A recent Jury Verdict Research nationwide study looked at truck accidents from 1996 to 2005 found that the truck accident victim prevailed and received damages in 60 percent of truck accident lawsuits.
What Is the Average Value of a Truck Accident Case?
The average compensation award of these verdicts was $90,000. Plaintiffs were more likely to prevail in and receive compensation in head-on truck crashes.
How Often Does the Victim Win a Truck Accident Case?
In these cases, the Plaintiffs prevailed 71% of the time and received an average jury award of $532,034. The average value of a fatal truck accident case was just over $1 million. For truck accident cases that involved a disc injury, the average award was $122,532. Three percent of the jury awards were over $5,000,000.
How Much Is a Truck Accident Soft Tissue Case Worth?
Interestingly, the average back strain injury in a truck accident was worth $17,667. While I do not know what the average back strain is nationally, it is less than $17,667. It appears the same injury in a truck accident case is worth more than the same injury from an automobile accident. Why? Truck accident cases have better defendants. What do I mean by better? They are more likely to settle for higher value because they do not have lawyers on hand in Maryland and because the adjuster are used to the higher number that are more frequent in truck accidents.
How Much Did Recent Truck Accident Cases in 2023 Settle For?
Going from the statistics to the specific, there are some recent truck accident settlements and jury verdicts. Don’t put too much stock in what a jury did in an individual case. But these are helpful.
- 2023: Pennsylvania: $1,440,000 Verdict. A 52-year-old truck driver was delivering steel panels to a construction site in Philadelphia when he was struck in the hip and knocked to the ground by a 3,000-pound panel being removed from his truck by an excavator operator, an employee of the general contractor. The driver suffered back and ankle injuries. He filed a truck accident lawsuit alleging negligence on the part of the excavator operator. The operator negligently lifted the panels, causing a chain to become dangerously looped over the excavator’s boom. Despite signals to stop, the operator swung the panels, striking the driver. The defense argued the driver was comparatively negligent for entering a danger zone. The jury found Miller Brothers 64 percent liable, the driver 36 percent, and awarded total damages of $2.25 million, reduced to $1.44 million due to comparative negligence.
- 2023, California: $12,900,000 Verdict. A mother, father, and their adult son were driving on the interstate when the defendant slammed into them with his large tractor-trailer truck. The accident happened because the defendant dropped his cigarette into his lap and became distracted. All 3 occupants suffered very serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury, spinal fractures, torn rotator cuff, and several other bone fractures.
- 2023, Alabama: $1,460,000 Verdict. The plaintiff was driving a semi-truck with an attached trailer on a highway when she was struck by the defendant, who was also driving a tractor-trailer truck. The accident happened because the defendant allegedly made a left turn without yielding to oncoming traffic.
- 2022, Mississippi: $941,141 Verdict. The plaintiff was driving on a highway when his vehicle was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler semi/tractor–trailer driven by the defendant. The plaintiff allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury with right side tentorial and temporal subdural hematomas, neurocognitive disorder and the loss of 20 IQ points, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other injuries.
- 2020, Louisiana: $16,755 Verdict A big rig backed into a parked vehicle while at a gas station. Its impact pushed the vehicle’s owner, who was pumping gas. She sustained soft-tissue injuries and anxiety from the incident. The truck driver and his employer contended that the collision was minor, and she suffered no injuries. The jury awarded the woman $16,755, comprising $6,755 in medical expenses and $10,000 in pain and suffering.
- 2020, Mississippi: $210,102 Verdict A big rig rear-ended a sedan that went off-road and landed in the shoulder lane. The sedan’s driver suffered the aggravation of his degenerative lumbar condition. He sought treatment two days after the crash. His neurosurgeon recommended a discectomy. He sought no further treatment. The man sued the self-employed truck driver, seeking damages. The truck driver’s counsel contended that the collision was only a bump and that his injuries were unrelated to the collision. The jury ruled in favor of the man, awarding him a $210,102 verdict.
- 2020, Virginia: $1,250,000 Settlement The plaintiff construction worker was standing near a flatbed truck he was helping unload. A commercial trash truck sideswiped the flatbed truck. The man was caught between the two vehicles. He suffered fractures to his ribs and back and wounds to his right leg and foot. The man was left with permanent deformities and chronic lymphedema. The case settled for $1,250,000.
- 2020, Tennessee: $23,500,000 Verdict An intoxicated truck driver rear-ended a retired woman’s vehicle. A medical waste disposal company employed the driver. His truck contained thousands of expired drugs, which included anti-depressants and amphetamines, intended for disposal. He admitted to taking some of them before the incident. The woman suffered soft-tissue shoulder and right foot injuries because of the collision. She was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and the aggravation of her pre-existing anxiety and depression. The woman sued both the truck driver and his employer. Her trucking expert noted that the company permitted the driver’s drug use. She also contended that he had little to no supervision. The jury awarded her a $23,500,000 verdict. However, the final judgment amounted to $2,250,000, based on Tennessee’s recoverable damages limit.
- 2020, Florida: $150,000 Verdict A truck driver struck multiple vehicles during busy traffic on Interstate 75. The accident involved nine vehicles. A motorist died at the scene. Another truck was hit, the driver suffered a disc injury. He sued the truck driver and his employer. The defense counsel contended the man’s injuries and their relation to the collision. The jury awarded the injured truck driver a $150,000 verdict.
- 2020, Kentucky: $7,121,599 Verdict Two brothers were cleaning up debris from a tractor-trailer accident at around 2 AM. They ran a towing and clean-up company. A speeding big rig struck their wrecker, backhoe, and Bobcat loader. One brother suffered a multi-level disc injury that needed fusion surgery. He also underwent a surgical repair of an ulnar injury. The jury awarded him $4,615,075 in special and non-economic damages. He also received $2,000,000 in punitive damages. The other brother suffered a soft-tissue neck injury. The jury awarded him $6,524 in medical expenses and $500,000 in punitive damages. The combined verdict totaled $7,121,599.
- 2020, Georgia: $21,029,363 Verdict A tractor-trailer ran over and killed a 50-year-old pedestrian. The driver told police at the scene he experienced breathing difficulties and passed out right before the accident. He died from unrelated causes shortly after the estate filed suit. The pedestrian’s estate sued his insurer in his place. The jury ruled in favor of the estate and awarded $21,029,363.
- 2020, Louisiana: $798,384 Verdict A Mack truck rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped at a red light in New Orleans. The driver, a local police detective, suffered a concussion and soft-tissue injuries. He underwent chiropractic care, medial branch blocks, and two rhizotomies. His orthopedist noted that he would need cervical disc fusion surgery. The man could no longer enjoy an active lifestyle because of his injuries. A judge awarded him a $798,384 bench verdict.
- 2020, California: $5,500,000 Settlement A registered nurse suffered a traumatic brain injury and neck, back, knee, and shoulder injuries after a truck struck his vehicle head-on. An ambulance took him to the hospital, where doctors immediately performed knee and shoulder surgery on him. He sued the truck driver and his employer. Their counsel contended that the man caused the collision by crossing a double yellow line. They also contended that he was distracted at the time, which prevented him from seeing the truck. The investigating police officer found that only the truck driver was at fault. The case settled for $5,500,000.
- 2020, Louisiana: $4,375,017 Verdict A tractor-trailer owned by Landstar Ranger rear-ended an SUV during busy traffic. The impact caused the vehicle to go off-road and collide with a light pole. First responders arrived and found the driver knocked unconscious. They took him to an emergency room, where staff treated him for a scalp laceration and a concussion. The man also suffered a shoulder tear that was eventually surgically repaired. He also underwent surgical repairs of his thumb and a torn meniscus. His medical team recommended future lumbar and cervical surgeries. The man suffered a traumatic brain injury that exacerbated his anger and explosive outbursts. He can no longer work because of his injuries. The jury awarded him a $4,375,017 verdict.
More Truck Accident Statistics (Outside of Litigation)
- In 2021, there were 5,700 fatal crashes involving large trucks, marking an 18% rise from the previous year and a 49% increase over the past decade. The involvement rate per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks saw a 7% uptick from 2020 and a 22% increase over the last decade. Large trucks encompass medium and heavy trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds, excluding buses and motor homes. This category includes both commercial and non-commercial vehicles.
- In 2019, there were 4,415 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in the United States, which is a 31% increase from the low of 3,363 in 2009. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2019)
- Large trucks were involved in 5.3% of all crashes in 2019, but they accounted for 10.2% of all fatal crashes. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2019)
- The majority of fatal crashes involving large trucks occur on weekdays (79%) and during the daytime (66%). (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2019)
- In 2019, there were 5,005 people killed in crashes involving large trucks, which is a 43% increase from the low of 3,499 in 2009. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2019)
- The most common cause of large truck crashes is the truck driver’s failure to stay in their lane. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2021)
- Speeding is a factor in about one out of every four fatal crashes involving a large truck. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2021)
- Driver fatigue is a factor in 13% of large truck crashes. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2021)
- About 5% of large truck crashes are caused by vehicle malfunctions, such as tire blowouts or brake failures. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2021)
- Approximately 70% of fatal large truck crashes occur on rural roads. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2021)
- The average cost of a large truck crash is $91,000. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2019)
Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers at Miller & Zois
If you have been injured in a big rig truck accident, our truck accident lawyers can help make sure you get every penny of the financial compensation you are entitled to. Call us at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation.