It is impossible to calculate the average settlement for a truck accident claim because the amount victims receive varies widely based on the circumstances of their accident. Compensation in a truck accident case will depend on the extent of the person’s injuries, whether the injured person was partially at-fault for the accident, and the non-medical costs they incurred.
A truck accident lawyer could provide a more accurate estimate of the damages you could recover in a truck accident claim.
Damages You May Recover After A Truck Accident
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may receive compensation for your losses. The value of your damages directly correlates with your desired settlement amount.
Damages can be categorized in two ways: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include monetary losses that are easily quantified, while non-economic damages are more subjective.
Through a truck accident claim, you may be entitled to compensation for the following economic damages:
- Medical bills: These include any current or ongoing medical care and rehabilitation costs, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and any medications you may need.
- Future medical costs: A lawyer can help you estimate what your future medical costs might look like.
- Property damage: If your car or other property was damaged during the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for repair costs.
- Lost income: If your injuries prevented you from working, you might be entitled to compensation for your lost wages due to missed work. If your injuries have impaired your ability to do your job, you may also be entitled to compensation for your reduced earning capacity.
- Impairment to your income-earning ability: If you cannot work in the same capacity you did before the accident, you could include lost future earnings in your claim. Lost earning capacity is calculated by estimating the wages you would have earned if you had not been injured. Your age, health, and prior work history may influence the amount of compensation you receive for lost earning capacity.
“Non-economic damages” refers to damages that are abstract or hard to quantify. After a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical pain, mental and emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other types of non-economic damages.
- Pain and suffering: You can seek compensation for the pain and distress you endured because of injuries from the accident.
- Emotional distress: If you suffer from any emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, you can seek compensation if you can prove these conditions are related to the truck accident.
A truck accident lawyer can calculate the value of your damages and tell you what a fair settlement amount would be for your claim.
How Your Damages Are Calculated
To calculate your losses, your injury lawyer will collect pertinent documentation showing their financial value. We may retrieve records like those listed below to prove and quantify your economic losses:
- Medical bills
- Mental health counseling bills
- Other bills and receipts for relevant purchases and payments
- Documentation of missed work from your employer
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
- Property damage estimates
Non-economic damages are calculated based on the extent of your injuries, their impact on your life, the likelihood of recovery, your health, and other subjective factors. We obtain the expert opinions of medical professionals, life-care planners, and economists to help determine what the numbers may look like for your non-economic damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
According to CC Art. 2315.2, if an individual dies due to the fault of another party, certain members of the decedent’s family may bring a wrongful death action. No dollar amount could ever truly compensate someone for the death of a loved one. However, compensation from a wrongful death claim may be a major source of financial relief after a tragic loss.
Damages in a fatal truck accident claim may include:
- Loss of income and benefits
- Lost domestic services
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills from care the decedent received before their death
- Loss of the deceased person’s care
The amount of compensation a family member may receive after a fatal truck accident may be influenced by:
- Their relationship to the deceased person
- Their level of financial dependence on the deceased person
- The deceased person’s age and health
Punitive Damages are Possible
A third, much rarer class of damages may also be available to victims of truck accidents in Louisiana under specific circumstances. Per CC Art. 2315.4, a judge or jury may award punitive damages if you can show proof that “the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries.”
Plainly speaking, you and your truck accident attorney must prove the truck driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they caused the collision. Drugs commonly abused by truck drivers are:
- Narcotics (e.g., cocaine)
- Stimulants (e.g., amphetamines)
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Financial Compensation For Victims Of Negligence
Because of their massive size, accidents involving semi-trucks or other large vehicles are often catastrophic.
Negligence often causes truck accidents. Driver fatigue, drug and alcohol use behind the wheel, distracted driving, and other forms of negligent driving lead to thousands of truck accidents every year. The liable party for a truck accident might be the truck driver, the trucking company, the manufacturer of a faulty truck part, a government entity, or several other parties.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
Severe And Disabling Injuries
One of the biggest factors influencing a truck accident settlement is the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. Truck accidents often lead to severe injuries that significantly impact a person’s life. Truck accidents may result in:
- Deep lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Disfiguring injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
These injuries can incur tremendous medical expenses. Truck accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their past medical bills, as well as ongoing and future medical costs, including:
- Hospital bills
- Doctor’s appointments
- Medical tests
- Mental health treatment
- Physical therapy or other rehabilitative care
Another factor that may influence the settlement value in a truck accident claim is the victim’s prognosis. Victims who suffered permanent loss of a body function or disability may be entitled to a greater amount of compensation than those with temporary injuries.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Insurance Limits Impact Your Truck Accident Settlement
The amount of compensation you receive in a truck accident settlement will also be dictated by the applicable insurance policy. A settlement with the trucking company will only include compensation up to insurance policy limits. The federal government requires different policy limits depending on the type of truck, the cargo it transports, and the size and weight of the big rig.
Trucks are required to maintain insurance at the minimum limits listed:
- $300,000 for non-hazardous freight on vehicles under 10,001 lbs.
- $750,000 for non-hazardous freight in vehicles over 10,001 lbs.
- $1,000,000 for oil moved by for-hire and private carriers
- $5,000,000 for other hazardous material moved by for-hire and private carriers
A truck company in Louisiana may carry more than the minimum required, allowing you to potentially receive a higher settlement.
An Attorney Can Stand Up For You In Settlement Negotiations
Be aware that insurance companies rarely like to pay out their full policy. Adjusters are taught techniques to save money on each claim. They may try to undervalue your claim by questioning the validity or severity of your injuries or laying a portion of the fault on you. Having a Louisiana personal injury lawyer examine your case and represent you in your insurance claim can provide the support you need to win fair compensation.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
Common Ways Truck Accidents Happen
Truck accidents have similar causes to regular car accidents, although they can be more catastrophic because of the truck’s large size. Because of this, trucking companies must follow FMCSA regulations to reduce the possibility of an accident. Some of the possible causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Defective parts or tires
- Driver exhaustion or inexperience
- Violation of traffic laws, such as speeding or driving under the influence
- Overweight cargo or improper loading
Regardless of how the truck accident happened, we will fight to hold the liable party accountable.
How Can A Lawyer Help You With A Truck Accident Claim?
The liable party needs to be held accountable after a truck accident. In most accidents, it is clear who is at fault for the crash. If defective parts on the truck caused the accident, it could be the trucking company’s fault. If the truck driver was driving recklessly or under the influence, the driver and/or their employer could be liable. Our attorneys will investigate to determine who the liable party is by:
- Reading the police report
- Collecting photo and video evidence if available
- Meeting with the police officers who arrived first on the scene
- Determining if any violations occurred during the time of the accident
- Deciding who is at fault
After a truck accident, it is important to focus on your recovery. A lawyer from our firm can be helpful in your case by:
- Offering a free consultation to review your case and answer your questions
- Handling all communications on your behalf with medical facilities, auto repair shops, insurance companies, and other parties involved in the case
- Preparing a settlement agreement with the liable party
- Litigating your claim if we cannot reach a settlement
- Being available 24/7 for status updates and to answer any questions you have
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers For Help With Your Claim
If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident, a personal injury lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you. Call today for a free, confidential case evaluation with a member of our team. We can discuss the potential settlement value for a truck accident claim like yours during this call.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers represents clients in Lafayette and other parts of Louisiana.