When it comes to semi-truck accidents, even a minor impact can result in severe injury and property damage.
Understandably, after a truck accident, many victims search online for what an average settlement is for a semi-truck accident.
The best course of action is to contact an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP.
Here is some information to help you understand how courts apply a semi-truck accident settlement calculator.
Average Settlement for Truck Accident
Because no two semi-truck accidents are alike, there is no average semi-truck accident settlement amount in Texas.
However, several factors play a significant role in determining your claim’s value.
The Responsible Party
If the truck driver was at fault, the truck driver’s insurance company might pay your damages. If a mechanical failure or defective part played a role in the accident, the parts manufacturer, a mechanic, or the trucking company might be responsible.
Determining fault is crucial to calculating your settlement’s worth. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state.
This means that you can collect damages if you are less than 51% at fault for the accident. But you can only collect a percentage of your damages based on your share of fault.
For instance, if a jury finds you 20% at fault, you could collect 80% of your damages.
Another critical factor is the type of injuries you sustain and how severe they are.
The more extensive your injuries, the greater your medical expenses and property damages.
Severe injuries also often equate to lost wages or permanent disability.
These types of damages are called economic damages and compensate you for expenses related to your accident and resulting injuries. They are direct, tangible financial losses. This means there are usually receipts, invoices, or pay stubs that attorneys can use to calculate the value of these damages.
Cases in which victims suffered permanent injuries or a lifelong disability are worth more than cases involving injuries that heal after several months.
Intangible losses—like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium—also factor into your settlement amount.
These damages, called non-economic or general damages, are subjective losses.
They are less quantifiable than economic damages and help compensate accident victims for emotional injuries. Insurance adjusters and attorneys typically argue over this total because the value is subjective.
They can sometimes constitute the bulk of a semi-truck accident settlement.
Certain circumstances give rise to an award for punitive damages.
Courts reserve punitive damages for cases where the defendant’s actions were intentional or grossly negligent.
They are meant to punish the defendant and dissuade them from repeating the behavior. If the court awards punitive damages, the award amount can be significantly higher than the victim’s overall damages.
A defendant’s insurance coverage is a factor because high-value cases with extensive injuries and property damages can exceed a defendant’s available insurance limits.
When this happens, your only means of recovery would be through a lawsuit against the driver, trucking company, or any other responsible parties.
If you carry underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage on your own auto insurance policy, you can also file a claim with your insurance company.
How Does Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP Calculate Damages?
Calculating direct and tangible losses is easy. You simply add up all your bills, invoices and receipts to calculate how much money your injury has cost thus far. And to determine lost wages, you’d present past pay stubs and extrapolate the lost wages based on how many pay periods you have missed.
But understanding how we calculate your intangible, or non-economic damages is important and will further demonstrate the inaccuracy of some online semi-truck accident settlement calculator values.
Methods of Calculation
There are two primary methods of calculating intangible, non-economic damages in truck accident claims. Some insurance companies prefer the daily rate method, while attorneys often use the multiplier method.
Daily Rate Method
This method is a straightforward approach to calculating noneconomic damages. However, it often results in lower case values—which is why some insurance adjusters prefer this method.
The daily rate involves determining the cost of your daily expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and multiplying that amount by the number of days the accident impacted you.
For example, if you’ve been out of work for 60 days and your daily expenses are $200 per day, your damages would be calculated as follows: $200 x 60 = $12,000.
The multiplier method is a slightly more complex approach to calculating intangible losses. It involves multiplying your economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages) by a certain number, or “multiplier,” to determine your total economic damages.
The multiplier is determined based on several factors. These factors include the severity of your injuries, the impact of the accident on your life, and the likelihood of a full recovery. A multiplier of one is for a minor injury, while a multiplier of five is for catastrophic injuries.
For example, if your economic damages are $100,000 and your multiplier is two, your total damages would be $200,000. If your damages are $100,000 with a multiplier of five, your total damages are $500,000.
How Does Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP Calculate Damages When an 18-Wheeler Is Involved?
An 18-wheeler accident calculator can help you get a general idea of what damages you might be able to recover in such an accident. These calculations are similar to calculations in a regular truck accident. However, there might be some additional considerations when big rigs are involved.
The multiplier is often higher because these accidents typically involve severe to catastrophic injuries. They can also involve multiple parties and more complex legal issues.
Sometimes a multiplier of five isn’t enough. Our lawyers might go as high as a multiplier of 10 when calculating damages in an 18-wheeler accident.
Calculating damages and then apportioning between all responsible parties might be necessary. An online truck accident settlement calculator cannot factor in subjective issues like a skilled attorney can.
Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP Can Help
As you can see, determining damages and liability in a semi-truck accident is not always straightforward.
This is why choosing the right attorney to handle your Texas semi-truck accident case is crucial to achieving a desirable settlement.
If you or someone you love sustained injuries or passed away in a truck accident, let Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP help.
We have tried numerous semi-truck accident cases and collected significant damages for our clients.
We invest the time and resources necessary to show the other side we insist on nothing less than the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at 832-709-1124 for a free consultation.