One of the most commonly asked questions that victims of truck accidents ask is how much they should settle for. Truck accidents can have disastrous consequences, including significant injuries, fatalities, emotional anguish, negative financial impacts, and property damage. After experiencing the traumas that accompany a truck accident, it is entirely natural that you wonder what sort of monetary settlement would be appropriate.
The truth is, there is no set number that covers all truck accidents. Various aspects of the accident determine the value of your claim. These factors include who is at fault and the damages you sustained.
Factors to Be Considered When Determining How Much a Truck Accident Settlement Is Worth
Truck accidents can be catastrophic. If caused by a negligent driver, you may pursue compensation for the damages you sustained. This begins with filing a personal injury claim with the liable party’s insurance company.
You can tabulate the amount of financial damages you incurred as well as the non-economic damages you face, but this does not always mean the insurance company makes you a fair offer.
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Multiple Liable Parties Can Make Determining a Settlement Challenging
When truck accidents occur, and they are the fault of the negligent driver, that driver is responsible for damages. If other factors, like truck maintenance or defects, caused the accident, the trucking company or the manufacturer might be at fault. Truck accidents often mean several parties share responsibility for the crash.
This might mean you are looking to the driver, the company he was driving for, the mechanic or garage that repairs and maintains the truck, and even the truck manufacturer for restitution. Multiple parties involved can make an already complex situation more complicated.
Comparative Negligence Plays a Role in Determining the Amount of Your Settlement
Oklahoma is a state that practices comparative negligence. This means that if you are partially at fault for the truck accident, your settlement may be adjusted for the percentage you are held at fault. You can seek damages if you are considered up to 49% or less at fault.
If you are 50% or more at fault, you are not eligible for damages. When comparative fault is used to determine the amount, your compensatory damages will reflect the amount of fault you assume.
For instance, if you are in an accident and were determined to be 25% at fault and experienced $10,000 in damages, 25% of those damages would come out of your pocket. You would be given only $7,500 in damages.
Multiple Insurance Companies Can Be Involved
Following a truck accident, there could be several insurance companies in the mix. The truck driver’s insurance company, there can be an insurance policy on the rig he was driving, the company he was driving the truck for will have insurance coverage, and the manufacturer or mechanic might have other insurance providers involved as well.
With multiple insurance carriers all trying to get away with paying the smallest amount possible, personal injury claims can be quite complicated. An Oklahoma trucking accident attorney can answer your questions and protect your rights in the aftermath of a crash.
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Damages Depend Upon the Severity of the Accident
A settlement amount will depend on the damages you sustained in the truck accident. These will include economic and non-economic damages. Listed below are some of the damages you may have experienced following a truck accident:
- Medical expenses add up quickly. Emergency rooms, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, procedures, treatments, and surgeries all become insurmountable quickly.
- Future medical costs, if the injuries are long-term or permanent, can compound throughout your life. The expenses you experience due to the accident should be considered if the injuries are ongoing.
- Prescription Medications are often necessary but are not inexpensive. Pharmaceutical costs can make paying for the needed medications difficult.
- Loss of wages occurs when work is missed to heal or to attend doctor visits. If you are unable to work, your earnings can be critically affected.
- Vehicle replacements or repairs happen if your automobile is damaged in the accident. These costs can range from a small and simple fix to a totaled vehicle that must be replaced.
- Pain and suffering are hard to calculate as a monetary expense, but it is a very real damage.
- Loss of enjoyment of life happens when a person can no longer enjoy the things that once brought them joy. These may include hobbies or spending time doing things they love with their families.
- Disfigurement and scarring can require painful surgeries and can cause shame and social discomfort.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other forms of depression and emotional anguish can accompany a truck accident.
- Wrongful death, if a loved one is lost in a truck accident, can be awarded if the family experiences a fatality.
- Home alterations may be necessary depending on the injury. These might include ramps, grab rails, doorways that need to be expanded, and bathrooms and kitchens fitted to aid the person with impairments in using their home as they normally would.
- Mobility devices like wheelchairs, crutches, scooters, lifts, and canes might be required.
- Prosthetics could be necessary if the victim loses a limb in a truck accident.
- Therapy for physical, emotional, and occupational needs might also be necessary.
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Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Oklahoma
An Oklahoma truck accident lawyer can help you to consider all of the ways your life was altered. Your attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding your case and all of the possible liable parties. Determining a fair amount of compensation is part of their job.
After determining the amount of money that should be recovered, your lawyer with BDIW Law will advocate on your behalf so that you are generously compensated. We are adept at negotiating with multiple insurance companies and will try to settle on your behalf for a number that you are satisfied with.
If we are unable to reach an adequate settlement amount through negotiations, we are not afraid to take your case to court and fight it out there. Our main goal is to ensure that your rights and your future are protected.
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