How To Determine Truck Accident Settlement Amounts
Driving is not always fun and relaxing, especially when you consider how many other participants in traffic there are around you at any moment and that not all of them are careful. Being involved in a traffic accident is a thing nobody expects or wants to be a part of. Still, it does happen and it is usually caused by the low amount of awareness or a lack of care. In most cases, sadly, it is the innocent participant in an unlucky situation that suffers either through injuries or property damage. Of course, the majority of people never experience any form of accidents while driving but those who do it for a living are more prone to dangers that are a real possibility whenever they go on the road.
Professional drivers come in numerous different types. Taxi drivers are arguably the most numerous but they rarely exit the boundaries of the city they work in. This makes people forget that they are actually professional drivers in the first place. Then we have delivery drivers who drive large vans full of goods. Depending on the country and the courier, they can either operate in one and the same city or region or driving tour the entire country.
When somebody says “professional driver” though, what most people think of are truck drivers. Their jobs are vastly different from any other form of pro-driving. They have much more responsibility and they spend a lot more time in their vehicles. Considering how important the truck industry is all over the world, it could be said that without it we would suffer greatly. We cannot even begin to realize how many trucks there are in operation at any given moment, delivering literally everything to everyone. From food and medical supplies to shopping, spare parts, and even other vehicles, the world depends on trucks.
For these and other reasons, there are special regulations and laws in existence that deal with traffic accidents involving trucks. The settlements and amounts available vary greatly and it can be tough to determine them unless you are more familiar with the details. In this article though, we will make it clearer for you.
If you are a truck driver or if you run a business that relies on them to deliver goods, you will want to pay close attention. To find out more about this, make sure to check out sutliffstout.
Who Pays It?
Before we talk about the amount, let us first give you a rundown on who exactly pays for the settlement. It goes without saying that you will need an attorney for this since you cannot handle such legal matters on your own. Before anything could be calculated and before you know how much you are owed from the person who caused the accident, it must be known who is legally responsible for it all. There can be multiple parties responsible, but even if you were partially responsible there could be a basis for you to seek compensation.
Behind every truck driver, there is a company, and every company has an insurance policy. Apart from the driver and their personal insurance, the company, the owner of the truck, the truck leasing company, the trailer leasing company, the shipper, and the manufacturer may all be required to pay. Your part is to get out the most you can, but remember that the other side will do everything they can to either minimize or deny their fault. They may even try to minimize your injuries, losses, and damages.
Determining the Settlement
You already know that you have an absolute right to take legal action against the person (and their employer) who caused the crash and seek compensation for their actions that resulted in your injuries or losses. Now, it is understandable that your main concern is how much the case is worth and how much the potential amount that awaits you is. Until all the facts are gathered and a complete investigation has taken place, it is impossible to know for sure. Your attorney plays a big part and they have to have good knowledge of the case types and enough negotiating skills. So first and foremost, get a good lawyer.
Next up, you have to know what kind of compensation you can obtain when taking legal action against the at-fault driver. First of all, there are economic damages as the first type of compensation, which represent the money you lost as a result of the truck accident. These can either be medical expenses for your injuries, lost wages due to the inability to complete the shipment or other work-related tasks, lastly, the loss of earning capacity in the days, weeks, and months following the accident. Other, fourth example would be damaging to your vehicle if was a truck that hit your personal car, the loss of money you experienced because you now cannot drive it, or even funeral expenses in case of fatal outcomes.
Then there are also non-economic damages like pain and suffering, that come as severe injuries with great physical and emotional discomfort. Since trucks are so big and heavy, injuries are much worse and so are the damages to property.
It depends on the country and the state, but there is usually no minimum amount for truck accident settlements. It all comes down to the specific case and fault, the injuries and damages, the lawyer’s ability to get you the best deal. Facts like medical bills and calculated losses dictate the settlement amount, and the severity of the traffic rules broken determined by the police and the court. Insurance policies at play can make things more complicated if the driver at fault is backed up by a lot of different insurance-related benefits, especially if multi-million dollar companies employ them and/or own the truck. In such cases, the case will probably be dragged out but again, if it is obvious who was at fault and if you are the only one who suffered, you can absolutely expect to get the maximum compensation.