Have you been offered a low settlement for injuries you received in an accident involving a semi-truck?
It can be tempting to take the first settlement offer an insurance company makes, especially if you’re unable to work due to the accident. However, by hiring an attorney, you may be able to get a larger settlement for your damages.
Standards for Truck Operators
The insurance standards for semi-truck owners and operators are stricter than they are for automobile owners. Due to state and federal regulations, semi-truck operators have high policy limits on the insurance they must carry, which are much higher than car insurance.
Truck drivers must also adhere to rules and regulations set by the federal and state governments. The rules govern how much weight a truck can carry, which licenses and permits drivers must have to haul certain loads, and how much time they can be on the road each day.
In many truck versus car accidents, an ordinance may have been violated. However, if the driver of the truck is found at fault, then anyone who is injured could receive a high settlement amount for their damages.
Compensation for Damages
There are two types of compensation to which victims of a semi-truck accident may be entitled: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Medical Expenses
- Property Damage
- Loss of Income
- Future Medical Expenses
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering.
Calculating a Settlement
When calculating the amount for a settlement, the insurance company will add the economic damages and multiply them by a number, which is usually between 1.5 and 5, to come up with an amount for non-economic damages.
There are some factors that help them decide on a higher multiplier, such as the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery, emotional trauma, and permanent disability.
Hire an Attorney
The first settlement offer is usually low because the insurance company wants to profit from their business and try to settle claims out of court as soon as they can. After an accident, you shouldn’t try to negotiate with the insurance company on your own.
Instead, you should hire a trucking accident lawyer who can help you understand what is going on and help you get a fair settlement. They will know the laws semi-truck operators must obey and how to calculate your damages to find out how much you should get from the insurance company.
Depending on the cause of the accident, there may be other defendants in the case. If the truck wasn’t properly maintained or had defective tires, then that could factor in your case, which would further complicate it.
Fortunately, an experienced attorney has the legal knowledge to sort everything out, like who is responsible for the accident, to get a fair settlement for your damages. Most companies will settle out of court, which means you can get your money faster.
However, they may challenge some of the damages you’re claiming. If the case goes to court, then you’ll need someone with legal experience to help you meet the challenges and receive a fair settlement.