Average Truck Accident Settlement Amounts
The average truck accident settlement amount is $42,909.88, which includes cases where the defendant was operating a tractor trailer or other heavy/commercial truck. This data was derived from settlement amounts of trucking accident cases that were settled in the last 6 years (between 2015 and 2021).
Additional settlement values are as follows:
- Average tractor trailer settlement: $47,777.50
- Average heavy/commercial truck settlement (not including tractor trailers): $35,412.80
The data above is provided based on real cases and personal injury settlement amounts during the specified date range. The average semi truck accident settlement amounts should not be interpreted as a standard or expected payout for every case; each truck accident case is unique and compensation will vary.
Automobile accidents can be devastating events that alter people’s lives. The devastation is multiplied if the accident involves a massive semi truck loaded with cargo. As a result, there can be more intense trauma, severe injuries, costlier repairs, and higher medical bills.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks (trucks heavier than 10,000 pounds) caused approximately 510,000 accidents in 2019. Of these 510,000 accidents, 119,000 (23%) of these accidents resulted in injury or death. Semi trucks average 10,000-25,000 pounds when unloaded and thus account for nearly all “large truck” accidents. Compensation claims were likely filed in almost all the 119,000 accidents involving injuries or fatalities in 2019. This equates to millions in settlements paid to the injured parties.
The potential for confusion is high after a devastating event like a semi truck accident. It is important to seek the correct guidance to obtain fair compensation. Since semi truck accidents typically involve a trucking company and more complex vehicles, the potential for confusion is especially high.
What is a Truck Accident Settlement?
A truck accident settlement is the most common legal resolution that follows a semi truck accident. The settlement typically involves the liable party (such as the truck driver or their employer) paying a sum to the injured party for an amount of money agreed upon by the parties involved and their respective representatives.
How Truck Accident Settlement Amounts are Determined
The average settlement from truck accidents varies. Usually, the settlements for these types of accidents are higher than those from accidents involving only cars. This is due to the size and weight of semi trucks and therefore their heightened risk for causing extreme damage. Numerous factors contribute to the value of the settlement.
Liability is the largest factor in determining the value of truck accident settlements. Liability determines who was at fault for causing the accident. The party found to be at fault is responsible for payment associated with the accident and its damages. Contributory negligence and comparative fault are legal defenses that can be raised when both parties are at least partially at fault for the accident. This can also affect the final value of the settlement.
Injuries are also an important factor in deciding compensation. The severity of the injuries is generally the most important factor associated with the value of a claim involving an accident with a semi truck. Generally, as the severity of the injuries increases, so does the value of the final settlement. If the accident resulted in the death of one or more parties, the value of the settlement can also increase substantially. In this stage, it is imperative to seek adequate legal representation. Hiring a skilled law firm is the best way to assure adequate compensation.
The last significant factor is the insurance policy. Sometimes a trucking company may carry minimal insurance coverage, although this is uncommon. In such circumstances, if the value of the awarded compensation exceeds the value of the policy limit, the injured party may not receive its total award. However, there are federal as well as state laws that often mandate higher levels of coverage.
The insurance policies provide one way to estimate the range your settlement will fall within. The FMCSA has established the following policy minimum amounts that owners and operators of large trucks must carry:
- 10,000 pounds or below carrying non-hazardous cargo: $300,000
- 10,000 pounds or greater carrying non-hazardous cargo: $750,000
- Private tankers carrying oil: $1,000,000
- Private carriers transporting hazardous cargo: $5,000,000
While these dollar amounts may seem substantial, badly injured victims of semi truck accidents may eventually find that their medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related expenses will far exceed these required minimum policies.
Get Help & Obtain The Compensation You Deserve
Due to the sheer size of a semi truck, it is unusual for anyone to walk away from an accident without injury.
If you have been injured by a semi truck, or if a loved one has been killed or injured by one, it is imperative that you choose the best truck accident attorney available. Our experienced team at Brown & Crouppen has been trained to make this process as worry-free and painless as possible.
For decades, we have helped families and individuals recover the compensation they are entitled to during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Our lawyers help hold truck drivers and trucking companies liable, and they help you maximize your compensation from your wrongful death or personal injury claim. Please call today for a consultation so our experts can help you get the compensation you deserve!