• Sep 11, 2019|
  • Posted by: Michael Francis|
  • Read Time: 4 minutes

A truck wreck accident is one of the worst accident types involving a motor vehicle. In fact, truck accidents almost never result in everyone walking away from the accident unscathed.

In most cases, the driver of the smaller vehicle will face large medical bills, property damage costs, lost wages, and other economic and noneconomic damages. 

At the Francis Firm, our truck accident lawyers want to help you navigate a hit-by-a-semi-truck settlement. Our team has years of experience and is passionate about getting our clients the recovery awards they deserve. If you have been in a crash, please do not wait a moment longer to call our law firm and request a free consultation. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the factors that influence a truck accident settlement:

Fault

One of the first things that will need to be considered in assessing the value of a truck accident settlement is the degree of fault of each party. Because Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, those who cause accidents are responsible for paying for the damages that result. This means that if the truck driver was to blame for your truck accident, the truck driver/trucking company, individually or via their liability insurance, will be responsible for paying for your damages

But Texas also recognizes the rule of modified comparative fault, called proportionate responsibility. Under this rule, a plaintiff is not barred from holding another party responsible for their injuries, so long as the plaintiff is less than  51 percent or more to blame. However, the plaintiff’s damages can be reduced in proportion to their own degree of fault.

For example, if you are found to be 10 percent at fault for the truck accident, you’ll only be able to hold the other party/parties liable for 90 percent of your damages. This can have a significant effect on how much you’ll ultimately be able to recover.

Risk and Truck Accident Attorney

Another factor that can affect the outcome of your truck accident settlement and how much you ultimately recover is whether or not you are working with a skilled attorney. An attorney can improve the chances of your case being successful and the amount of your recovery in many ways. 

An attorney will know how to investigate your case, prove damages, identify liable parties and various sources of insurance, and, perhaps most importantly, will have the experience to review and evaluate any settlement offer. Finally, an experienced trucking wreck attorney can bring your case to court if necessary, which is often the only incentive an insurance company has to fairly settle your claim.

While people often assume an insurance company or trucking company will pay the “fair value” of a claim, that is not how settlements actually occur in practice. Claims are not evaluated by “fair value” but instead by the amount of risk a claim poses for significantly greater liability if not settled today. This is the reason victims that do not hire experienced truck wreck attorneys fail to receive fair compensation after a collision.  

Without an experienced attorney, your claim poses very little risk to the trucking company or its insurer and as such, the adjuster has little incentive to offer a settlement reflecting the entire value of your claim. Even after fees, an experienced truck wreck attorney will almost always ensure your actual recovery is greater than the amount you would receive without hiring a lawyer

Damages

Another thing that will influence your settlement is the value of the damages you’ve suffered. Typically, more severe injuries result in greater economic losses, as well as noneconomic losses. You should work with a truck accident attorney to calculate the full extent of your:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills;
  • Lost earning capacity or wages in the past and future;
  • Property damage costs; 
  • Noneconomic losses, such the value of your pain, suffering, physicial impairment and emotional distress; and
  • Any other losses you’ve suffered. 

There are different ways that noneconomic damages can be calculated, which may have an effect on the value of your settlement. Further note that the value of your damages may not be what you actually recover in a settlement. 

Note: If you are in a truck wreck and unable to afford medical care to fully identify and treat all of your injuries, you will never be able to present a claim that reflects all of the damage caused by the negligent truck driver. An experienced truck wreck attorney can help you find medical providers that can diagnose and treat your injuries, no matter how severe.  

Insurance Available

A third factor that can greatly impact your hit-by-a-semi-truck settlement is the amount of insurance available. While there are some exceptions, commercial vehicles in Texas are typically required to carry relatively large insurance policies. 

Larger companies often have insurance limits significantly higher than state-mandated minimums. Due to the severity of harm often resulting from a truck collision, however, the available coverage may still be inadequate to fully compensate you for the injuries and damages suffered by you and your family.  

How to Get the Biggest Hit-by-Semi-Truck Settlement Possible

You deserve to be compensated for the full extent of your losses if you’ve been hit by a semi-truck. At the office of the Francis Firm, we can help. We know what it takes to put pressure on insurance companies and get our clients the awards they deserve. 

If you’ve been in an accident, we strongly recommend calling our law office as soon as possible. Every second you delay means that evidence could be lost and your chances of recovering your full settlement get a little smaller. We offer free consultations - call today to get started. 

Author Photo

Michael Francis

Michael Francis is the founding partner of the Francis Firm and Flynn, Francis & Clark, LLP and has spent more than twenty-five years litigating personal injury and commercial litigation cases throughout the state of Texas and across the country.

Michael focuses his legal practice on personal injury and business litigation cases, with a particular emphasis on trucking, motor vehicle and complex commercial litigation matters. Michael has more than twenty-five years of experience litigating cases throughout the State of Texas, against many of the largest corporations and insurance companies. He has secured verdicts and settlements for clients in excess of $20,000,000.