In many semi-truck accidents, victims are left with severe or catastrophic injuries. Due to the size and weight differences between large trucks and passenger vehicles, it’s not surprising that injuries are so devastating in semi-truck accidents.
When prospective clients meet with our Florida truck accident lawyers, one of the first questions is about the average semi-truck accident settlement in Florida.
It’s important to understand that there is no average settlement for 18-wheeler accident claims despite what another attorney might tell you. No two truck accidents are exactly alike, which means no two claim values are identical either.
Your truck accident settlement amount should be based on your claim’s individual merits and who is at fault. At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, we have years of experience representing clients who were in semi-truck collisions.
Settlement amounts in these cases all vary. Contact our skilled legal team to schedule a consultation, and learn more about what your claim could be worth.
Florida’s No-Fault Rule
Florida is a no-fault state, which usually means you would first seek reimbursement of your medical bills under your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage will pay up to 80% of your medical bills and up to 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000.
Under Florida’s No-Fault Rule, typically you must sustain a permanent injury to recover from pain and suffering. Given that many injuries are severe to catastrophic in these types of collisions, most victims meet these criteria, allowing them to pursue a claim for their pain and suffering associated with the incident.
If you did not sustain permanent injuries but you have medical bills or lost wages that exceed $10,000, you can also pursue a claim to recover damages not covered by your PIP insurance. However, this would only be for your out-of-pocket expenses and not for your pain and suffering.
Determining Liability and Damages in a Florida Truck Accident
Your case value also depends on what type of injuries you sustained, how severe they are, who was at fault for the accident, and your total damages. Both liability and damages play a crucial role in determining the value of your potential truck accident settlement.
If you can prove liability against the other driver, you can increase your compensation. Florida follows the pure comparative negligence theory. Even people who are primarily at fault can receive semi-truck accident settlements. Your percentage of liability will reduce your compensation. For example, if you are 40% at fault, you could collect 60% of your damages.
Your damages also impact your overall case value. Damages are made up of items such as your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, rehabilitation, etc. You can also receive more subjective damages such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, etc.
If the injured victim passes away from their injuries, surviving family members might have the right to bring a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims compensate family members for their losses, not necessarily the damages of the deceased. A wrongful death case will have an entirely different value than one for your own injuries in the accident.
In limited scenarios, you could be eligible to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded only when the defendant’s actions were egregious, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The court might award punitive damages to “punish” the defendant to deter similar behavior in the future.
How an Attorney Helps Increase Commercial Truck Accident Settlements
When you are unrepresented and pursuing a claim independently, the insurance company will use your inexperience to their advantage. The adjuster might say that you should not have treated as long with this type of injury or that your injuries are inconsistent with the accident details. They might also claim you are more at fault for the accident than you believe.
These are all tactics used to decrease their overall payout on your case. No matter how nice the insurance adjuster for the other driver pretends to be, they are not on your side. Their loyalty is to their insured and the company, not you.
When you are represented by a skilled Florida truck accident lawyer from Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, we won’t stand for this. We will help prepare the strongest evidence possible to support your claim.
As seasoned negotiators, we know when insurance companies are playing games. If the adjuster doesn’t extend a reasonable offer, we will prepare to file a lawsuit on your behalf. We are not afraid to fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Contact Our Florida Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love was injured in a large truck accident, let our Florida truck accident lawyers help. Contact Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today to schedule an initial consultation.
Let us put our decades of experience to work for you. We know how to negotiate large truck accident claims and can help you fight for the truck accident settlement you deserve.