This is a common question we get when speaking with truck accident victims. Since truck accidents can leave you with catastrophic injuries, serious vehicle damage (or even a totaled vehicle), lost wages, emotional trauma, and more, it’s completely understandable to wonder how much money you should settle for after the accident.
While we would love to give you a set number to expect from your truck accident claim, the truth is that it really depends on the details of your case. Every truck accident is different, so every case is different. How much you should settle for will depend on who was at fault, the total of your damages, and more.
Four Factors Related to How Much You Should Settle for in a Truck Accident Claim
If you were hurt in a truck accident that you did not fully cause, you have the right to seek compensation as damages (Georgia Code § 51-12-4). You can do this by filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Although you can calculate the total of your damages and file your claim, it doesn’t mean the insurance company will gladly pay what you’re claiming.
1. Degree of Fault in the Accident
In Georgia and most other states, the negligent party in a truck accident is legally responsible for the damages. This is often fairly straightforward in most auto accidents, as usually one driver or the other is at fault. But truck accidents can be different.
Truck accidents often involve multiple parties. You crashed with the truck driver, but you might also be dealing with the trucking company that employs them. In some situations, there are other parties who hold a portion of the blame for the accident too, such as a manufacturer or repair shop that was negligent.
When more than one party is at fault for an accident, it can make the recovery process more complicated. If you were partially negligent in the accident (but still less than 50% at fault), your compensation would be reduced based on your percentage of fault (Georgia Code § 51-12-33). Exactly how much you can recover will depend on how many parties were involved and the percentages of fault they hold.
2. Number of Insurance Companies Involved
After a truck accident, there might be several insurance companies involved in the case, as well.
The trucking company will have an insurance policy, but the truck driver themselves and even the truck might also be covered. This can make the personal injury claim process more complicated and might affect how much you can settle for.
3. Your Total Damages (and Their Severity)
Of course, how much you should settle for will depend a lot on the value of your total damages. That includes both special damages and general damages.
Damages you might have from a truck accident include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering damages like loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, fear, humiliation, or anxiety
- Wrongful death damages (if you lost a loved one in a truck accident)
You and your truck accident lawyer will need to consider all of the ways in which the accident has affected your life. This includes ongoing and future costs that may continue long after your case is settled.
Truck accidents are often very serious, leaving victims with huge medical bills and other costs. How much you should settle for after a truck accident is usually a lot higher than for other types of accidents, so you will want to carefully calculate your total damages before filing your claim.
4. Whether or Not You Have a Truck Accident Lawyer
Whether or not you work with a lawyer—and that lawyer’s experience level—makes a huge difference in the outcome of your claim.
Insurance companies do not like to pay out much for injury claims. So, they will often respond to your claim with a lowball settlement offer. They might make you feel like this is the best you’re going to get or that it’s even a good deal. However, the first offer is rarely enough to cover even a portion of your bills.
In addition, the insurance company may use sneaky tactics to get information from you or undermine your claim. Without the proper legal protection, you may not know just how much you deserve to settle for. Working with a truck accident lawyer will ensure you’re taking the right steps to achieve the settlement you actually deserve.
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Make Sure You Work with the Right Type of Lawyer
Many personal injury lawyers will say they take on truck accident claims, but that doesn’t mean they actually have the right amount of expertise. Make sure you are working with a truck accident lawyer, which is a personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accident cases.
A truck accident lawyer will understand the complexities of truck accident claims, including how to deal with multiple parties and insurance companies. They will also be sensitive to the huge damages that often result from truck accidents and know how to accurately account for all of these costs in your claim.
Talk to a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, our truck accident lawyers have been helping injury victims win the compensation they deserve for over 20 years. Beginning as a small, local law office, we have since grown to become one of the most well-known and -respected law firms in the Georgia area. We know what it takes to win these types of cases—and we don’t charge a fee unless we win you money.
Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation and case evaluation. We’ll go over the details of your case, answer any questions you have, and discuss how we can help. To get started with your FREE consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.