Average Semi Truck Accident Settlement in California
Factors That Affect the Average Truck Accident Settlement in California
Truck accidents in California frequently result in serious and life-threatening injuries.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), people traveling in passenger vehicles are extremely vulnerable given that commercial trucks often weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 times as much as a car.
Indeed, more than 4,100 people died in collisions with large trucks in 2017, and a majority of those people were occupants of passenger vehicles like cars or SUVs.
If you recently got hurt in a crash involving a semi-truck in California, you may be wondering whether you should file a claim and how much your lawsuit might be worth.
We often work with clients who want to know more about the average semi-truck accident settlement, and about semi-truck accident settlements more generally.
In short, while it is difficult to discuss any kind of average amount for a truck settlement given that cases vary widely in terms of the severity of the crash, we can discuss some important aspects of commercial truck accident settlements with you.
What is the Average Semi Truck Accident Settlement in California?
As we mentioned, it is difficult—if not impossible—to give you a precise average for settlements and verdicts in a semi-truck accident case in California.
Every case has its own set of facts, and even slight shifts in how a crash happened and what types of injuries resulted can affect the settlement of a particular claim.
Generally speaking, however, we can tell you about factors that commonly affect the amount of a semi-truck accident settlement:
- The total cost of your medical bills;
- Expected healthcare costs in the future resulting from your injuries;
- Lost wages due to your inability to work;
- Future lost wages;
- Whether any drivers were at fault in addition to the truck driver;
- Whether the truck driver’s error or another issue caused the collision;
- Quality and quantity of evidence to show that you are not at fault; and
- Whether or not you are partially at fault for the accident.
California Commercial Truck Insurance Claims
After a motor vehicle collision, the first step in seeking financial compensation often involves filing an insurance claim. With car accident cases, if an injured claimant cannot obtain the compensation she deserves, that injured person may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible or negligent party.
The same is often true for truck accidents, yet injured persons may be able to receive higher settlements due to differences between regular car insurance minimum requirements and truck insurance requirements.
According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, the following are minimum auto insurance requirements for an automobile driver:
- $15,000 bodily injury for one person;
- $30,000 bodily injury for more than one person in an accident; and
- $5,000 in property damage
When an auto collision results in damage or losses beyond the minimums, a negligent driver’s insurance company often will not be able to fully compensate the victim for losses. However, truck minimum insurance requirements are much higher.
Accordingly, if you are injured in a large truck crash, you may be able to obtain the compensation you deserve by seeking an insurance settlement.
Your California truck accident attorney can negotiate with the truck insurer on your behalf to obtain a reasonable settlement. In cases where the truck insurance company will not pay what you are owed, you can file a truck accident lawsuit to seek a reasonable settlement directly from the trucking company.
How Comparative Fault Could Impact Your Truck Accident Settlement
What happens if you are partially at fault for the accident? For example, if you were traveling 10 miles per hour beyond the speed limit when a truck crashed into you, can you still obtain compensation?
This question raises the issue of comparative fault or contributory negligence. Although some states will bar a plaintiff’s recovery when they bear some fault for an accident, California is not one of those states.
Under California law, a plaintiff can recover damages whether that plaintiff is 1 percent at fault or more. Even when a plaintiff is 99 percent at fault, that plaintiff can still recover. However, in any case, where the plaintiff is partially at fault, the plaintiff’s damages award will be reduced in proportion to her percentage of fault.
For instance, if a plaintiff is 20 percent at fault, the plaintiff’s damages award will be reduced by 20 percent.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in California
If you have more questions about the average truck accident settlement in California, or want to file a claim, an experienced California truck accident lawyer at our firm can help. Contact Starpoint Law to get started on your case.