A Guide to the Average Cost of a Commercial Truck Accident Lawsuit

average cost of a commercial truck accident

Because of the size and weight of a truck, a collision involving these vehicles comes with heavy risk. About 117,300 truck crashes annually result in injuries that cost money to recover from. If you’ve recently sustained minor or severe injuries, you’re likely entitled to compensation from the truck driver or commercial owner.

If you’re considering filing a lawsuit, you’re likely interested in the average cost of a commercial truck accident. Read on for basic figures and a comprehensive run-down of how much you may need to pay post-collision.

The Average Cost of a Commercial Truck Accident

A commercial truck accident where one person is injured will cost an average of $148,279. However, this sum is highly variable, so you’ll need a lawyer to assess the specific ins and outs of your situation.

If more people are injured, it could cost even more than $300,000. You may even get in the several-million-dollar range if a lot of people were involved and sustained injuries.

If even a single fatality occurs, costs will likely be ramped up past the $7 million mark. This is an average cost, so it’s a very feasible reality for those involved in a commercial truck wreck.

However, it’s important to note that not all of these costs will fall onto you. You’re not responsible for the money that the at-fault driver needs to shell out for vehicle replacement and a tarnished reputation. Your own vehicle and your health and well-being are your priorities.

A Run-Down of Individual Direct Losses

When you hire a truck accident attorney, you’ll be able to get compensation for the specific damages that you suffered. It’s important to understand both direct and indirect costs before filing a claim.

Direct truck crash losses are those that are caused directly by the event. They’re immediate consequences that you need to deal with right after the collision happens.

Property damage is one of the biggest direct losses, including cargo damage, vehicle damage, and towing costs. Business expenses are another direct loss that encompasses administrative expenses and immediate hits to business revenue. The commercial owner will also need to store the truck, which is yet another property-related direct hit.

If you’re also a commercial truck driver, these may be things that impact the company you work for. If not, your property damage expenses may be less than those of the at-fault truck driver.

However, as an injured individual, you likely are looking to get compensation specifically for your injuries. Direct losses about injuries are primarily medical expenses. This includes the sum for initial treatment, hospitalization, and ambulance bills.

Your medical insurance cost will also increase, which counts as a direct loss. After all, it’s effective as soon as you file the claim.

Individual Indirect Losses

You also will suffer indirect losses as an individual involved in a commercial truck accident. These are almost all related to your injuries, so a truck accident lawyer can help you obtain funds to cover them.

You likely will need to take time off work for a recovery period. During this time, you won’t be earning any money, which can put a financial strain on you and your family. Luckily, an attorney can gather pay stubs, determine how much you’ve lost, and sue for compensation to cover these lost wages.

You also may lose earning potential if you sustain debilitating injuries. Loss of motor function, limb damage, post-accident vision problems, or hearing loss can mean that you no longer will be able to perform jobs that you otherwise could. You may be able to get compensation for having lost a certain quality of life.

Beyond this, you may have long-term medical costs that need attention beyond your initial hospital visit. This may include physical therapy, trauma counseling, mobility aids, personal assistants, 24-hour care, and medication. These indirect losses can be extremely expensive, so you may be able to sue for money to cover them.

Can You Get Financial Compensation?

It’s important to acknowledge that you will get financial compensation after a commercial truck accident. This is because commercial truckers in the US are legally required to have an insurance policy with $750,000 liability coverage.

However, many truck accidents are massive events that cost even more.

The average truck accident settlement greatly varies. However, some people have earned up to $101 million in compensation. While that’s the high end of things, the point stands that you can make a lot of money by filing a lawsuit with the help of a high-quality truck accident attorney.

Insurance matters are also more complex because not all commercial accidents are the same. In some cases, the truck driver may have been an independent contractor. While they were still driving for work, they may not need to cover your losses personally.

There also may be problems with the vehicle itself. In these cases, as long as the company is vigilant about the truck’s upkeep, you may need to sue the truck manufacturer for compensation.

The Costs of Filing a Lawsuit

The costs of filing a lawsuit vary depending on the attorney you hire. Some lawyers charge lower fees than others.

It may be tempting to hire an attorney with low fees in an attempt to save money. However, this is a poor idea because lower fees usually mean low-quality representation. You may not win an easy case when you do this, or you may get significantly lower compensation than a quality truck accident attorney could recover.

Lawsuit costs will also depend on the way that you pay your attorney.

Some lawyers take a lump sum upfront for managing your case. You give them money and they advocate for you. In some cases, you’ll pay some of the flat fee upfront and some of it after the settlement.

While this is simple and requires no guesswork, it becomes a problem for those who do not win their cases. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get compensation, and you’ll be out even more money if you don’t.

Other lawyers charge hourly fees. This is even worse because you won’t know how much a case costs until it’s over. Plus, an unreputable or duplicitous lawyer might drag your case out for a long time so they get paid more.

And, once again, you’d be forced to pay out of pocket if you didn’t win anything. It’s impractical and could cause a lot of financial stress later.

Contingency Fees: The Best Payment Method

Luckily, contingency fees are a solution to this problem.

When you work with a contingency lawyer, you don’t pay anything unless you win. That’s because the attorney gets a predetermined percentage of the settlement that they win for you. The money comes out of the settlement sum and you get the rest of it.

You won’t need to worry about losing money by hiring a lawyer. Assuming you win, you’ll always come away with more than you came into the case with. If you don’t win, you still walk away having lost nothing.

Contingency is also great because it gives lawyers financial motivation to do their best with your case. You can rest easy that you’ll get a top-notch settlement since your lawyer’s payment is riding on it, too!

What to Expect From Your Settlement

Your settlement will depend on the negotiations that your attorney conducts with the at-fault party’s insurance company. There are several different types of compensation you can get, including medical expenses, temporary/permanent disability, lost wages, and pain/suffering. These are just a few examples, and a lawyer can go over what you may be entitled to in your specific situation.

Arizona is a comparative negligence state, so your settlement will depend on what percentage of the fault you bear vs the at-fault party. If you only hold 10% of the fault while they hold 90%, you’ll likely get a really high settlement. If they’re at fault but it’s a 40/60 split, you’ll still get compensation… but it will be much lower.

It’s also important to understand common contingency fees with settlements.

Most contingency lawyers will take about 33.3% to 40% of your settlement. That means that a $100,000 settlement offer will amount to around $60,000 for you.

Some attorneys will take lower contingency percentages, but the quality of representation you get will be significantly worse. Expect to pay over a third of your winnings to an attorney if you want top-notch legal representation.

If you hire a less-experienced attorney, a would-be $100,000 settlement might turn into a $10,000 one. Even if that lawyer only takes a 20% contingency fee, you’ll only get $8,000. That’s significantly less than the $60,000 that you would get if you hired a good lawyer who took 40% in contingency!

Hire a Reputable Truck Accident Attorney

Being involved in a truck crash isn’t just painful and stressful. It’s also expensive. Luckily, compensation is available to decrease the financial burden on you.

Our legal team is committed to ensuring that you don’t pay the average cost of a commercial truck accident in its entirety. We have a 98% success rate and charge no fees unless we win, so schedule a consultation today to see if we’re a good fit.

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