What is the Average 18-Wheeler Settlement in Utah?
Collisions with 18-wheelers tend to be violent. After a crash, victims often wonder what the average semi-truck accident settlement might be. The question is understandable, but the answer is much more complex.
Settling a truck accident claim means negotiating with the responsible party’s insurance company or even more than one insurer, depending on who can be held liable. Insurance adjusters investigate the accident before arriving at a settlement offer. Usually, that offer is far less than what the injured person deserves.
The experienced attorneys at Swenson & Shelley are committed to the relentless pursuit of justice for truck accident victims™ in Utah. We know what it takes to stand up to the big trucking companies and win. Let us help you, too. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable semi-truck accident lawyer.
What is a Semi-Truck Accident Settlement?
After an 18-wheeler accident, you can pursue compensation for your injuries and losses through a personal injury claim. A truck accident attorney will investigate your case, calculate your losses, and send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company requesting full and fair compensation. The money you receive from the insurance company is called a settlement.
Unfortunately, insurers don’t settle without a fight. Semi-truck accident cases tend to have a high dollar value because victims suffer great physical and financial losses. The more money insurers stand to lose, the more likely they are to deny your claim or make a lowball settlement offer. An experienced attorney can negotiate for the full compensation you are entitled to or take your case to trial if the insurer refuses to cooperate.
How is Fault Determined After a Truck Accident?
Utah is a no-fault state for auto accidents. Every driver must carry a minimum of $3,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to pay for their medical expenses and lost wages after an accident. PIP benefits are available no matter who is at fault for a wreck. However, they rarely are enough to cover the devastating injuries that accompany a commercial truck accident. For that reason, Utah allows accident victims to step outside the no-fault system and file a personal injury claim directly against the responsible party’s insurer if their injuries exceed $3,000 or meet the state’s definition of a serious injury.
Determining fault comes into play when you file a personal injury claim. You must prove the other party was negligent to recover compensation. In Utah, negligence means failing to use reasonable care to avoid harming someone.
Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to identify every liable party in your case.
In the average car accident claim, fault typically lies with one or both drivers. But with 18-wheeler accident claims, liability may rest with multiple parties, such as:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck’s owner
- Maintenance companies
- Cargo loaders
- Parts manufacturers
- Other drivers
Once your attorney identifies the liable parties, they will initiate the claims process.
How are Truck Accident Settlement Amounts Determined?
Insurance companies look at a variety of factors to determine semi-truck accident settlements, including:
- Severity of the injuries – Truck accident cases often result in devastating injuries. The high cost of medical treatment can increase a case’s value.
- Financial and personal impact – A tractor-trailer wreck can take a financial and personal toll. If you cannot work due to your injuries, a fair settlement should include money for your lost wages and reduced earning capacity. If the crash left you with a diminished quality of life or the inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed, your settlement should reflect those intangible losses, too.
- Who is liable – Questions over who is at fault can affect the amount of a semi-truck accident settlement. This is especially true if you share any responsibility for the crash. In Utah, your settlement can be reduced by the percentage of fault you share for an accident. If your portion exceeds 50 percent, you lose your right to recover compensation completely.
- Insurance policy limits – Insurers have a pool of money to draw from based on the amount of coverage the policyholder purchased. They will not pay the difference if your losses exceed the policy limits.
- Strength of the evidence – You need solid evidence of negligence to support your injury claim. An experienced truck accident lawyer can gather the proof you need.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident Claim?
There’s no definite timeline for settling a truck accident case. One of the biggest factors that impact the length of a case is how long it takes you to recover from your injuries. You never want to settle before you finish medical treatment. Otherwise, you could settle for less money than you need, and you can’t go back and ask for more later.
Other things that could affect how long it takes to reach a truck accident settlement include:
The case value – The more expensive the damages, the greater the likelihood that the insurance company will push back against your demands.
Complexity of the facts – Trucks are complicated machines. Uncovering what happened and who is responsible could require expert analysis and an extensive investigation, which can draw out the length of the case.
Whether the case goes to trial – Sometimes, it takes the threat of a trial to bring insurance companies to the negotiating table. You can settle your case at any time during the legal process.
Hire a Utah Truck Accident Attorney to Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
At Swenson & Shelley, we strongly advise you to hire an attorney after a commercial truck accident. Strict federal regulations and state laws bind the trucking industry. You need a skilled lawyer who understands the complexities of truck accident law to hold the at-fault parties fully accountable for their wrongdoing.
Hiring an attorney also protects you from falling victim to unfair tactics insurers use to save money. An adjuster may sound friendly, but beware. They may pressure you to settle early, even while you’re still lying in your hospital bed. Or they might ask you to provide a recorded statement and use your words against you. A lawyer can handle all talks with the insurance company to maximize your settlement value.
Contact Us Now to Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
Compensation is key if you suffered injuries in a large truck accident. Turn to Swenson & Shelley today. A Utah truck accident lawyer from our law firm can meet with you for a free consultation by phone, in person, via text, or on a video call.
We’re here to do what’s right for you. Call or contact us today to get started.