There is nothing more catastrophic or distressing than an accident involving a large commercial vehicle. Whether you’re in an oversized SUV or a small hatchback, the damage semi trucks can cause makes these accidents even more dangerous. What’s worse is that with the increase in delivery services, truck accidents are up 20% across the entire United States.
If you or someone you love has been in an accident involving a commercial semi truck in the state of South Carolina, you need more than your insurance to advocate for you. Hiring a South Carolina truck accident lawyer may help you receive the entitlements and compensation you deserve.
What that compensation looks like can be difficult to determine right away. Because each case is unique, the range of financial compensation varies.
In some instances, victims of the accident have been awarded anywhere between $183,000 and several million dollars. The average non-fatal semi truck accident settlement in the United States currently stands at about $195,258, and the average fatal semi truck accident settlement stands at approximately $3,605,000.
What Is a Truck Accident Settlement?
Truck accident settlements are the most common legal resolution following a truck accident. These settlements typically involve a liable party. When moving through the court process, it’s important to look at what causes most semi truck accidents to determine who is at fault, such as a fatigued truck driver or the employer of the truck driver.
If the court rules one party liable for the accident, they must pay the injured party a sum of money that is agreed upon by the parties involved and their representatives. These settlements aren’t restricted to just semi trucks–they can include tow trucks, commercial trucks, and other heavy vehicles.
How Settlement Amounts Are Determined
It can often take anywhere between six and sixteen months to settle trucking accident claims from the date of the accident because there are several variables that impact the settlement amount.
Truck accidents are common and cause a considerable amount of injury and damages compared to other motorized vehicle accidents. Because of this, the law mandates that trucking companies must carry a considerable amount of insurance. This results in multiple parties being involved in an accident settlement, including the victims, the driver, the company the driver works for, and the respective insurance agencies.
During the settlement process, the court takes into account the value of the accident and considers all factors at play to determine who is liable.
Value of the Accident
Every semi truck accident is unique, so someone with a similar case to yours may receive more or less money than you, depending on the circumstances and value of the accident.
Typically, victims of a semi truck accident are entitled to damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Property and vehicle damages
- Emotional trauma
- Medical expenses (surgery, doctor visits, medication, etc.)
- Lost wages and potential loss of future compensation
- Damage to quality of life
- Loss of consortium, comfort, and relationships
Other Factors to Consider
Insurance policies can also impact the value of the accident. There are instances in which a trucking company carries a lower insurance coverage. If this is the case and the value of the awarded compensation is greater than the insurance policy limit, the injured party may not receive their total award.
Because federal and state laws typically mandate higher levels of coverage, there are established policy minimum amounts that the owners and operators of commercial trucks must carry:
- Trucks of 10,000 pounds or less carrying non-hazardous cargo: $300,000
- Trucks of 10,000 pounds or greater carrying non-hazardous cargo: $750,000
- Private tankers carrying oil: $1 million
- Private carriers transporting hazardous cargo: $5 million
The Bottom Line
Unsure about the money you’re entitled to after an accident? Struggling to navigate the legal waters of compensation while dealing with a medical crisis? We’re here to help.
At Strom Law, we advocate for all of our clients, putting their rights and best interests at the forefront of our work. Our legal teams combine legal experience, research, and compassion into each case to provide you with the guidance necessary to make informed decisions!