-wheelers.
Some of our case results for truck and car accidents are below:
- $2,700,000 settlement for a client who was the victim of an 18-wheeler accident
- $410,000 for a client rear-ended by a semi-truck
- $375,000 for a commercial truck accident client who suffered severe back injury
We can’t promise you results, but we can give you our personal attention, hard work, and dedication to seeing your case through to a successful resolution. We may not be able to tell you what your 18-wheeler settlement will be, but our injury lawyers serving New Orleans will always aim for the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Although the average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident is difficult to determine, you should not be afraid to seek legal help for your case. Getting in touch with our team can help you put up a fight, and our services cost nothing unless we win.
Our attorneys at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers have a track record of dealing with 18-wheeler accident cases and similar cases. Our team will assess your damages as we work to uncover the details behind the accident. In doing so, we will work to identify and establish a case against the liable parties so we can hold them accountable for their wrongdoing. For a free consultation, call us today.