Since insurance companies often lean toward settlement offers for truck accident injuries, injury victims should understand how settlements are calculated and what damages are covered.
Understanding Settlement Estimates
Commercial trucking accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities. To avoid a lawsuit and a court trial, many insurance companies rely on settlement offers to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle. Since many injuries are severe or fatal, settlements often involve large payouts with six, seven, or eight figures to cover damages.
Although there’s no way to predict a precise truck accident settlement, there is a basic formula used to calculate a rough estimate. Commercial trucking accidents often involve complex legal issues that require a truck accident lawyer to prove fault and calculate an acceptable settlement. If the accident is caused by truck driver negligence or results in a fatality, family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit with the lawyer to seek damages for past medical bills and funeral expenses.
To calculate a settlement for a Nevada trucking crash, a Henderson truck accident lawyer takes certain factors taken into account: Medical bills + property damages + lost income + pain and suffering = estimated settlement value.
- Medical Expenses – Medical expenses usually include past and future bills for hospital stays; ambulance costs; outpatient visits; rehabilitation costs; home health care; and medications.
- Property Damages – Large 18-wheelers and semi-trucks cause significant property damage to other vehicles in a crash. Estimates from mechanics and Kelly Blue Book guidelines are commonly used to calculate repair or replacement costs.
- Lost Income – Victims in trucking accidents often suffer severe or disabling injuries. Records of the victim’s salary, bonuses, tips, etc. are used to calculate lost wages, as well as lost future earnings. If the victim dies, his/her age and most recent salary are used to calculate loss of future support.
- Pain and Suffering – An award for pain and suffering is typically the sum of the above expenses multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries. Pain and suffering is the most difficult expense to calculate.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truck drivers to carry the minimum in liability insurance. Most commercial trucking companies require a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability coverage. In 42% of truck crash settlements, payouts exceed the minimum insurance requirements.