How Much Will You Get Paid if an 18 Wheeler Hit You?

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

Accidents involving 18-wheelers can be devastating, leaving victims with severe injuries, significant medical bills, and a long road to recovery. If an 18-wheeler has hit you, you’re likely wondering about the compensation you might receive. The amount you can expect to be paid depends on various factors, including the extent of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the legal process. Here’s what you need to know.

How Much Will You Get Paid if an 18 Wheeler Hit You?

How Much Will You Get Paid if an 18 Wheeler Hit You?

The financial compensation you can expect to receive if an 18-wheeler hits you varies widely and depends on several factors. These include the severity of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the extent of property damage. Determining liability and your case’s specifics will significantly influence the final settlement amount. Generally, average settlements can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, reflecting the impact on your life and future.

Understanding Semi-Truck Accident Settlements

18-Wheeler accident settlements involve several key steps that can significantly impact the amount of compensation you receive.

1. Determining Liability

Establishing who is at fault is the first crucial step. This involves a thorough investigation that includes collecting police reports, witness statements, photos, videos, and black box data from the truck. Liability may rest with the truck driver, the trucking company, or other parties involved.

2. Calculating Damages

Damages are divided into economic and non-economic categories:

  • Economic Damages cover tangible losses such as medical expenses (immediate and future), lost wages due to time off work, reduced future earning capacity, and property damage to your vehicle.
  • Non-Economic Damages address intangible impacts like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

3. Negotiation and Litigation

Your personal injury lawyer will handle negotiations with insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement. Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts, so skilled negotiation is essential. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to court for a trial.

4. Expert Testimony

Experts can provide crucial support for your claim. Accident reconstruction specialists can help determine how the accident happened and who is at fault. Medical and economic experts can offer insights into the extent of your injuries and the financial impact on your life.

The Role of Expert Testimony

Calculating damages, especially non-economic ones, often requires expert testimony. Medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and economic experts can provide valuable insights and support your claim by:

  • Assessing Future Medical Needs: Medical experts can provide an opinion on the long-term medical needs and associated costs.
  • Evaluating Earning Capacity: Vocational experts can assess how your injuries impact your ability to work and earn a living.
  • Calculating Financial Impact: Economic experts can help quantify the financial impact of your injuries, including lost wages and future expenses.

Common Injuries in 18-Wheeler Accidents

Common injuries in 18-wheeler accidents include:

  • Fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Fatalities

These severe and life-altering injuries can significantly impact the settlement amount, as victims may face extensive medical treatment, long-term rehabilitation, and a diminished quality of life.

The severity of these injuries highlights the importance of seeking immediate medical attention after an 18-wheeler accident. Prompt evaluation and treatment can help prevent further complications and ensure the best possible outcome for your recovery and future well-being.

How an 18th Wheeler Accident Lawyer Can Help Maximize Compensation

Accidents involving 18-wheelers can be devastating, leading to severe injuries, emotional distress, and substantial financial burdens. Navigating the aftermath of such accidents can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with complex legal processes and insurance companies. An experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer can play a crucial role in maximizing your compensation. Here’s how:

Experience in Trucking Regulations and Laws

Commercial trucking companies and drivers must adhere to strict federal and state regulations designed to ensure safety on the roads. These regulations cover various aspects, including:

  • Hours of Service: Rules limiting the number of hours a truck driver can operate without rest to prevent fatigue.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Requirements for regular maintenance and inspections to ensure the truck’s safety.
  • Driver Qualifications: Standards for licensing and training of truck drivers.

An experienced truck accident attorney is well-versed in these regulations and can identify violations that may have contributed to the accident. This knowledge is essential for building a strong case and demonstrating negligence.

Thorough Investigation and Evidence Collection

An experienced truck accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the commercial truck accident to gather all relevant evidence, which may include:

  • Accident Scene Evidence: Collecting photographs, videos, and physical evidence from the scene.
  • Black Box Data: Analyzing data from the truck’s electronic logging device (ELD) to understand the truck’s speed, braking patterns, and driver’s hours of service before the accident.
  • Witness Statements: Interviewing witnesses to obtain their accounts of the accident.
  • Police Reports: Reviewing official reports to gather details and observations from law enforcement officers.

Effective Negotiation with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts, which can result in unfair truck accident settlement amount offers. An experienced personal injury lawyer can effectively negotiate with insurance companies by:

  • Understanding Insurance Policies: Knowledge of the specific coverage and limits of the truck’s and driver’s insurance policies.
  • Countering Lowball Offers: Using evidence and legal arguments to counter low settlement offers and push for a fair amount.
  • Handling Communications: Managing all communications with the insurance company to avoid any misstatements or admissions that could harm your claim.

Accurate Calculation of Damages

An 18-wheeler accident lawyer will ensure that all aspects of your damages are accurately calculated, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Current and future medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to time off work and diminished earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Property Damage: Costs to repair or replace your vehicle and any other damaged property.

Future Damages

In cases of severe injuries, a truck accident lawyer will consider long-term impacts and future damages, such as:

  • Ongoing Medical Care: Future medical treatments, surgeries, and therapies required for your recovery.
  • Permanent Disability: Compensation for permanent injuries that affect your ability to work and quality of life.
  • Life Care Planning: Costs associated with modifications to your home, assistive devices, and personal care assistance.

Litigation Support

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, an experienced truck accident lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial. This involves:

  • Building a Strong Case: Gathering and presenting all necessary evidence to support your claims.
  • Court Representation: Representing you in court, presenting arguments, examining witnesses, and making compelling legal points.
  • Trial Strategy: Developing a strategy to effectively communicate the impact of the accident on your life and maximize your compensation.

Timeframe for Receiving a Truck Accident Settlement

The timeframe for receiving a truck accident settlement can range widely, typically from several months to a few years. The duration depends on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, and the negotiation process. Here’s an overview of the steps involved and what to expect.

Immediate Steps

After the accident, seek medical attention and start gathering evidence (police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photos). This initial phase can take several weeks to months.

Consulting a Truck Accident Lawyer

Contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will evaluate your case and file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This step typically takes a few weeks.


Insurance companies usually respond within a few weeks to months. Initial offers are often low, and negotiations can extend over several months. If both parties agree on a settlement, it can conclude within a few months. Otherwise, it may take longer.


If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may file a lawsuit, leading to a discovery phase that can last several months. Going to trial can extend the process by a year or more, though many cases settle before this stage.

Settlement Payment

Once a settlement is agreed upon, finalizing paperwork and receiving payment typically takes a few weeks. The insurance company usually issues the check within a month after the settlement agreement is signed.

Factors Influencing the Timeline

  • Complexity of the Case: More severe injuries and complex liability issues can extend the timeline.
  • Insurance Company Tactics: Delays by insurance companies can slow the process.
  • Legal Strategy: The need for expert testimony and detailed legal preparation can impact the duration.

What to Do After Being Injured in a Truck Accident

Knowing the steps to take immediately after a truck accident can protect your health and legal rights.

  • Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention: Move to a safe location if possible, check for injuries, and call 911 for emergency medical assistance. Even if you feel fine, see a doctor to identify any hidden injuries.
  • Call the Police: Report the accident and provide accurate information without speculating or admitting fault. A police report is crucial for your insurance claim and potential legal case.
  • Gather Evidence: Document the accident scene with photos and videos, collect contact information from the truck driver and witnesses, and exchange insurance details.
  • Preserve Documentation: Keep detailed records of medical treatments, expenses, and lost wages. Save all correspondence with insurance companies, medical professionals, and legal representatives.
  • Avoid Making Statements: Be cautious when speaking to insurance adjusters and avoid making detailed statements. Do not sign any documents without consulting your lawyer.
  • Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer: Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to understand your rights, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies. Your lawyer can guide you on whether to pursue a settlement or lawsuit.
  • Follow Your Doctor’s Advice: Adhere to all medical advice and attend follow-up appointments to ensure proper recovery and documentation of your injuries.

Take the First Step Towards Justice

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, don’t face the aftermath alone. At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, our experienced team is dedicated to fighting for your rights and maximizing your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards justice and recovery. Let us handle the complexities of your case so you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life.


Recent Posts



Have Questions?

Get A Free Case Review

Fields marked with an * are required

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
New York Office

110 East 42nd Street
Suite 1508
New York, NY 10017

Phone: 212-571-7171

Fax: 212-571-7174

Elizabeth Office

609 Morris Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208

Phone: 201-659-4144

Fax: 212-571-7174

Garden City Office

1461 Franklin Ave, Suite 2SE
Garden City, NY 11530

Phone: 516-747-7472

Fax: 212-571-7174

Stamford Office

1010 Washington Boulevard
Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: 203-862-8699

Fax: 212-571-7174