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Truck Accident Settlements

Truck Accident Settlements Tucson Arizona

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One of the most common questions we get during our free consultations is about the value of a case. How much is it worth, and when can they expect to get that amount? Will we need to go to trial?

There are a few issues with these questions: one, there is no easy way to take a look at a case and come up with a fair number. If we could, there would probably be much less of a contentious relationship between personal injury attorneys and insurance companies. Secondly, while most cases are settled, and most truck accident attorneys will focus on reaching a settlement before even filing a lawsuit with the Arizona courts, there is no telling how difficult it will be to close the gap between the insurance company’s offer and our calculations about what we believe you truly deserve (which, again, will take time to determine).

Take a look below to get a better idea of what goes into truck accident settlements, including the calculation process, negotiation phase, and some factors that go into whether or not a case goes to court. 

Contact us as soon as possible to request your own free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer about your case.

How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?

Commercial truck drivers have insurance policies with liability coverage limits that far exceed the standard passenger driver’s policy simply because they operate massive vehicles with a greater risk of serious injury to someone in a passenger vehicle. These limits often exceed $1 million, but unfortunately, a high limit does not mean that it will be easier to get everything you deserve.

The value of a truck accident claim is based on the facts and evidence that we can gather about your damages — as well as the actual calculations. Truck accident cases can vary greatly from situation to situation, and many of these unique factors may often be overlooked by someone other than an experienced Tucson truck accident lawyer.

Generally speaking, common damages in an Arizona truck accident settlement are medical expenses, lost wages or income, pain and suffering from serious injuries, emotional distress, physical or mental disabilities, or many unique damages in the event of wrongful death. 

Depending on the specifics of each case, there may be other damages that can be included.

Can We Settle?

There is no way to accurately calculate the percentage of personal injury cases that are settled, simply because the details of a settlement are not disclosed. Still, some estimates suggest that nearly 95% of all cases are settled before trial, and 50% of all cases are settled before a lawsuit is even filed. However, while these statistics can give you a general idea of the personal injury landscape, they have little bearing on your unique case, especially following a serious truck accident.

Your lawyer will need to consider property damage, emotional injuries sustained in the trucking accident, both current medical bills and potential future medical expenses (which may require an expert’s testimony based on your medical records), impacts to a victim’s earning capacity due to severe injuries, and a range of other future expenses. Wrongful death cases stemming from large truck crashes also include things like the loss of consortium and future losses of financial contributions from the deceased. The insurance adjuster will make a counter-offer to kick off the negotiation process.

The negotiation process for tractor-trailer accidents is lengthy and arduous and can take several weeks to several months to reach a fair settlement. 

It’s also important to remember that during this period, the insurance company (or their legal counsel) will attempt to limit the amount of compensation you receive, as they do with any serious accident. At the same time, your attorney will continue to gather evidence and mount an argument for the total amount of compensation they believe you are entitled to.

The Difference Between Settlements and Lawsuit Awards

Something that many people need to be aware of when going into a personal injury case is that a settlement typically results in a smaller award than the total amount your attorney has calculated. There are a few reasons for this: primarily, settling avoids a costly and time-consuming process of waiting on the court’s schedule; secondly, and perhaps more important, is that it allows both parties to retain control over the situation, whereas a trial would leave the final decision up to a disinterested third party (a judge and/or jury). 

If your attorney stayed firm on their initial calculation throughout the negotiation process, it is likely that any good-faith negotiations would fall apart and ultimately lead to a court case, which could take years.

Photo of a Road Accident

Punitive Damages

There are instances where a personal injury attorney may choose to move forward with a lawsuit following a Tucson truck accident, particularly when they believe that there is a good chance of winning a larger award at trial than the current offer. 

This larger sum often involves punitive damages, which are only awarded by a judge or jury, and only in cases where the at-fault party acted in a particularly reprehensible manner that they believe a financial punishment will deter any further reckless behavior. This may be an instance where the driver was drunk, or perhaps was permitted to operate an 18-wheeler when they were not even fit to be driving smaller vehicles. 

There are plenty of examples of when other drivers act dangerously enough to warrant punitive damages. If your accident is one of these situations, then your attorney will let you know.

Is The Truck Driver Always Liable For Truck Accidents?

Trucking accidents are often very complicated for a number of reasons, including the sheer size of tractor-trailers and the many specific regulations and laws that come with truck driving. People who drive semi-trucks are some of the most experienced drivers on the roads. They have commercial licenses to operate large trucks that come. There are additional requirements, such as strict Hours of Service, which are limitations to the amount of time they can drive. 

The legal process following a large truck accident is often as complex as the regulations that drivers must follow due to the many protocols and factors that go into the case. There are many instances where it is found that the responsible party is not the driver but may be the trucking company, truck manufacturer, warehouse team contracted to load the trailer or countless others involved in the shipping industry that runs on commercial trucks. 

Police reports often provide general information from the accident scene but will not include information pulled from the vehicle’s electronic control module (ECM), or “black box” that will show whether the driver was speeding, which caused them to lose control and cause, for example, a head-on collision, whether or not they applied brakes in the tractor-trailer in time, and more. 

Contact Our Firm Today

The truck accident lawyers at Wattel & York have years of experience handling truck accident claims against trucking companies, drivers, and anyone else deemed responsible. Contact us now to get the support you deserve.

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Online Reviews

“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

Candy J.


“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

Nardeasha S.


“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.


“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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