When a truck accident leaves you injured, out of work, and with a damaged or completely totaled vehicle, you will likely be considering legal options for recovering your accident-related expenses. Arkansas truck accident settlements seek to account for a variety of damages that come after a collision, including both those that can easily be added up and those that seem incalculable.
We take pride in knowing that truck accident victims throughout the state turn to our attorneys in their times of need. Our neighbors trust us to handle the insurance companies for them, maximize their compensation, and put the utmost dedication and expertise toward the success of their cases. Let’s explore what it takes to find the full value of a truck accident claim, what mistakes can negatively affect your claim, and what it will cost to get the knowledgeable legal representation you deserve.
How Much Is The Average Settlement for an Arkansas Truck Accident?
Determining an “average” settlement for Arkansas truck accidents can be complex and unreliable due to the differences in insurance policies between trucking companies, the inclusion of confidentiality clauses in many settlement agreements, and the particular circumstances that make each case unique. On top of that, any such number would do very little to help you understand what the full value of your specific claim could be. In general, a settlement from a legal claim involving a collision with an 18-wheeler is going to be higher than one involving a collision with a car because:
- 18-wheelers are larger and heavier than cars with a wider turning range and a longer braking distance, all of which increase the risk of catastrophic injuries and extensive property damage.
- Commercial trucking companies are typically required to carry higher insurance coverage limits than the average driver, allowing for a potentially higher settlement amount.
- Federal regulations govern truck driver behavior, vehicle maintenance, and safety standards. If a truck driver or trucking company violates these regulations and contributes to an accident, it can result in punitive damages (damages intended to punish the at-fault party) and can significantly increase the final payout.
Many factors can contribute to a higher or lower settlement. Being aware of how they may influence your insurance claim could be the difference between getting the maximum recovery available and coming up short on compensation.
Which Factors Can Increase the Final Settlement Amount?
The following factors have the potential to increase the value of your settlement:
- Severe Injuries—The more severe and debilitating the injuries, the higher the potential settlement amount.
- High Medical Expenses—Extensive medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, and rehabilitation expenses can contribute to a larger settlement.
- Loss of Income—Inability to work due to injuries resulting in lost wages and future earning potential can lead to a higher settlement.
- Clear Liability—When it’s evident that the truck driver or their employer is at fault, it can increase the settlement amount.
- Strong Evidence—Well-documented evidence, including accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records, can strengthen your case and lead to a larger settlement.
- Pain and Suffering—Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, can significantly increase the settlement.
- Punitive Damages—If the truck driver or their employer’s conduct was egregiously negligent, punitive damages may be awarded, further increasing the settlement.
- Experienced Legal Representation—Skilled attorneys with expertise in truck accident cases can negotiate higher settlements.
These are not guarantees of any compensation amount, but they can give you a good idea of what your total damages may be worth.
What Can Decrease the Value of a Truck Accident Claim?
Unfortunately, many factors can lead to a lower settlement after an Arkansas truck accident, including:
- Shared Fault—In Arkansas, if you are partially responsible for the accident (modified comparative negligence), your settlement may be reduced accordingly.
- Pre-existing Conditions—Pre-existing medical conditions that were exacerbated by the accident may lead to reduced compensation.
- Inadequate Documentation—Insufficient evidence, missing records, or weak witness testimony can diminish your case and potentially result in a lower settlement.
- Not Hiring an Attorney—Attempting to negotiate a settlement without experienced legal representation often results in a lower offer from the insurance company.
- Low Property Damage—Minimal damage to your vehicle and property may be used by the insurance company to argue for a smaller settlement.
Don’t take the chance of being cheated by the insurance company. At The Niblock Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers in Arkansas are prepared to fight for your right to every dollar you are legally owed.
Modified Comparative Negligence and Your Truck Accident Settlement
Arkansas follows a modified comparative negligence system. Under this system, accident victims can pursue compensation as long as they are less than 50% at fault for the accident. In other words, you can seek damages even if you bear some responsibility for the accident, as long as your share of the blame is less than half.
However, there’s a critical catch: your final compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your final settlement will be reduced by 20%.
Determining fault and calculating percentages can be a contentious process, and insurance companies may try to shift more blame onto you to minimize their liability. To navigate this system effectively and protect your rights, it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side who has experience handling big truck collision cases. Your lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure that fault is assigned accurately, and your compensation is not unfairly reduced.
If You Wait Too Long, You’ll Lose Your Right to Compensation
While the factors above can decrease truck accident settlement amounts, the statute of limitations could make or break your claim. If you don’t file your Arkansas truck accident injury claim within 3 years of the accident, you could forfeit the chance to recover a single cent in damages.
Other deadlines may apply to your case, such as the deadline imposed by your insurance policy for reporting your accident. Or, if the accident took place while you were on the job, the deadline for filing a workers’ compensation claim may apply. The best way to protect your right to financial compensation is to get started with one of our Arkansas truck injury lawyers as soon as you know you’ve been injured badly in a truck accident. This is why The Niblock Law Firm is available day and night to take your call and schedule a FREE consultation and evaluation to determine what your case is worth.
What Does It Cost To Hire a Truck Accident Attorney From The Niblock Law Firm?
You have enough financial stress on your shoulders, and getting legal guidance and representation should not add to it. We work hard to make sure that getting a competent truck accident attorney on your side is not only easy but affordable. Our attorneys don’t get paid unless you win compensation for your losses.
We never charge upfront fees, and we give out free legal advice in our initial case reviews! If this article has you interested in what the full value of your truck accident settlement could be, get in touch with The Niblock Law Firm today and find out.