Semi Truck


John Bruscato Aug. 2, 2019

An accident with an 18-wheeler (or large truck or semi-truck) is a terrifying experience. These trucks are the giants of the road, and getting into a collision with one usually doesn’t yield positive results. There are a lot of reasons why these accidents occur. Sometimes, the fault lies with the passenger vehicles on the road (these would be smaller trucks, SUVs, cars, and motorcycles), such as when they fail to signal or drive in the large truck's blind spot. Often, though, these accidents are caused by the large truck driver.

Semi-Truck Accidents & Fatalities

Commercial truck drivers go through extensive training before being entrusted with an 18-wheeler, but that doesn’t mean issues don’t arise. If a truck driver is fatigued, not properly trained on a technique or safety protocol, or rushing to meet an unreasonable deadline, they are likely to make mistakes.

Unfortunately for other drivers on the road, those mistakes often cause serious injuries if not fatalities, as a 2017 report from the Institute for Highway Safety can confirm. According to the report, this was the ratio of fatalities in that year’s large truck crashes:

  • 68% were passenger vehicle occupants

  • 17% were large truck occupants

  • 14% were motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians

No matter the reason for the semi-truck driver’s mistake, if you were injured or your family member was killed in an 18-wheeler accident, you have the right to seek compensation. Not sure where to start? That’s common. Below, I’ve called on my experience as a Monroe area personal injury attorney to help you understand the ins and outs of large truck accident claims in Louisiana, including what to expect in terms of compensation.

Average Settlement for a Semi-Truck Accident in Louisiana

Ask your trusty friend Google what the average settlement is for an 18-wheeler accident and, unfortunately, you’re not going to get a clear-cut answer. Instead, you’re going to see a wide range of numbers from a lot of different personal injury law firms competing for your business. Generally, these numbers will range anywhere from the tens of thousands to the low millions.

For sanity and clarity’s sake, let’s clarify two important concepts here and now to ensure you go into your case with realistic expectations:

1. Compensation Correlates to Damage.

Speaking as a personal injury attorney, I can confirm that the “tens of thousands to low millions” range is not untrue. However, I don’t want you entering into your case with unrealistic expectations. For example, if your semi-truck accident resulted in a totaled car and a minor case of whiplash, you shouldn’t be expecting a $2 million settlement. Rather, you and your attorney should get together to calculate the actual costs of your damages, such as:

  • Costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle

  • Medical and hospital bills following the wreck

  • Lost wages (if you were forced to miss work)

  • Pain and suffering

  • Attorney’s fees

Once you and your lawyer have taken these case-specific factors into account, you can then enter into negotiations with the insurance company with a clear idea of how much you’re fighting for.

2. Your Approach Makes a Huge Difference.

One of the biggest mistakes I see semi-truck accident victims make is trying to handle their personal injury claim alone. The temptation is understandable since most people associate lawyers with fancy offices and ridiculously expensive services. I can’t speak for all personal injury attorneys, but I can tell you that my clients pay nothing up front for my services, and having an experienced legal professional on your side can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your case.

Most 18-wheeler accident lawyers — myself included — offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, my services cost you nothing up front, and I only collect payment in the event that I help you recover compensation. So please, make this whole process easier on yourself by putting an experienced lawyer on your side. It costs you nothing to reach out, and my ability to negotiate with the insurance companies could increase your payout tremendously.

Monroe Area Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Monroe or while in the state of Louisiana, I encourage you to contact Bruscato Law today. I fight aggressively for my clients and will do everything in my power to help you recover full and fair compensation.