Do You Know What the Average Settlement is for a Tractor Trailer Accident?
Last updated Monday, September 26th, 2022
How Common is a Semi Truck Accident?
Each year, statistics are available for just about anything imaginable. Some statistics are obvious and others may surprise even the most cynical of us. Motor vehicle accident statistics, of course, are closely monitored by safety experts and the Department of Transportation, among others. But exactly how common are semi truck accidents and other large trucking vehicles?
When it comes to accidents on the road, the unfortunate fact is that there are around 500,000 semi-truck and big rig accidents around the country per year. A new truck crash with injuries or fatalities happens about every 15 minutes. Approximately 5,000 deaths per year are attributed to collisions involving large commercial trucks.
Of all motor vehicle accidents in the US, large truck accidents account for between 4% and 7% of all motor vehicle accidents with injury or death in the United States. That’s a significant number of accidents, with a significant number of people either injured or killed.
Another interesting fact is that more than 21% of fatal truck accidents are caused by truck drivers that have had at least one speeding conviction prior to the accident.
What is the Most Common Type of Truck Accident?
Truck accidents have many causes and there are many types of accidents involving trucks reported each year. By far, driver error by the truck driver accounts for the highest cause of truck accidents reported. Oftentimes these accidents can be prevented if the driver of the truck was paying proper attention and had the proper training to be on the road. Other times, physical problems with the truck sometimes cause problems that turn into accidents.
Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Jackknife accidents
Jackknifing occurs when the front cab and rear trailer move out of sync from each other, which most commonly happens when the truck driver is forced to slam on the brakes. The trailer and cab end up at a sharp angle to each other, as in a “V” shape, and the driver loses control of the rig.
- Rear end collisions
Large trucks, semis, and 18-wheeled trucks do not have nearly the same stopping distance as that a personal vehicle. In a situation where a large truck needs to stop suddenly, on average it requires about 200 more feet to stop than a passenger car or truck. The possibility of rear-ending the vehicle in front of the semi increases significantly if the need for emergency braking occurs.
- Head on collisions
No one wants to witness what happens when a big rig hits another vehicle head-on. Since the trucks tend to weigh so much more than a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle and its occupants are most often the victims in a head-to-head crash with a big truck.
Even the best drivers can lose control of a vehicle and this is certainly true when the vehicle being driven is a large commercial truck. Truck rollovers happen for many reasons, including driver error, avoidance of a collision, debris on the road, etc.
- Tire blowouts
Any vehicle can blow out a tire. There could be items on the road that cause a puncture to a tire, the tread on a tire or tires could be uneven or running thin, one or several tires could be under or overinflated, or even just encountering a random pothole could be the cause of a blowout. Once a blowout occurs, the driver has much less control over the tractor-trailer. They have much less control than if a personal vehicle had the same thing happen, due to the difference in weight of the truck and load, as well as distribution of a load.
- Underride accidents
Underride accidents are the type of accident that has the potential to be extra tragic. When a truck stops quickly and an approaching vehicle runs into the trailer of the 18-wheeler, the approaching vehicle can become stuck under the trailer. Often the roof of the vehicle is ripped off and death can occur to the occupants.
- Blind spot accidents
Mirrors are great but they cannot replace the capacity of the human eye when looking directly at an area. Considering the length of the truck with a load, it’s not surprising that there are accidents that involve the truck’s blind spot area. Blind spot areas are often called the “No Zone” or “No Man’s Land” in trucker lingo. Trucks have four major “No Zones” or blind spots – right behind the rear of the trailer, immediately in front of the cab, and both on the passenger and driver’s sides, next to the side mirrors.
- Loss of a load
Occasionally a load can fall out or off of the trailer itself. This is usually caused by not securing the cargo properly.
- Accidents resulting from wide turns
Turning corners to the right or left requires an additional set of skills that typical passenger vehicles don’t need to understand. The truck driver has to be aware of where the trailer will go and if it will collide with other vehicles. When a turn is made too sharply or without consideration of where the trailer will end up, the result is often an accident with the stopped vehicle at the perpendicular road.
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What State has the Most Truck Accidents?
The jury is out on the state that has the most truck accidents, but there are a few that tend to have more accidents than others.
States that have the most truck accidents include:
Average Settlement for a Semi Truck Accident?
There is no magic formula to calculate a semi truck accident settlement. The amount can vary greatly depending upon several important factors, such as the extent of damages, the amount of medical treatment necessary, both currently and in the future, and if there is a legal team in your corner. The amount can range from anywhere between a few thousand dollars to over $10 million dollars.
Oftentimes a lower settlement is offered to a victim in the hopes that the victim will accept. But a strong rule of thumb is this… a quick and free consultation with a truck accident attorney will give you an idea of where your settlement should be at. Trucking companies and their insurance companies have a huge amount of money and resources behind them. The unfortunate fact is that the difference offered to an unrepresented victim and a strongly represented victim is often very different.
We have free downloadable articles available on our website if you are interested in finding out more information on the processes involved in a legal case. This is an easy way to have information in your hands in minutes. The more informed you are on your rights as a semi truck accident victim, the less likely you are to become a victim of the insurance companies as well.
How is a Settlement Calculated?
There is no magic formula to calculate a settlement amount, but we can help you figure it out. Because each accident is different and unique, the settlement amount will depend on the details of your particular case.
There are a few things that make a major difference in the amount of settlement awarded by a judge. Please keep in mind that the amount awarded by a judge and the amount offered as a settlement is almost always very different.
As a specialist truck accident legal firm, we have the knowledge and expertise to give you estimations that only experienced lawyers would know. Our office can help with the calculations on your particular case.
Our legal team can also assist you in determining the best plan of action as your case proceeds. Should you settle? Should you go to court? We can explain your options so you can make an affordable and informed decision that is best for you and your family.