After an 18-wheeler accident, victims have many questions about their claims.
However, one of the most frequently asked questions is how much their claim is worth.
Since there are a lot of factors to consider when valuing a settlement, the average is not as clear-cut as it may seem.
Here is why averages for 18-wheeler accident settlements are not representative of most cases and how other factors can affect the value of your claim.
Why The Averages of 18 Wheeler Accident Settlements Are Not Always Accurate
While researching 18-wheeler accident settlements on the internet, you may come across sources that have averages based on responses from actual claimants.
While these responses are typically genuine, they may not be an accurate representation of other cases.
The main reason they are inaccurate is that these averages include only published settlements. This means that confidential settlements are not included, which may skew the results.
Another reason that averages are not accurate is that they do not take damage limits for certain states into consideration.
For example, the state of Texas caps exemplary damages in 18-wheeler accident lawsuits, while other states do not.
In addition, some states limit non-economic damages, resulting in a significantly lower average compared to settlements in other states.
Finally, a settlement average doesn’t consider the unique aspects of your case.
The severity of injuries alone greatly impacts your case value, so your case may be significantly higher or lower than a posted average.
Factors Affecting 18 Wheeler Accident Settlements in Texas
To understand how much your case is worth, you must know the factors that affect its value. In Texas, the two most important factors in your case are damages and negligence.
Here is an overview of each and how they might apply to an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit.
The primary factor that determines the value of an accident claim is your total damages. These damages come in two categories: economic and non-economic.
While exemplary damages apply in rare circumstances, we will focus on these two categories since they apply to almost every case.
Economic damages are the tangible financial losses you incur due to the accident. Essentially, any repair or treatment that costs money fits in this category.
Some examples of economic damages are:
- Hospitalization fees;
- Doctor’s visits;
- Property damage;
- Catastrophic injury;
- Reduced earning capacity; and
- Lost wages during recovery.
In contrast, non-economic damages are intangible losses that do not have an economic value. So, what is an intangible loss?
Basically, it is the physical and emotional losses you experience due to your injury.
This is typically known as pain and suffering, and it is not easy to calculate. However, a truck accident attorney can help quantify these losses.
Texas has what is known as a modified comparative negligence law.
Essentially, this means that a plaintiff may recover damages as long as their share of fault in the accident is 50% or less. However, the court also reduces the amount of recovery by that share of fault.
For example, if a victim has $100,000 in damages and is 25% at fault, they may recover a maximum of $75,000.
Want to Know the Value of Your Case? Contact a Texas Truck Accident Attorney
If you were hit by an 18-wheeler, lawsuit settlements online might seem trustworthy. However, they do not consider your specific losses.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, our attorneys understand that every case is unique.
We have experienced trial lawyers who work with clients one-on-one and fiercely advocate for their recovery.