Whether you’re in a large or small vehicle, an accident with an 18-wheeler is much more dangerous than an accident with a regular automobile. The size difference between a car, truck, or van and a big truck is massive, and based on various factors, a big truck accident can be catastrophic and inflict great injury on the passengers of smaller vehicles quite easily. The amount that a truck accident victim might receive as compensation depends on the amount of determined damages.
What determines the dollar amount of damage in an 18-wheeler accident case?
There are quite a few factors that influence the value of damage in a big truck accident case. There are objective factors, such as the following:
- How much money did the victim lose because of the accident initially? This can include the cost of vehicle repairs, rental, and/or replacement for the vehicle that was involved, the loss of income from being able to work following the accident (either for lack of vehicle or while physically recovering), and any medical expenses that were accrued for treatment after the accident.
- This can vary widely based on the severity of the injury as well as the location where the accident happens. Big truck accident victims near a big city like Houston, Austin, or San Antonio may have quicker access to medical care and shorter commute to an appropriate medical facility. Accident victims in rural areas like Rio Grande City who may need a burn unit, for example, would have to be airlifted to large cities like San Antonio for treatment. The cost of care in each scenario could vary by thousands of dollars.
- How much money is the victim expected to spend in the future as a result of the accident? This includes physical therapy, counseling for mental health, continued inability to work, and more.
There are subjective factors that affect the bottom line as well, which are left up to the jury to decide:
- What is the amount of pain and suffering that the victim experienced? This very subjective question has a wide range of answers, and assigning a dollar amount may change even from jury member to jury member or county to county.
- How negligent was the truck driver? A simple, honest accident versus a driver who knowingly broke protocol (like driving too fast, too tired, or under the influence) will affect the amount that the jury suggests for compensation. They are more likely to be merciful to a remorseful driver who made a small slip-up and more likely to push hard for severe punitive compensation for a driver who made a mistake due to flagrant disregard for safety.
How do I determine the amount of damage if I would rather settle than go to trial?
Truck companies love when truck accident victims opt for a settlement rather than a trial. This can be a tempting solution because you will still likely be compensated with a good sum without having to deal with the hassle of a court case, but it will be a fraction compared to what you are actually rightfully owed.
In order to receive fair compensation after an 18-wheeler accident, it’s important to act as though you plan to go to trial, even if you know that you don’t intend to. This will get a trucking company’s insurance adjusters to take you seriously because they know that going before the jury will potentially heap thousands and thousands more that they will have to pay. This will help boost their settlement offer to a more comparable amount that will actually be helpful to you.
These reasons and more are why it’s so important to have a qualified and experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney to guide you through the process to compensation.
Contact the Ryan Solis Law Group
The Ryan Solis Law Group has almost 2 decades of experience handling 18-wheeler accidents, car accidents, drunk driving accidents, oil field accidents, wrongful death incidents, general accidents, divorce, and construction law. Call (956) 686-9600 to start seeking compensation today!