Any type of road accident is a harrowing experience. That being said, the horror of being hit by an 18-wheeler truck is particularly devastating and traumatic. The sheer size of an 18-wheeler truck is no match for a car, with statistics showing that most truck accidents result in injuries and fatalities to the car passengers. Unfortunately, more truck accidents occur in Texas than any other state. With that in mind, knowing the average settlement for 18-wheeler accident in Texas is useful should you ever get rear-ended in a truck accident. This article will give you all the details along with some helpful tips for securing the best auto accident lawyer in Texas to help your claim.
What is the Average Settlement for an 18-Wheeler Accident in Texas?
One common theme surrounding 18-wheeler accidents in Texas is that the truck company tries to settle things outside of court. Regardless of the company’s insistence to settle, the specifics of the accident determine whether a trial is warranted. As a result, the average payout for 18-wheeler accidents in Texas varies. It’s important that you have all the details regarding the accident so that your lawyer can negotiate your maximum settlement.
Having a Dallas truck accident lawyer with experience in these types of accidents can greatly benefit your settlement. It’s impossible to give an accurate average settlement amount because every accident is unique, but you may expect to receive anything from the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because there are so many variables in the process, it’s crucial that you understand what information you should provide to your attorney in order to secure fair compensation.
Factors That Affect Settlements
Several factors will affect the average truck accident settlement. Having knowledge of these factors and whether they positively or negatively affect a settlement will be an advantage.
The Specifics of the Accident
The specifics of the accident play a crucial role in determining the settlement. This is why it is essential to have the details. If fatalities or serious injuries have occurred from the accident, the burden of gathering evidence is on the relatives of the victims. There may be a need to track down eyewitnesses or examine security footage to piece together what happened. However, if you hire a qualified truck accident attorney from the team at Angel Reyes & Associates, these investigative duties get passed on to your dedicated lawyer.
It is important to establish the leading factor that contributed to the accident:
Negligent Truck Driver
There are instances where the truck driver commits a traffic violation, like running a red light or failing to slow down.
The cargo that the truck was carrying could have been packed improperly. It may shift, causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck, or it may spill onto the roadway and be the cause of the accident.
The truck company may not have been maintaining its fleet, resulting in problems with the trucks. This often happens when companies push for deliveries and fail to check trucks between deliveries.
Another common reason for truck accidents is driver fatigue. Unfortunately, many truck drivers push themselves when they have very tight schedules. This may result in them driving when they should be resting.
In Texas, state law determines the fault percentage for each driver. This means that the truck driver and car driver are given a percentage of the fault for the accident. If the fault assigned to you is over 50%, you are not entitled to a settlement. Thus, the lower the fault percentage below 50%, the larger your potential settlement.
Injuries and fatalities can also affect the average truck accident settlement. The severity of the injuries of the car passengers is a huge negotiating factor in settlements. Lawyers consider whether the injuries are life-altering in terms of disabilities or if they hinder the person’s ability to work.
There are also medical bills to consider from the accident. Any further operations, treatments, or rehabilitation costs after the accident also have to be taken into consideration as well.
Getting rear-ended in a truck accident rarely results in just a dented bumper. Due to the massive difference in size between an 18-wheeler and a car, the damage is usually extensive. In many cases, the insurer will deem the car beyond repair simply because the cost of repair is higher than the car’s value. An insurance adjuster will provide an estimate of the damage, but it is good practice for you to get an independent estimate as well.
Insurance policies are tricky to navigate when it comes to truck accident settlements. This is because the accident can involve multiple insurance companies. There is the trucking company itself, the truck driver, and possibly the client whose cargo the truck was carrying. It all depends on the specifics of the accident.
This is why it is crucial to have a Dallas truck accident lawyer to help you navigate the different insurers and ensure that you get the settlement you deserve.
How to Ensure You Get Your Settlement
If you have been in a truck accident, it can be extremely challenging trying to negotiate your settlement while recovering. It can also affect your physical and mental health because it can be quite stressful. This is why it is important to have people around you whom you can trust and who can ensure that you get your settlement. Still, there are two primary things you need to safeguard besides your support network.
Get All the Details
You may be incapacitated after the accident, but one of the first things you need to do is start collecting all the information regarding the accident. This information includes pictures or video footage of the accident, eyewitness reports, police records, and medical reports. In addition, from that moment, you must start collecting all the documentation involving the accident. This means that every bill, insurance report, repair cost, and doctor’s consultation must be kept safe. Your lawyer can use these items to negotiate for a reasonable settlement on your behalf. It will also save you time from scrambling to locate documents later on.
Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional is the surest method to get the compensation you need and deserve. Professional attorneys that handle only truck accident cases exist. It is up to you to find one who is willing to help you. From the date of the crash, you have two years to make a claim against the trucking company or truck driver.
Having a professional lawyer working on your case will make it easier to negotiate your settlement. Also, with their experience dealing with these types of accidents, they will be able to give you an idea of the average payout for 18-wheeler accidents in Texas. They will also be able to better advise you about what you should and should not do while the claim is being negotiated. The lawyers at Angel Reyes & Associates are experts in this field of law, as we deal with Texas road accident cases on a daily basis.
Our team of expert road accident lawyers has a proven track record for securing the best outcomes for our clients. All you have to do is browse our case results to see some real-world settlements that we have won for victims of 18-wheeler accidents. For example, we fought to secure a $1.5-million settlement in an auto accident case involving an 18-wheeler collision, which resulted in a broken vertebra for one individual and serious knee injuries and a mild brain injury in another. Our team has the skills, experience and tenacity to go after the maximum compensation you’re owed.
The time it takes for a settlement to be reached in a trucking accident varies for several reasons, the most common of which being the time taken for the car passengers to recover. If their injuries are extensive, it might take a while before they are able to claim. In addition to this, it’s only until their medical situation is sorted out that their lawyer knows exactly how much they should seek in compensation for the settlement. With all that considered, a finalized settlement can take anywhere between a few months and a few years.
In this type of settlement, you can claim both economic and non-economic damages. In laymen’s terms, this means is that you can claim for the economic impact the accident had in terms of doctor’s bills, damages, and loss of income, as well as the non-economic impact in terms of disfigurement, disability, pain, and suffering. Your lawyer can also argue punitive damages if evidence shows that the trucking company has been negligent or has not complied with safety regulations.
In Texas, you need to prove that your fault percentage is below 50%. You will also need to provide evidence of the damages and injuries you sustained. To do this, you will need to produce documentation that proves that the accident impacted your life and that you were not at fault. Having evidence of the truck driver’s negligence or traffic violation in the form of video footage or witness reports is also important.
A truck accident lawyer has the relevant expertise that you need. They are familiar with these types of settlements and will be able to advise you better throughout the process. A lawyer unfamiliar with truck accident settlements may agree to a lower payout without realizing it. However, those who negotiate with these insurance companies all the time know when they need to ask for more due to damages. The team at Reyes Brown Reilly deals with auto accidents on a daily basis and has been doing so for 30 years — so we know more than a thing or two about the intricacies of Texas road and personal injury laws.
Video footage of accidents is common due to the popularity of dashcams. However, posting videos online regarding your settlement is still unwise. It’s fine if your lawyer uses video footage from others as evidence in your settlement, but you should refrain from doing so on social media.
The process of determining fault percentage in a trucking accident in Texas generally takes 15 days. In plain terms, the insurance company has 15 days to either reject or approve the claim. Depending on the specific nature of the accidents and their effects, this period could be extended.
Find the best 18-wheeler accident attorneys in Texas
The average settlement for 18-wheeler accident in Texas is hard to define. Given the unique circumstances of each individual claim, settlement amounts will also vary. If you’ve been the victim of an auto wreck involving an 18-wheeler, hiring a lawyer who specializes in truck accidents is your best bet for recovering damages. They’ve got the expertise to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. The truck companies will always try to settle for less quickly instead of having to pay larger amounts later on when damages increase. It’s best to always seek proper legal counsel before settling, so you can go into the situation knowing someone is ready to fight for you.
The team at Angel Reyes & Associates has a five-star track record, decades of experience in Texas road accident law and a genuine care for victims. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case today.