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Your Guide to Commercial Truck Accident Compensation and Settlements

By: Anapol Weiss

Commercial truck accident settlements help offset the potentially catastrophic life changes that come from being involved in an accident with a large commercial truck. From financial hardship from property losses to the pain and suffering as you recover from injuries and even the potential loss of life, it can wreak havoc on your life.

Pursuing commercial truck accident settlements can be intimidating because large trucking companies have financial resources and the requisite access to investigators and lawyers that few other entities do. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer early in the claims process helps ensure the highest actual settlement amounts for truck accidents.

Why Truck Accidents Do So Much Damage

Commercial truck accident settlements tend to be larger than the settlements for personal injuries resulting from regular car accidents. Commercial trucks can weigh tens of times more than a personal vehicle, and the damage caused by that much weight at significant speeds can be catastrophic.

Common Reasons For Commercial Vehicle Accidents

In commercial truck accident settlements, the reason behind the accident plays an important role in determining the awarded damages and who the liability for those damages is assigned to. It’s also important to note that while some causes are more often attributed to companies or maintenance providers for the trucks rather than drivers, in the case of owner-operators, the same person could fulfill all three roles.

  • Driver Error: If driver error occurs at the same time as another factor that contributes to the wreck, the actual settlement amounts for truck accidents increases.
  • Impaired Driving: Whether from fatigue, medication, or substance abuse, impaired driving is incredibly dangerous. This can be exacerbated by scheduling pressure from the trucking company that pushes drivers past their legal driving limits or sensible safety standards.
  • Company Policies: The business practices a trucking company adopts can have a direct impact on safety. From poor training to cost-cutting on regular vehicle maintenance, poor policies can lead to tragedies. This is an often integral part of commercial truck accident settlements.
  • Manufacturer Error: To safely transport cargo, commercial truck transport parts have to meet demanding specifications. When a part that’s poorly engineered or produced fails, it can contribute to a wreck, potentially making that manufacturer liable for some actual settlement amounts for truck accidents.
  • Poor Loading: With the weights commercial trucks carry, a shifting load can tip a trailer, pull the entire vehicle into an accident, or release tons of cargo onto the roadway. So called “no touch” loads mean that drivers can play little to no role in securing their cargo. If unsecured loads lead to an accident the loading contractor or company may be partially liable for damages.

Factors That Determine Commercial Truck Accident Settlements

When the court considers your personal injury claim, they’ll consider several important factors to determine who pays and how much.

  • Liability: Establishing who is at fault and to what extent is part of any personal injury case. The more parties and the more egregious the decisions that led to your injury by the responsible parties can increase your likely settlement amount. If you are found partially liable, however, that can decrease the amount you may be owed.
  • Economic Damages: This represents the tangible monetary value you’ve lost as a direct result of the accident. It can include lost wages, medical and therapy bills, and any damage to your property.
  • Noneconomic Damages: These are expenses and hardships that may not come with a set price tag. Pain and suffering, loss of life, loss of mobility, expenses associated with trying to return to a normal life after disfigurement, these can all be part of the noneconomic damages awarded by the court as part of commercial truck accident settlements.
  • Punitive Damages: These damages are meant as punishment when decisions injuries happened because of malicious or in cases of willful or extreme negligence. They are assigned in addition to other damages both to punish the defendant and to serve as a warning to others that such actions will not be tolerated.
  • The Extent Of Your Damages And Their Effects: More extensive injuries, larger property damage totals, and lingering pain and suffering can all impact the amount of damages awarded. To get the highest actual settlement amounts for truck accidents, this information will need to have thorough documentation.
  • Evidence: Trucking companies have plenty of lawyers and investigators to try to minimize the amounts they pay out in claims. You need as much evidence as possible of both their liability and how the injuries have impacted your life. This can include photos, videos, body shop receipts, medical records, diaries, and testimony from friends, family, and medical professionals. Anything that shows the extent of your injuries and how those injuries have changed your life from what it was before the accident may have an impact on the damages assigned by the court.

What To Do After a Commercial Truck Accident

If you’ve been harmed by an accident involving a commercial vehicle, you need a lawyer who’s ready to fight for you. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in commercial truck accident settlements and are ready to make your case their cause.

You’ll work directly with an attorney who gets to know you and your particular situation so they can best advise you of your options moving forward and how to maximize your chances of a successful claim.

Don’t let the pain, suffering, and financial hardship of a personal injury keep you from recovering and returning to your life. We can help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation about commercial truck accident settlements, and take the first step toward rebuilding today.