An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, about 40 times heavier than the average car. This enormous disparity in size and weight means that when accidents occur, they are often more destructive, leading to more severe injuries. Most large trucks on the road are owned by companies that are heavily insured, meaning settlements for truck accident injuries can be significantly higher than injuries sustained from a standard car accident. 

This article will give an overview, but for a more in-depth explanation, check out our free truck accident eBook.

Key Factors Influencing the Value of Your Truck Accident Case

Several factors will influence the value of your case. The most significant are the severity of your injuries, the total damages you’ve incurred, how these injuries affect your life, and, unfortunately, the most crucial component: how much insurance you and the trucking company have 

  • Severity of Injuries: Injuries like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries are life-changing. They’re often classified as ‘catastrophic’ because of their profound impact on your daily life. The severity of these injuries plays a critical role in determining your case’s value, as it directly influences your damages. 
  • Total Damages: Your damages include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We calculate these by looking at both your monetary losses, like surgery costs, and non-monetary losses, such as the emotional and physical pain you endure. 
  • Impact on Quality of Life: The change to your quality of life is also a crucial factor. For someone with minor injuries, the impact might be temporary. However, for those with severe injuries requiring ongoing care or significant lifestyle adjustments, the compensation reflects the greater change to their life. 

Who Pays for Damages? 

Determining liability in a trucking accident is often more complex than in standard auto accidents due to the involvement of multiple parties. Here’s a breakdown of the potentially responsible parties and how they might contribute to your compensation: 

  • Insurance Companies: Typically, the primary source of compensation is the insurance company. This can include the truck driver’s insurance, the trucking company’s insurance, and any other relevant policies. Commercial truck insurance policies usually have higher coverage limits compared to personal auto insurance, reflecting the potential severity of accidents involving large trucks. 
  • Trucking Company: The trucking company might be held liable if the accident resulted from negligence on their part, such as improper maintenance of the vehicle, failure to adhere to safety regulations, or pushing drivers to exceed legally mandated hours of service. 
  • Vehicle Manufacturer: If a defect in the truck or any of its components (like brakes, tires, or steering systems) contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the truck or the faulty parts could be held liable. 
  • Cargo Loaders: Improperly loaded or secured cargo can cause accidents. If it’s found that the cargo loaders failed to load the truck safely or violated weight regulations, they might also bear responsibility. 
  • Third Parties: Sometimes, other entities, such as maintenance companies responsible for servicing the truck or even other drivers, might share liability if their actions contributed to the accident. 

Due to the involvement of multiple parties, you might receive compensation from more than one source. Each liable party’s insurance policy could contribute to the overall settlement or judgment, potentially increasing the total compensation available to cover your damages. 

Navigating these complexities requires thorough investigation and legal expertise. Our role as your attorneys is to identify all liable parties, gather solid evidence, and pursue full compensation from each responsible source to ensure you receive the justice and financial recovery you deserve.  

Building a Strong Case 

Building a strong trucking accident case is essential to securing the compensation you deserve. This process involves gathering and presenting solid evidence to demonstrate the extent of your damages and the liability of the parties involved. Here’s a deeper look into the key components: 

  • Accident Scene Photos: Photos taken at the accident scene provide crucial visual evidence. They capture the condition of the vehicles, road conditions, skid marks, traffic signals, and other relevant factors that can help reconstruct how the accident occurred. 
  • Black Box Data: Most commercial trucks are equipped with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) or “black boxes” that record various data points, such as the truck’s speed, brake usage, and driver’s hours of service. This data can be invaluable in proving whether the truck driver was speeding, driving recklessly, or fatigued at the time of the accident. 
  • Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses to the accident can provide important testimonies about what they saw. Their accounts can help corroborate your version of events and provide additional perspectives on how the accident happened. 
  • Medical Records: Detailed medical records document the extent and severity of your injuries. These records, along with expert medical testimony, can illustrate the impact of the injuries on your life and support your claim for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 
  • Expert Consultations: Consulting with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and vocational experts, can strengthen your case. Accident reconstruction specialists can recreate the incident to demonstrate how it occurred and who was at fault. Medical professionals can provide insights into the long-term effects of your injuries, while vocational experts can assess how your injuries impact your ability to work. 
  • Trucking Company Records: Records from the trucking company, including maintenance logs, driver logs, and company policies, can reveal whether there were any violations of safety regulations or negligence on the company’s part. 
  • Police Reports: Official police reports often contain valuable information, such as the officer’s observations, statements from involved parties and witnesses, and any citations issued. This report can serve as an impartial account of the accident. 
  • Insurance Documents: Communications and documents from insurance companies can provide insights into their evaluations and any settlement offers. These documents can be used to negotiate better terms or to contest lowball offers. 

Our Role as Your North Carolina Truck Accident Attorneys 

Our job as your attorneys is to gather all this evidence meticulously and present it effectively. We work to: 

  • Collect and Preserve Evidence: Ensuring that all relevant evidence is gathered and preserved before it’s lost or destroyed. 
  • Consult with Experts: Bring in the right experts to provide additional support and validation for your claims. 
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Handling communications and negotiations with insurance companies to seek fair settlements. 
  • Litigate if Necessary: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to court and advocate on your behalf. 

By building a strong case with comprehensive evidence, we strive to secure the full compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.  

While it’s challenging to give a one-size-fits-all answer to ‘What is my truck accident case worth?’, understanding these factors can provide some clarity.

If you’ve been in a truck accident, don’t navigate this alone. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to help evaluate your case and guide you through every step towards fair compensation. 

If you have any questions, contact us for a free consultation. Stay safe, and remember, we’re here to help when you need it.