An 18 wheeler accident is a collision involving a large commercial truck, typically consisting of a tractor unit and a trailer with 18 wheels. These accidents can be extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause significant damage and injuries. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, the impact of an 18 wheeler accident can be devastating.
The costs associated with 18 wheeler accidents can be substantial. Not only are there medical expenses for treating injuries sustained in the accident, but there may also be property damage to vehicles involved in the collision. There may be costs associated with lost wages if the injured party is unable to work due to their injuries.
Several factors can influence the cost of an 18 wheeler accident. These factors include the types of damages that can be claimed, the severity of injuries sustained, property damage, and liability.
When it comes to damages, there are various types of damages that can be claimed in an 18 wheeler accident. Economic damages refer to the tangible financial losses incurred as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intangible losses that cannot be easily quantified, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases where the actions of the truck driver or trucking company were particularly egregious. The severity of injuries sustained in an 18 wheeler accident can greatly impact the cost. More severe injuries may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. These costs can quickly add up and place a significant financial burden on the injured party.
Property damage is another factor that can contribute to the overall cost of an 18 wheeler accident. The size and weight of commercial trucks can cause significant damage to other vehicles involved in the collision. Repairing or replacing these vehicles can be costly, especially if they are newer or high-end models.
Liability plays a crucial role in determining the cost of an 18 wheeler accident. If the truck driver or trucking company is found to be at fault for the accident, they may be held responsible for compensating the injured party for their damages. However, if the injured party is found to be partially at fault, their compensation may be reduced proportionally.
The average settlement amount for an 18 wheeler accident can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, it is not uncommon for settlements to reach into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
The types of damages collected can be divided into three main categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to the tangible financial losses incurred as a result of the accident. This can include medical expenses, both past and future, property damage, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. These damages are relatively easy to quantify as they involve actual monetary losses.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and difficult to quantify. These damages compensate the injured party for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Since these damages do not have a specific dollar value attached to them, they can vary greatly.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in cases where the actions of the truck driver or trucking company were particularly egregious. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages are typically only awarded in cases where there is clear evidence of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Insurance companies play a role in determining settlement amounts for these types of claims. When an accident occurs, the injured party will typically file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance company will then conduct an investigation to determine liability and assess the damages.
Insurance companies use various methods to calculate settlement amounts. One common method is to add up the economic damages, such as medical expenses and property damage, and multiply them by a certain factor to account for non-economic damages.
Insurance companies also consider other factors when determining settlement amounts including the strength of the evidence supporting the injured party’s claim, the credibility of witnesses, the reputation of the injured party’s attorney, and the potential for negative publicity if the case goes to trial.
When filing an 18 wheeler accident claim, it is important to avoid common mistakes that can jeopardize your chances of receiving fair compensation. One common mistake is failing to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Even if you do not believe you have been seriously injured, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional.
Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company without first consulting with an attorney. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in a way that can minimize your claim or shift blame onto you.
The length of time it takes to settle an 18 wheeler accident claim can vary depending on several factors. In some cases, a claim may be settled relatively quickly, while in others, it may take months or even years to reach a resolution.
One factor that can affect the timeline is the complexity of the case. If liability is clear and there are no disputes regarding the extent of the damages, the claim may be settled more quickly. However, if there are multiple parties involved or if liability is disputed, the process can be more time-consuming.
Some insurance companies may be more inclined to settle quickly in order to avoid the costs and risks associated with litigation. Others may be more resistant to settling and may require more time and negotiation to reach a resolution.