When a person has fallen victim to a trucking accident, the settlement is likely to be larger than the average automobile accident. There are a number of reasons that this is often true. There is no standard settlement amount in trucking accidents because there are many factors that must be considered.
Valuing the Settlement
The settlement that you are entitled to will depend on the factors that caused the accident. Working with an attorney will be helpful as they can look over the details of your specific case. They will be able to determine a value for the compensation you are entitled to. Your attorney will factor the following when valuing the settlement:
- Restrictions around insurance coverage.
- Whether or not you are partially responsible for the accident, known as, comparative negligence.
- Who is liable for the accident or if multiple parties involved should share liability.
Compensatory damages may be available for victims if the cause of the accident was due to the trucker’s negligence or the truck malfunctioned. When the trucker is responsible, their attorney will work with the insurance company to negotiate a settlement. If they are unable to come to an agreement around settlement terms, often the case will go to court.
Often a victim will collect damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Damaged property such as the car you were driving
- Lost wages from time away from work
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence may take effect if the victim was partially responsible for the accident. If a victim is found responsible for a portion of the accident, the settlement they are hoping to collect may be less. For example, if the court determines that the victim was 50% responsible for the accident, the other person may be entitled to recover 50% of damages.
Gross Negligence and Punitive Damages
When the trucker responsible for the accident was found grossly negligent, the victim may be entitled to an accident settlement that is much higher than the average trucking accident settlement. In situations where gross negligence is at play, punitive damages may apply. If found guilty of gross negligence, it has been proved that they intentionally caused harm to the victim of the accident. As a result, a trucker may be required to pay punitive damages to the victim.
In almost all situations, working with an attorney will be in your best interest if you or a loved one have suffered from a truck accident. Attorneys with experience in handling trucking cases can be valuable in negotiating with other attorneys, the courts and even insurance companies. An attorney can be vital in ensuring that the settlement you receive is one that you are entitled to.