What’s the Average Settlement For Truck Accidents?Mississippi Legal News
Trucks are among the most lethal vehicles on the road. Their sheer mass, velocity, and build usually lead to extensive wounds, death, and totaled vehicles in the event of an accident. As such, truck accident settlements frequently stretch into the millions.
The average truck accident settlement tends to fall well within a truck driver’s mandated insurance coverage, but the exact range of said coverage depends on what they haul:
- For freight transport, minimum insurance requirements range from $750,000 to $5,000,000, depending on the commodities involved.
- Passenger transports that seat fewer than 15 individuals must carry at least $1,500,000 in liability insurance; anything more, and the minimum increases to $5,000,000.
These insurance requirements are lower for especially small trucks, but accidents involving smaller commercial vehicles usually have fewer damages to speak of, and as such, fall within those lower insurance requirements.
Settlements for truck accident cases are best handled on a case-by-case basis, for a variety of reasons. Although truck accident settlements are generally extensive, there’s no true “average.”
An At-Fault Truck Driver
The size of a truck, of course, is the most consistent factor in determining a settlement amount—eighteen-wheeler accidents in Mississippi are more expensive than U-haul collisions, which are more expensive than those involving a pickup truck. Beyond the vehicle itself though, the conditions surrounding the driver can be just as important. Generally, two traits in a truck driver result in higher settlement payouts:
- Carelessness. When an accident could have been reasonably and easily avoided, victims tend to receive more extensive compensation, both to make up for such an awful event, as well as to penalize careless or reckless driving.
- Inexperience. Commercial truck drivers universally need more rigorous training and certification, but even after they’ve met the requirements to start hauling goods, inexperience can still shine through in simple mistakes and poor judgment calls. This amplifies settlements in a similar fashion to carelessness, but without the punitive damages.
General and Specific Damages
The core of any truck accident settlement is ultimately most dependent on the actual damages sustained. A fender-bender with an eighteen-wheeler, while more expensive, is still just a fender-bender, whereas a settlement involving a devastating injury and totaled car will be immense. Common damages in an accident case can be divided into two categories: specific, and general.
- Specific damages count everything with a price tag and verifiable dollar amount. Lost wages, medical bills, car repair costs, and so on and so forth qualify as “specific.”
- General damages are intangible and are usually the bulk of larger settlements. Wrongful death, disfigurement, pain and suffering, mental traumas, loss of consortium (the degradation of relationships), and other social or mental losses qualify as general damages and can be compensated extensively. Punitive damages similarly fall into this category.
Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys
Beyond the particulars of a case, the defining factor in a truck accident settlement is ultimately the experience and prowess of the attorney who brings the case to bear.
If you’ve been hurt in a catastrophic truck accident, talk to a Jackson truck accident attorney to learn more about your case. Our local, compassionate truck accident lawyers are always glad to talk, free of charge, so call us today at (601) 401-6884.