One of the most common questions claimants asks after an 18-wheeler accident is how much their claim is worth.
While determining the value of a claim may seem simple at first glance, several factors affect it.
In many cases, those factors vary significantly among cases because of the unique circumstances of the accident.
In short, there are no average 18-wheeler lawsuit settlements that accurately represent all cases, but there are ways to estimate the value of your claim.
The Truth About 18-Wheeler Lawsuit Settlements
Although several sources publish average settlements on the internet, their calculations are somewhat misleading. There are a couple of different reasons for these inaccuracies.
Firstly, almost none of these averages include confidential settlement amounts. This leaves out crucial data, leading to a skewed result.
Secondly, since 18-wheeler accident lawsuit settlements vary significantly in value, the average is unlikely to represent most settlements.
Factors That Affect 18-Wheeler Accident Settlements
Despite the limitations of averages published online, there are a few different factors you can examine to estimate the value of your claim.
Ultimately, the severity of your injuries, your insurance policy, and New Jersey’s negligence law play the most significant roles in your claim.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Due to the sheer size and weight of a commercial truck, accidents involving them usually result in serious injuries. That being said, not all injuries command the same compensation.
Generally speaking, the more serious your injury is, the more you may claim damages.
For example, someone who only receives scrapes and bruises and recovers in a week won’t have as much damage as someone who develops paraplegia.
New Jersey Negligence Law
One aspect of 18-wheeler lawsuit settlements that many people ignore is New Jersey’s law regarding negligence.
Essentially, this law determines whether a plaintiff may claim damages if they are partially at fault for the accident.
The state of New Jersey follows a contributory negligence doctrine.
This means a plaintiff may receive damages as long as their share of negligence is 50% or less.
However, the law also diminishes their damages by that percentage of negligence.
For example, if you have $100,000 in damages and the insurance company finds you 15% at fault, you may receive only $85,000.
Your Insurance Coverage
Despite New Jersey having a contributory negligence law, it is a no-fault state. This means that in auto accidents, the victim makes a claim through their own insurance policy rather than that of the other driver.
Typically, they receive compensation for medical expenses under the personal injury protection or PIP coverage in their policy.
However, in more serious cases, PIP coverage isn’t enough to cover all of the victim’s damages.
Questions About Your Potential Settlement? Contact Wiley Lavender Maknoor, P.C. Today
Accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks are some of the most devastating.
Unfortunately, some victims receive life-altering injuries that greatly reduce their quality of life.
If this happens to you or a loved one, you need an attorney who understands what’s at stake.
At Wiley Lavender Maknoor, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to take on big insurance companies and negligent motor carriers.
Please call us today at 732-494-6099 or send us a message to schedule a free consultation.
We proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey from our office in Metuchen.